Auto Update HP drivers for vSphere using VUM

Despite being an IBMer I have greater experience with HP servers, mainly because my customers have decided to go the HP path. Nothing wrong with that if you keep the hardware happy, which means you need to have the latest and greatest BIOS and device firmware versions applied. Since we don’t use HP SIM, the BIOS and firmware updates are done manually by downloading the latest HP SPP iso file and scan the hosts one-by-one. Once we have the BIOS and firmware up-to-date we usually update the drivers together with the ESXi patching cycling. For this purpose we must have all drivers downloaded and then manually loaded to the VMware Update Manager (VUM). Once we have them loaded we can use the default Critical and Non-critical baselines to apply the latest patches and drivers together. So far so good… but a lot of manual work.

For BIOS and firmware update you can use the HP SIM solution to get some level of automation, if you have that solution implemented to your environment.

For drivers update you can use the VUM repositories updated on a monthly basis by HP. You can find them here:

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Selecting one of the months you will see two .xml files which must be loaded to your VMware Update Manager repository.

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In the past you had to go and check if there are new drivers released or not, which is annoying, time consuming and very likely to be forgotten. HP finally created a folder named Latest which contains always the latest device drivers. Once you add the .xml files from that location the drivers will be automatically downloaded and you can scan and remediate  your hosts without any additional actions.

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Using this VUM settings the latest drivers will be downloaded according to your download schedule settings.

Another useful tip for keeping your HP servers happy while running VMware ESXi is to follow the HP Recipe, which you can find here. The file is being updated on a regular basis but the link is always the same. You can find recommendations for firmware and drivers matching for different version of ESXi.

From my personal work experience I can say that if you want to have a smoothly functional environment you have to always consider using the latest BIOS, firmware and drivers and keep them updated.

 

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Nikolay Nikolov

VDI Engineer
Nikolay has 9 years work experience in IT and 5 of them in the Virtualization technologies mainly based on VMware products. Currently works as VDI Engineer at MSD IT Global Innovation Center and he is an ex-member of VMware CoE at IBM. He holds VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-DTM and VCP on DCV, DTM, NV and Cloud, Nutanix NPP certificate and also Master Degree of Computer Systems and Networks. Honored with vExpert 2015/2016 by VMware and Nutanix Technology Champion 2016/2017.

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About Nikolay Nikolov

Nikolay has 9 years work experience in IT and 5 of them in the Virtualization technologies mainly based on VMware products. Currently works as VDI Engineer at MSD IT Global Innovation Center and he is an ex-member of VMware CoE at IBM. He holds VCIX6-DCV, VCIX6-DTM and VCP on DCV, DTM, NV and Cloud, Nutanix NPP certificate and also Master Degree of Computer Systems and Networks. Honored with vExpert 2015/2016 by VMware and Nutanix Technology Champion 2016/2017.
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5 Comments

  1. Great article Niki, “latest” folder is big improvement, also did you know you in HP SPP there is a *.exe file with GUI from where you can do FW update of your ESXi’s remotely (assuming you have HP drivers running already), you can even add multiple hosts there? No need to boot from the iso all the time. Of course entering into the maintenance mode and so on is manual, since HP has paid product for that, but nevertheless it can save a lot of time 😉

  2. Thanks Dusan! Last time when I’ve tried it could work. Are you sure it is supported by iLO3? I will definitely give it a try one more time with the latest SPP which was released few days ago. Thanks!

  3. Yes, it is supported only by iLO4 which is used by Gen8 and Gen9. We still use Gen7, but for the newer servers it would be very beneficial.

  4. I’m pretty sure I was doing it on Gen7 servers, no need to connect to the iLO at all, but to the ESXi via root. Name of the tool is HP SUM which is part of the HP SPP

  5. Yes, I’ve checked the HP SUM. You are right, you can do it remotely, but if you want to do in groups than you need iLO4. Thanks for letting me know that, I will prepare a separate article for those feature, because it can save a lot of time and “clicking”

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