Updating Dell firmware using OpenManage in vCenter

Hello all,

I published a blog article today about install / configure of Dell’s OpenManage (OM) Integration for vCenter.  This article will be about using this handy tool to upgrade various BIOS and firmware on my Dell hosts.  All without an outage of course.

Where do we start?  We need to make sure that OM has been installed and done some inventory data retrievals.  If you followed my article about the install it will happen everyday.  So if you installed yesterday you are good to go.

You should select the host you want to do the upgrade for.  You can also select the cluster level, but for the first time or two I suggest you do it at the host level so you can learn and gain confidence. So select the host, and then scroll to the bottom of the screen on the right and select Firmware Update.


A wizard will start and we will see the first panel in it and it will look something like below.


In the next panel we will see an option to select an Update Bundle.  Normally there is only one choice.


We now select components to upgrade.  I generally select all of them but I do not normally select the downgrade option.



Things that end up not selected are not required or already current.  You can see above in the screenshot where in the last column – Criticality, you see Up to … and that row is not enabled so that means it doesn’t need to be updated so it is not selected.

On the next screen you can name the Job which is a good idea, but also select how the upgrade / update will happen.  In the screenshots below we see first Apply Updates on Next Reboot selected, but also in the other screen the Update Now.  I prefer to use Update Now.


UnpdateNow button

I like having the choice to leave it in maintenance mode, in case you want to check something, but also have it automatically come out of maintenance mode is a nice option.

We next see a Summary screen of what is going to happen.


We can now see that the job has been created.


If we want to see how things go, we can visit the Logs.


After selecting the OM icon, we need to change to the Monitor tab.


We can see some log entries that are Firmware Update that relate to what we just did.

We can also change to the Job Queue for information.



We can see a job progress above – even shows vMotions from the Maintenance mode.  And below we can see a finished job.


Or here is another shot with a multiple of finished jobs.


In the Logging area below you can see some log entries but also notice where you might expect a host name you see host-21 or a host number.  This is a bug and I hope it is fixed soon.  In an earlier version of OM you could type a host name into the filter field visible below and filter on that host name which was very handy.


Once our host is back, and out of maintenance mode you can start up the wizard and next through to the summary and see what is done or not done.


You see that everything is Up to date except for two Optional items.  So pretty easy and no outage!

Now with this very useful Dell product, and VMware Update Manager, you can update firmware in hardware, or patch / upgrade your ESXi hosts and have no impact on your users.  They could also work through these sort of upgrades quite easily.

If you have questions or comments please do not hesitate to let me know.


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