UCS Manager has features for updating firmware. It keeps the firmware consistent across the entire system. Cisco releases three different firmware/software packages:
- UCS Infrastructure Software Bundle
- UCS B-Series Software Bundle
- UCS C-Series Software Bundle
You can import those packages with UCS Manager. The UCS Infrastructure Software Bundle includes the UCS Manager software and all firmware for the main UCS components, such as the Fabric Interconnects and Fabric Extenders (I/O Modules). The UCS B-Series Software Bundle and UCS C-Series Software Bundle includes all firmware for those components, like as the Blade Chassis, I/O Models, Fans, PSU, all server models and internal components.
It is important to read the release notes before updating software and firmware. You can update the infrastructure and your servers. When you update the infrastructure each FI, Fabric Extenders or I/O Module has to be rebooted. Once initiated, the update does this automatically. You need to have to acknowledge before each reboot takes place. This allows to check the status of the systems before the update.
Host Firmware Package Policy
Each Service Profile can be configured with a Host Firmware Package Policy. UCS Manager comes with a default policy, but you can also create your own. This policy allows you to configure which firmware packages should be applied to your servers.
You can change the package to a new or previous version. When you reboot a server, the firmware is updated fully automatically. This means every single component. Because you can select a previous version this means you can also do a roll-back. When using a policy, this makes sure the firmware levels of the servers using that policy are kept consistent. And because it is done automatically it is also fast with minimum downtime.
A Host Firmware Package Policy can even go a step further. Example, you want to downgrade the firmware of a certain component (e.g. RAID Controller). With the a policy you have granular control of the firmware version for each component. This allows you to select another version. It is then applied to each server using that policy.
Firmware Automatic Synchronization Server Policy
A great feature is Firmware Synchronization. If configured, this feature enables automatic updates of the entire firmware when a new Blade Chassis is added to UCS. Rack a Blade Chassis, insert the Blade Servers and power it on. After configuration of the FI’s with Server Ports, the Blade Chassis is automatically detected and the entire Blade Chassis is updatet automatically, including the Blade Servers.