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Update Cisco Servers CIMC’s Firmware

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Cisco’s CIMC updates are done using the HUU – Cisco Host Upgrade Utility, which comes in ISO form so can be burned on physical media or mounted remotely via the KVM on the CICM interface. Quoting Cisco’s manual:

<<Upgrading BIOS and Cisco IMC Firmware, Cisco provides the Cisco Host Upgrade Utility to assist you in upgrading the BIOS, Cisco IMC, CMC LOM, LSI storage controller, and Cisco UCS Virtual Interface Cards firmware to compatible levels.

Always upgrade the BIOS, the Cisco IMC and CMC from the HUU ISO. Do not upgrade individual components (only BIOS or only Cisco IMC or CMC), since this could lead to unexpected behavior. If you choose to upgrade BIOS, the Cisco IMC and the CMC individually and not from the HUU ISO, make sure to upgrade both Cisco IMC, BIOS and CMC to the same container release. If the BIOS, CMC and the Cisco IMC versions are from different container releases, it could result in unexpected behavior. Cisco recommends that you use the Update All option from the Host Upgrade Utility to update the firmware versions of Cisco IMC, BIOS, CMC and all other server components (VIC, RAID Controllers, PCI devices, and LOM) together.>>


1.- Connect to Cisco Download Software website & download the ISO update.

Example of direct dowload HUU 3.03e

Easiest way to find the latest software for your Server if you have updated it before:

From Download Software > My Download History > UCS C240 Rack Server Software > Latest Release > Download File

2.- Perform a Backup

Backup of the FW.

NOTE: in CIMC this step is performed automatically. Backup FW versions can be perused in CIMC > Admin > Firmware Management

Backup of the BIOS.

Navigation Panel (Top Left Icon) > Compute > BIOS > Configure BIOS Profile > Take Backup

3.- Revise NTP & TimeZone

Set NTP:

Navigation Panel (Top Left Icon) > Admin > Networking > NTP Setting > NTP Properties
NTP Enabled x
Server 1:
Server 2:
Server 3:
Server 4:
> Save Changes

Set TimeZone:

Navigation Panel (Top Left Icon) > Chassis > Summary >Cisco Integrated Management Controller (Cisco IMC) Information > Timezone: Europe/Madrid

Check Time:

Navigation Panel (Top Left Icon) > Chassis > Summary >Cisco Integrated Management Controller (Cisco IMC) Information > Local Time

Check NTP (Note: leave at least 15 minutes between configuration and verification –to avoid getting a stratum 16):

Navigation Panel (Top Left Icon) > Admin > Networking > NTP Setting > NTP Properties > Status: Values 1-15

4.- Start Console

Navigation Panel (Top Left Icon) > Admin > Firmware Management > Firmware Management Review the versions stored.

Open a KVM (Java or HTML), map the ISO downloaded to the server as Virtual Media, CD.
NOTE: if we choose the Java KVM, we can record the whole installation in a video (for documentation purposes), the HTML KVM option can only take snaps, not videos.

If the UCS is being managed from a vCenter or a OVMmanager, move the VMs off the server first and put into maintenance or stopped mode.

5.- Reboot from HUU

On Boot, press <F6>, to choose the Boot Menu, and once there, select boot device Cisco vKVM-Mapped vDVD1.22. Now it will start from the HUU software.

ISOLINUX 4.04… image will start booting, followed by a GUI named Cisco UCS Host Upgrade Utility, with an animated loading circle, which does a few full turns.

6.- Update FW Packages

Once HUU has finished copying the FW to the CIMC, it will display the Agreement page, which we will confirm, and after that we can review the FW levels to be updated.

We will select the Update All option, and Are you sure? Yes

It will mark all the packages in the inventory as SCHEDULED, and it will go through each one as IN PROGRESS, PASS.
NOTE: The BIOS is updated last, as after doing that step, the system reboots.

7.- Verify Upgrade & System Status

Once all the packages have a green PASS update status, we can press the Exit button, wait 5 minutes and login into the new CIMC.

Review that the CIMC is correct via HOME > Chassis > Summary, note that the CIMC starts pretty quick, but the server takes longer to start, and it will show as powered off from the CIMC until it has boot up, so it’s best to wait for a while to see if the server comes up OK, before issuing a host power on from the CIMC.

8.- Now, go and grab a coffee… ‘coz we’ve finished!



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