Upgrading Brocade Switch Firmware

This post discusses the process to update a Brocade Fibre Channel switch. You will require an FTP server to complete the process.

Pre-Upgrade Tasks

Before updating the Fabric OS on your Brocade switches complete the following steps:

1 Find the current firmware version and check compatibility. Check the current firmware version by entering at the CLI

firmwareshow

Verify the upgrade path from within the Brocade Fabric OS Upgrade Guide which you will find in the Brocade document library. As shown in the table below upgrade between one release is online more than this will require a reboot of the switch.  So check you are happy with your multipathing setup on hosts before continuing.

If you have other switches connected to the switch you are upgrading check for computability in the Brocade Fabric OS Release Notes.

 

Table showing fabric OS upgrade paths for Brocade switch

2 Backup the Brocade FC switches

3 Run a Brocade supportsave

4 You can also run an errclear to clear all existing stats

5 Check no ports are G ports

switchshow

Scrteenshot of Brocade switch showing no G ports present

6 Check that no firmware upgrade is already in progress

firmwaredownloadstatus

7 If the switches are in a fabric run the commands below and take a note of the setting.  You will run these commands again after to ensure the fabric is healthy

nsshow

nsallshow

fabricshow

7 Download the switch firmware from Brocade

8 Extract the Zip file and place it on your FTP server

Upgrading the Brocade switch firmware

1 Connect to the switch with an admin account

2 Enter the command firmwaredownload and follow the prompts.  If you are upgrading from 7.4.x or earlier you will need to use firmwaredownload -s.  firmwaredownload -s just commits the updated firmware to one partition you manually need to commit it to the second.  This can be a useful way of testing an update and reduces the risk of upgrade.  This is the procedure that is covered in this post, once you are happy with the update you will commit to both partitions

firmwaredownload 

3 Follow the prompts:

Enter the IP address of the FTP server

Host IP or Host Name: 10.10.10.5

Enter a username with access to the FTP server

User Name: anonymous

Enter the location of the firmware upgrade files. In the example below I have copied the upgrade files for v8.1.0 to the root directory of the FTP server

File Name: v8.1.0/v8.1.0c

Select the protocol the FTP server uses

Protocol (ftp | scp | sftp): ftp

Enter the password for the user account you selected

Password:

4 You will then see the switch update begin which will take aprox 30mins.

2 switch update progress

You can see all the steps  that were taken taken below

FCSWITCH1:admin> firmwaredownload -s
Server Name or IP Address: 10.10.10.5
User Name: anonymous
File Name: v8.1.0/v8.1.0c
Network Protocol(1-auto-select, 2-FTP, 3-SCP, 4-SFTP) [1]: 2
Password:
Do Auto-Commit after Reboot [Y]: n
Reboot system after download [N]: y
Server IP: 10.10.10.5, Protocol IPv4
Checking system settings for firmwaredownload...</spanSystem settings check passed.>

Post Upgrade Checks

1 Once the upgrade is running you can check progress using:

firmwaredownloadstatus
 [1]: Tue Aug 15 21:46:28 2017
 Firmware is being downloaded to the switch. This step may take up to 30 minutes.

[2]: Tue Aug 15 21:52:21 2017
 Firmware has been downloaded to the secondary partition of the switch.

2 When the process is finished you can check the switch firmware (Fabric OS) is at the expected version

firmwareshow 


Appl     Primary/Secondary Versions
------------------------------------------
FOS       v8.1.0
          v8.1.0

3 If your switch is in a fabric check the fabric is healthy with the following commands and check against the values you noted earlier

fabricshow

nsshow

nsallshow

If you ran the firmwaredownload without the -s command, that’s it your done. If not you can let things run for a bit and then you need to commit the firmware to the second partition

Committing the firmware

1 Enter the command below to confirm the primary partition is running the correct level of firmware

firmwareshow

2 Next commit the firmware

firmwarecommit

4 You can view the progress of the update

firmwaredownloadstatus

5 Finally now check that both partitions are running the correct firmware version

firmwareshow

 

 

Available Vembu Editions

Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.1 Released

Vembu has announced the release of Vembu BDR Suite v3.9.1 the key component of the new release is the addition of the Standard Edition.  Previous releases of Vembu where only available in a single edition, the new release aims to give customers more choice and value for money for SMB customers.

This means that the software is now available in Free, Standard and Enterprise editions

Available Vembu Editions

You can compare full feature differences here

The price for the new Standard Edition is as follows:

  • Standard Edition for VMware Backup – $216/per CPU
  • Standard Edition for Hyper-V Backup – $144/per CPU
  • If the requirement is for less than 6 sockets, 50% is available off the above prices

If you would like to try the software yourself you can can use this download link

 

 

New Simplivity and Nimble Models

It’s conference season again and that means a whole bunch of announcements from HPE across their Hyper-Converged and storage platform. There is a lot to get through so let’s get started:

Hyper-converged

The first announcement is around the SimpliVity hyper-converged platform. SimpliVity was an acquisition by HPE made at the beginning of last year, the platform provides a converged solution of HPE ProLiant compute and VMware hypervisor. Newly announced is that SimpliVity will be broadening supported hypervisors beyond just VMware by also offering Hyper-V supported nodes. There is not complete feature parity in the initial release, with features such as file level restores and Rapid DR not yet supported in the Hyper-V version. But the core SimpliVity functionality of global dedupe and compression plus VM clones is all there, if you are new to SimpliVity check out my quick start guide.

Like in the VMware flavoured version management is all within the native application, so for Hyper-V this is MS Virtual Machine Manager. Currently there are 10 different configurations of VMware SimpliVity model with the Hyper-V variation at launch there will be with a smaller portfolio of 4 offerings. These will be aimed at what today is the most common requirement for Hyper-converged platforms, small and medium deployments commonly found at ROBO sites.

Storage

The storage news focuses on the Nimble platform and includes a refresh of the hardware across the range.

Store more guarantee – HPE are betting that they have pound for pound the most efficient array with their Nimble systems by offering a capacity efficiency guarantee. If you can show that another system is more capacity efficient HPE will match the difference with additional capacity. HPE’s confidence to make this bold claim comes from their architecture which has a low overhead before even considering any data reduction techniques. Any storage system will have an overhead for sparing, system use, RAID etc HPE claim that their Nimble product has less of an overhead than the competition. Once data reduction is applied this free space available from a lesser system overhead brings a significant advantage due to the multiplier effect when compression and dedupe are applied.

SCM / NVME –   Nimble storage system are future ready with a promise from HPE that in the future customers will be able to non disruptively upgrade to Storage Class Memory (SCM) and NVMe. HPE see the maximal benefit will be achieved by coupling SCM and NVMe together predicting this could achieve up to a 10x performance boost versus NVMe and flash.

New models – The new range starts with the AF20Q and AF20 which start at 6TB of useable storage and scales up to the AF80 which scales to 4PB of useable capacity, these figures assume 5:1 data reduction ratio.

The hybrid family are called HF scaling from the entry HF20H which offers 821TB of useable capacity the HF60 which has 5PB of useable capacity. The HF20C is designed for workload that require compression only and would not benefit from dedupe.

Both the Hybrid and all flash models have updated intel processors inside which is one of the key drivers to increased performance, which HPE are estimating is +220% versus the current model.

Inline always on dedupe – The Nimble hybrid models benefit from the addition of inline dedupe.  This essentially means that deduplication is performed as the data is entering the array.

You can see a summary of the Nimble announcements in this video