21-03-14

Upgrading to vSphere 5.1 U2

So right now I’m in the midst of upgrading an existing 5.1 U1 estate to U2. I have come across a couple of interesting things that I thought were worth sharing. Firstly, we’ve seen a significant number of Proliant Dl580s go into a purple screen of death (PSOD) during boot. Seems to be only G7s rather than older generations, but significant none the less.

One thing worth trying is to disable any additional NIC cards in the BIOS. You can do this by hitting F9 right at the end of the POST cycle. You do this from within the PCI configuration, I forget precisely where. We even added the last Proliant Service Pack and updated the firmware and the problem remained.

The fix for us was to upgrade the tg3 driver to the latest version available. You can get this from here (login required). Either update from the command line on the host or be lazy like I was and upload the offline bundle to the VUM server and create and apply a patch baseline from there.

The one other thing I wanted to share was a handy PowerCLI one liner. I know this is probably documented elsewhere, but when you are upgrading large clusters, it’s handy to see at a glance where you are up to. Connect to the vCenter server from the PowerCLI window and run the following command :-

PowerCLI C:\Program Files (x86)\VMware\Infrastructure\vSphere PowerCLI> get-cluster “My-Cluster” | get-vmhost | Select “Name”, “Build” | sort-object -Descending “Build”

(Obviously replace My-Cluster with the name of your cluster!). You should get output like this :-

Name                                    Build
—-                                    —–
host1.beckett.local                               1612806

host2.beckett.local                               1612806
host3.beckett.local                              1065491

So as you can see, host3.beckett.local is still on 5.1 U1, whereas the other two are on 5.1 U2 plus a newer version of esx-base.

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