HPE has released several software updates in the last year for its hyperconverged platform SimpliVity, enabling various new features. One of the features that pulled my attention, is the One-Click upgrade functionality.

HPE states that it can update the entire HCI stack in one single process, including the HPE SimpliVity software, the ESXi hypervisor software and the HPE Proliant firmware. Time for a test!

Thanks to my partnership with Tech Data and HPE in Belgium I have my own HPE SimpliVity stack in a 2+2 configuration that I can use to test the upgrade process.

While my kids had fun in an indoor trampoline park, I decided to try this upgrade and see if it was really that simple. Let’s get started!

 

Upgrade Manager

The upgrade process itself is not initiated from within the vCenter console itself, unlike all other day to day SimpliVity operations. The upgrade is done through a separate application called HPE SimpliVity Upgrade Manager that you run on a Windows machine.

The Upgrade Manager connects to your vCenter environment to check the deployed configuration on Federation and Cluster(s) level.

You get an overview of the complete Federation and the installed software, hypervisor version and firmware deployed on the underlying hardware.

Now there are a few options. You can select a single node in a cluster, you can select the entire cluster, or maybe even select the entire federation. The tool will upgrade the entire node, which means it will set the node in maintenance mode by moving all VM’s to the remaining host’s) in the cluster, rebooting the host to update the firmware, afterwards update the hypervisor, and finally update the SimpliVity software inside the OmniStack Virtual Controller running on that host.

When the update is finished, the maintenance mode will be disabled, and the upgrade process will be continued on the next host(s).

I was able to upgrade my entire 2+2 Federation in less than 2 hours. My own actual work took less than 15 minutes to have everything set up (you need to copy the 3 update files from firmware, hypervisor and SimpliVity OS in the same directory as the Upgrade Manager for instance), the rest of the time the process was all automatic allowing me to enjoy a fresh drink (yes it is warm inside those fun parks).

 

Conclusion

I am impressed by the easiness of the upgrade mechanism of an HPE SimpliVity solution.

This enhanced upgrade experience is available as from SimpliVity version 3.7.9 and up. If you are still running an older version the process will be a manual multi-step upgrade. Reasons enough to get to these latest versions of SimpliVity software.

The entire procedure with all the steps and screenshots will be published soon on this site in the How-To section. Keep on following my site or subscribe for automatic updates.

A good blog post is available on the HPE site that gives you additional links to videos showing the process. The article can be found here.

 

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