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Upgrade VIOS using HMC

By MANJUNATH SHANBHAG posted Mon February 05, 2024 01:25 AM

  

HMC currently provides options for the user to create a new VIOS, install and update VIOS. HMC 10.3.1050.0 introduces an enhancement to upgrade existing system’s VIOS using HMC interface. VIOS install images can be imported from remote NFS/SFTP server or attached USB device and used for upgrade. In this blog, we will talk through the details of the feature and its capabilities.

To update the VIOS within a Technology Level (TL), Update VIOS method can be used. Refer to blog on updating vios from HMC for more info. To upgrade the VIOS across TL (such as 3.0.X to 4.0.X), Upgrade VIOS method should be used. HMC internally uses VIOS viosupgrade tool and you can refer here for more info on the tool.

Upgrade VIOS:

Select the Virtual I/O Server and click Operations > Upgrade VIOS task as in below image to launch the VIOS upgrade panel.

This action is enabled only for a VIOS that is in a running state with an active Resource Monitoring and Control (RMC) connection. Upgrade VIOS Panel would look like the following image.

This page lists the free disks from the VIOS. To upgrade the VIOS, specify alternative disks to install the VIOS image. Consolidated size of the target disks, where the VIOS is being installed, must be greater than or equal to 30GB. The current rootvg disk on the VIOS partition is not impacted by this installation. The VIOS partition remains in the running state during the installation of the alternative disk. VIOS tries to rename the old rootvg as part of the upgrade. If VIOS already has VGs with altinst_rootvg or old_rootvg then operation would fail. You need to rename them, which would require root user privileges on the VIOS, to let the upgrade process complete. 

After selection of the disks, click Next button and you will see the screen as below.

You need to select a location where the VIOS upgrade/install image file will be fetched from. You can get the image file from the HMC, remote NFS/SFTP server or from attached USB drive.
 
When you select HMC, it will show the VIOS install images stored in HMC’s file system. In HMC, you can store max of 2 VIOS install images.
When you select NFS server option, you must enter the remote NFS server hostname or IP Address and specify the mount location. You can also specify details about the remote directory and define other mount options . Specify 1 or 2 ISO file names in order. File names must be comma separated.
Sample image for NFS server as the VIOS install image location is as below.

When you select SFTP server, you can select Password or Keyfile as the authentication type. You can also specify details about the remote directory. Specify 1 or 2 ISO file names in order. File names must be comma separated.

  • Password- If you select Password as the Authentication type, you must enter a valid User ID and Password.
  • Keyfile - If you select Keyfile as the Authentication type, you must enter a valid User ID and Keyfile name. You can also specify the passphrase values along with other inputs if required.

Sample image for SFTP server as VIOS install image location is as below.

When you select USB as option to VIOS install image location, then HMC lists the attached USB devices. Select the USB device from the dropdown list. Ensure the VIOS install image is flashed on the USB device you selected. Sample image for USB as VIOS install image location is as below.

After selecting the source of install image, click on “Next” button. Summary panel would look like the following image.

Click on the “Upgrade” button to start the upgrade of the VIOS. Upgrade might take about 2 hours, and it will reboot the VIOS. The progress panel would look as in below screen.

The panel also has option to launch virtual terminal for the VIOS and the upgrade progress can be seen.
 
On successful upgrade of the VIOS, status will be shown green in the panel. Terminal message also will be shown in the status panel as below. 

Any failure on the VIOS upgrade will be shown along with the terminal message as shown in below image.

Important Notes: 

  • Upgrade VIOS process can take up to 2 hours to complete.
  • VIOS will be restarted during upgrade.
  • If VIOS has VGs with name altinst_rootvg or old_rootvg, rename them, which requires root user privileges on the VIOS.
  • When you select Image Location as NFS, SFTP or USB, you can save the install image files to the HMC’s file system by selecting “Save install image to HMC”. You must specify a valid install image name to save the image file onto the HMC. Saved image can be used for future VIOS upgrade operations.
  • If there is insufficient disk space in HMC, import of the VIOS image might fail.
  • The HMC file system can save up to 2 VIOS install image. Remove older image files from the HMC to free space for saving new image files.
  • If there is insufficient disk space in VIOS (requires at-least 10GB free space), VIOS upgrade will fail.
  • HMC does not allow multiple upgrades on the same VIOS at same time. But user can always perform VIOS upgrade on different VIOS’s simultaneously.
  • Since the VIOS will be restarted during the upgrade, you can use the Validate VIOS for Maintenance function on the HMC to check if all  your client partitions are setup with redundancy and Prepare VIOS for Maintenance to failover/prepare the VIOS for update/upgrade
  • HMC interface for VIOS upgrade should be used for VIOS version 3.0 and above. To upgrade VIOS to 4.1 level using DVD ISO files, it is recommended that current version of the VIOS to be at 3.1.2.X or later. Users prior to 3.1.2.X can use VIOS update function to update the VIOS to 3.1.2.X and then upgrade to 4.1 release. To upgrade VIOS using flash iso file, it is recommended that current version of the VIOS to be at 3.1.4.30.

HMC CLI options to upgrade VIOS and VIOS image management.

All the operations for VIOS upgrade and managing VIOS install images can be performed using CLI.

  • lsviosimg : List various VIOS install images in the Management Console.
  • chviosimg : Rename VIOS install image in HMC.
  • cpviosimg : Import VIOS install image files from external NFS/SFTP server or USB device.
  • rmviosimg : Remove VIOS install image from HMC. Remove one or more images at a time.
  • upgvios : Upgrade VIOS from the image from HMC, external NFS/SFTP server or USB device.

REST API:

Below REST API Jobs can also be used for performing all the tasks on VIOS upgrade and manage VIOS install image in HMC.

  • /rest/api/uom/ManagementConsole/{UUID}/do/ListVIOSImages
  • /rest/api/uom/ManagementConsole/{UUID}/do/ManageVIOSImages
  • /rest/api/uom/ManagementConsole/{UUID}/do/CopyVIOSImages
  • /rest/api/uom/VirtualIOServer/{UUID}/do/UpgradeVIOS

In summary, with the addition of this capability, you can now create, install, update and upgrade VIOS using the HMC interface without having to context switch between the HMC and VIOS interfaces.

References :

https://community.ibm.com/community/user/power/blogs/manjunath-shanbhag1/2023/05/29/update-vios-using-hmc

https://community.ibm.com/community/user/power/blogs/ruchira-chawla/2023/12/08/vios-41-migration-demystified-expert-tips-and-insi

https://community.ibm.com/community/user/power/blogs/manjunath-shanbhag1/2022/04/21/prepare-vios-for-maintenance-and-other-powervm-man

https://community.ibm.com/community/user/power/blogs/manjunath-shanbhag1/2021/04/16/vios-maintenance-validation-and-backuprestore

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