Anyone who manages firmware on HP rack and blade servers knows it can be a fairly cumbersome process. You can either update firmware by booting from the Service Pack for Proliant (SPP) DVD which is an offline process. Windows and Linux servers have had the option to perform firmware updates online by running an application from with the OS.
Sadly this has not been possible with ESX or ESXi which meant you always had to arrange downtime (ok, not that hard with vMotion) but then boot into the SPP DVD and apply firmware to each and every server individually which in a large virtualisation environment can take quite a while.
Happily HP has seen the frustration and now released what is calls VMware Smart Components as part of the HP vibsdepot . These are executables that can run within the ESXi shell or can be installed using HP Insight Control for vCenter. They are not to be rolled out with HP Smart Update Manager.
You will need at least ESXi 5.0 and be either running the HP ESXi 5.0 custom image (5.25 or later) or have HP Insight WBEM Providers (1.3.5 or later) and HP Agentless Management (9.2.5 or later) installed on the ESXi host. You can read more in the Release Notes.
A great enhancement by HP. Now all we would like is the functionality extended to HP SUM and even better be able to push out the firmware updates with vSphere Update Manager!
NetApp has extended its PowerShell management to its virtual center plug-in, the Virtual Storage Console. The toolkit can be downladed from here.
NetApp currently has a PowerShell toolkit called DataONTAP for managing its controllers but this new toolkit has been developed to manage the VSC directly.
As this is a 1.0 release not all VSC functionality is available. Currently it can do the Provisioning & Cloning operations of VSC such as creating and deleting datastores and starting a rapid VSC clone and redeploy. Also included is the new ability in VSC 4.1 to do a vCloud Director vApp clone.
Going forward NetApp are working on exposing more of the VSC functionality through an API which will be available to the toolkit so expect plenty more to come.
This is a great addition from NetApp as it allows you to include the cleverness of the VSC along with your PowerCLI automation in the same scripts.
Here is a list of the available Cmdlets
- Connect-vsc: Connect to the web service hosting the VSC Provisioning and Cloning APIs.
- Get-vscManagedObjectRef: Get the managed object reference (aka MORef) string for a vCenter object.
- Get-vscVirtualMachine: Get vmSpec objects for all virtual machines that were created based on the virtual machine specified.
- Get-vscVmFileSpec: Get vmFileSpec objects that define a virtual machine clone source.
- Get-VCloudCredentialStatus: Verifies vCloud Director connection status.
- Get-VCloudVCenterCredentialsStatus: Verifies vCenter(s) connection status information.
- New-vscControllerSpec: Convenience cmdlet to create a controllerSpec object with the ability to prompt for credentials.
- New-vscDatastore: Create a new VMware datastore.
- New-VAppClone: Perform vApp cloning or provisioning operation.
- Remove-vscDatastore: Delete a VMware datastore.
- Remove-VCloudCredentials: Remove vCloud Director credentials.
- Remove-VCloudVCenterCredentials: Remove vCenter credentials.
- Set-vscDatastoreSize: Resize a VMware datastore.
- Set-VCloudCredentials: Set vCloud Director credentials.
- Set-VCloudVCenterCredentials: Set vCenter credentials.
- Start-vscClone: Start a vsc rapid cloning operation.
- Start-vscRedeploy: Start a vsc virtual machine redeploy operation.