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May 25th, 2023 03:00

Regular, BAU, VXrail updates??

Hi

We've only had our clusters since Jan, so there's been a few updates since then, but we've yet to apply any. We are currently on 7.0.410.  I'm new to HCI and I know all blurb says updates are easy and worry free...  But i live in the real world and don't really believe any of that.

So lets hear some real user stories of how you update 6 times a year and everything is cool, just to make me feel less anxious. We don't have a dev cluster to test these updates on, and there's not many forums out there that chat about this.

Thanks.

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10 Posts

May 26th, 2023 08:00

We got our cluster in 2019 and were also new to HCI. Here are things I've picked up from experience and Dell's techs.

  • Unless a patch addresses an urgent security issue, wait a few weeks before applying it. Nothing like having Dell pull a patch you've already applied, though they'll still support you
  • Run a Solve at https://solve.dell.com
  • One of the Solve steps will be to run VxVerify on your cluster. Make sure it's clean before proceeding. Otherwise, open a service request
  • Download the appropriate update from Dell's site and save locally rather than using the link in vSphere. It's a 13GB download and doesn't always go smoothly. You might also calculate a checksum (in Windows, certutil -hashfile) and compare with Dell's
  • Every so often the upgrade process fails after completing one or two hosts. I don't know why. I've been able to restart it and complete
  • The process does not update either VMware tools or hardware on the VMs, nor does it update Log Insight
  • I try to monitor the process, though not closely. You might want to go into each host's iDRAC and start the virtual console to watch it reboot. You can also SSH to the vxrailmgr VM and run  tail -f /var/log/mystic/lcm-web.log .
  • The actual update process will take a few hours (or more) depending on the number of hosts and configuration. A major version update might take much longer than that, but we've only done it once so I can't say for sure
  • Suggest you have Dell support handle major version updates. In your case, going from 7 to 8

61 Posts

May 26th, 2023 09:00

Thanks for the advice, most helpful.

I see what you mean about waiting a while.  I see that 450 (revision 44) came out in May, and 451 came out two weeks later because of a dodgy esxi version that had a vnics disconnect issue.
So if we don't have anymore releases until June/July, maybe 451 is a good place to go.

 

 

 

 

1 Message

May 31st, 2023 05:00

I've done several updates over the past 2 years, with few issues.  For the most part, if you follow the SolVe it's pretty seamless.  I do agree that it is best to wait a couple of weeks before patching, I got bit last Spring by patching early and then having it get pulled after the fact.  However none of the issues seen with the update effected our environment, and Dell would still support, so it wasn't a huge issue.  The one issue I had was with one of the Kubernetes pods in VxRail Manager failing after the update.  Took Support about a week to figure out a fix, but they stuck with it.  Other than that, I'm a big fan.  This is our first VxRail implementation, and we will most likely buy another when the time comes.  I doubt that we will go full on with VxRail, but there are certainly use cases for us where it makes sense.

61 Posts

June 2nd, 2023 09:00

Our new clusters are pretty much standard, out of the box configs, no kubernetes or anything extra. 
I remember with some PowerEdge, even updating the idrac might brick the motherboard - I'm hoping the platform updates that also get bundled are better quality than on some of the older servers.
- If only updates were as easy as your playstation or iphone - now that would be truly next gen...

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