This page explains the difference between drivers and firmware
and how to update them on Dell PowerEdge Servers using different methods.
What are the differents methods to update a PowerEdge?
Drivers and Firmware for Dell servers are available for free downloading on the Dell Support website.
This page provide all the available methods:
The Virtual Media of the iDRAC is a feature that allows to
mount a remote file.
The article How to use the Virtual Media of the iDRAC
explains how to use this feature of the iDRAC Virtual Console. The feature is only available for iDRAC Enterprise licences.
- An ISO can be transferred on a a bootable USB storage device. The article How to create a bootable USB
explains the different steps to follow.
Note: Drivers are Operating System specifics.
- How to update firmware and drivers on a server running VMware
provides a baseline to maintain and update multiple PowerEdge servers running under VMware ESXi.
This white paper
- How to update multiple servers?
describes the process of maintaining and enforcing a hardware revision baseline within the Dell PowerEdge server environment using OpenManage Essentials.
It explains the process to update servers without forcing an unplanned shutdown. IT administrator can keep the servers up to date without affecting the production environment.
To get more information on OpenManage Essentials, refer to the Management tab
, and then OpenManage Essentials.
The document includes:
- Deploying System Updates along with OMSA agent
- Obtaining the latest versions of drivers, firmware, and BIOS
- Determining the servers that should be updated and their respective Packages (DUPs)
- Updating the hardware at the convenience of IT Administrator
What is the difference between Drivers and Firmware?
On a server, you can update drivers
- A device driver is a particular form of a software application that is designed to enable interaction with hardware devices.
Without the required device driver, the corresponding hardware device fails to work. Device drivers are operating system-specific and hardware-dependent. It acts as a translator between the hardware device and the programs or operating systems that use it.
- Firmware is a software program permanently etched into a hardware device such as keyboards, hard drive, BIOS, or video cards. It is programmed to give permanent instructions to communicate with other devices and perform functions like basic input/output tasks. Firmware is typically stored in the flash ROM (read only memory) of a hardware device.
It can be erased and rewritten. Keep a server up to date is important to have the best interoperability between OS and server, and avoid issues. To better understand the changes of a firmware, it is advised to read the associated Release Note.
Dell PowerEdge components can be updated locally and remotely.
Locally: Your presence is required in front of the server (except if you are using a KVM - Keyboard, Video, Mouse switch).
Remotely: The server can be updated from a distant site using the network.
Note: Learn how to subscribe to Dell Support Firmware and Drivers email notifications by reading this article.