This page explains the difference between drivers and firmware and how to update them on Dell PowerEdge Servers using different methods.
- What are the different methods to update a PowerEdge?
- What is the difference between Drivers and Firmware?
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When an urgent firmware or driver update is released, we highly recommend that you update it immediately.
The article "Update Server Firmware for Optimal Performance
" explains why it is important to update Drivers and Firmware.
There are multiple different methods, suitable to all varying needs, to update your PowerEdge Server. These different methods are outlined in this section.
Manual method for updating individual components
Dell Update Package (DUP)
Using the Dell Update Packages (DUP) is an easy and quick way to update the firmware or drivers of the entire system or individual system components. A DUP is an executable which contains firmware for a single component.
Updating all system components simultaneously
Platform-Specific Bootable ISO
- Online Method - Update all the firmware for a 12G, 13G, or 14G Dell EMC PowerEdge server in one step via the Platform-Specific Bootable ISO. The updates are done automatically after starting the server from the self-bootable ISO. This method requires a configured iDRAC, an external Internet connection and can take up to one hour to complete.
- Offline Method - For servers without a configured iDRAC or without an external Internet connection this is an alternative way of updating all server firmware in one single step. An ISO can be transferred on a bootable USB storage device.
Server Update Utility (SUU)
The Dell EMC Server Update Utility ISO (SUU) is a local 1-to-1 utility to update BIOS, firmware, drivers, and application on PowerEdge servers to the latest version. The SUU also allows comparison between the current versions that are installed on the server and the most up-to-date versions available. Select the components in need of updating and upon confirmation, SUU orchestrates the deployment of the selected updates.
Dell Lifecycle Controller is an advanced embedded systems management technology that enables remote server management. Using Lifecycle Controller, you can update the firmware using a local or Dell-based firmware repository.
Updating multiple select system components
Dell EMC Repository Manager (DRM)
Console-based methods for updating multiple components
An update management tool used to assist with the identification, gathering, and packaging of Dell Update Packages (DUPs) into a format to be used for deployment.
Dell EMC System Update (DSU)
Command Line Interface optimized deployment tool that assists customers who prefer to manage the deployment of updates in a scripted manner.
Integrated Dell Remote Access Controller (iDRAC)
An embedded systems management tool that is available on PowerEdge servers. With iDRAC, you can remote into a system to perform many systems management tasks, including updating of firmware. *Some additional features may require the iDRAC Enterprise license.
OpenManage Enterprise (OM Enterprise)
OpenManage Enterprise systems management console is designed to simplify, intelligently automate and unify IT infrastructure management tasks. One of these tasks is the update of multiple components.
Performing Firmware Updates for Clusters
Microsoft System Center (MSSC)
Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (SCCM) also known as ConfigMgr and formerly known as Systems Management Server (SMS), is a systems management software product that is developed by Microsoft for managing large groups of computers running Windows NT, Windows Embedded, macOS (OS X), Linux, or UNIX. Configuration Manager provides remote control, patch management, software distribution, operating system deployment, network access protection and hardware and software inventory.
Updating firmware and drivers using DevOps tools
Ansible is an open-source software provisioning, configuration management, and application-deployment tool. It runs on many Unix like systems and can configure both Unix like systems and Microsoft Windows.
Drivers are Operating System specifics. All Drivers and Firmware for Dell servers are available to download for free on the Dell Support website.
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. Firmware 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 implemented by firmware, it is advised to read the associated Release Note.