HPE Firmware updates on an ESXi 6.5 Host

We use HPE DL380 Gen9 servers for our Private Cloud infrastructure at work. I’m one of those people who like to update the firmware/BIOS/iLO on a regular basis.

Figure 1
My method to do this is simple, and for ESXi 5.5 and 6.0 this is what I do:

  1. Upload the VMware specific firmware update files from the HPE support pages (Figure 1) to a Shared Datastore on my NetApp SAN
  2. Put the host I’m updating in to Maintenance mode
  3. Enable SSH on the host
  4. Change to the /tmp directory on the host (I like to do this so that, post-reboot, no mess is left behind)
  5. Run the unzip command with the path to the firmware file and the filename at the end.
  6. Run the resulting .vmexe file and allow the firmware update to complete
  7. Reboot the host

So that’s all nice and straightforward.

However, once I had upgraded a host to ESXi 6.5 (which went pretty smoothly I hasten to add) I found that these firmware update files no longer worked – OS not recognised by installer.

Hmmmm, so I changed the OS type on the HPE Support Download page to “VMware vSphere 6.5” and there are no firmware update files available at this time.

Figure 2
You can see from Figure 2 that there are no firmware update files available at all for the new version of vSphere.

I chatted to HPE support who did not know when these would be available. They also pointed me at the HP SPP (Offline Updater) as an alternative. I’ve used this before but it will need some customisation to ensure the specific updates I want installed are added to the ISO. All a bit of a pain but I’m sure HPE will upload the necessary firmware files soon.

**UPDATE – 11th May, 2017**

The HPE Support site now has firmware files for ESXi 6.5…hurrah!

Figure 3
…and here’s me applying one of the updates:

[root@esxi01:/tmp] esxcli system version get
Product: VMware ESXi
Version: 6.5.0
Build: Releasebuild-5224529
Update: 0
Patch: 15

[root@esxi01:/tmp] ./CP031407.vmexe
OS Version found  [6.5.0]
./_CP031407.scexe: Process [6.5.0] with path [./ESXi_6.5]

iLO Flasher v2.0.0-5 for VMware ESXi
(C) Copyright 2002-2017 Hewlett Packard Enterprise Development LP
Firmware image: ./ilo4_253.bin
Current iLO 4 firmware version  2.50; Serial number ILO

Component XML file: ./CP031407.xml
./CP031407.xml reports firmware version 2.53
This operation will update the firmware on the
iLO 4 in this server with version 2.53.
Continue (y/N)?y
Current firmware is  2.50 (Sep 23 2016 00:00:00)
Firmware image is 0x1001b1c(16784156) bytes
Committing to flash part...
******** DO NOT INTERRUPT! ********
Flashing is underway... 100 percent programmed. -
***** iLO 4 reboot in progress (may take up to 60 seconds.)
***** Please ignore console messages, if any.
iLO 4 reboot completed.