vSphere Upgrade Saga: New Blade, More Memory, More Problems

I recently purchased my 4th blade and enough memory to bring 3 of my nodes to 3x what they had before. However, this upgrade was not without its issues. Memory upgrades were no issue, but adding the 4th blade to my c3000 was a pretty significant issue.Memory upgrades go like this:

  • Place node in Maintenance mode, evacuating all running VMs
  • Power down node
  • Remove node, add in/exchange memory modules, replace node
  • Power on node, using ILO watch to be sure new memory was found properly
  • Exit Maintenance mode

It was seamless, and once more done with Zero downtime.

However, adding in my new BL460c G7 into my HP C3000 enclosure was not that simple. Those steps started with:

  • Place BL460c in Slot 4
  • Power On
  • Error ensued about placement of the riser card.
  • Moved Riser card, Power on
  • All was great

Okay so far it is pretty standard.

First Gotcha: The G7 blades include an ILO 3, which has several new security controls, all goodness, but to apply the ILO licenses to use the advanced features (like virtual media), I had to apply the license. To do this, you needed to Trust All to apply the license. So we moved on from here:

  • Change ILO Trust mode to Trust by Certificate and import the HP SIM Server certificate.
  • Mount the FW 9.30 ISO and upgrade the blade firmware using virtual media
  • On Reboot set the Dynamic Power Mode per the the article vSphere Upgrade Saga: Staging Upgrade to vSphere 5.

Second Gotcha: To configure the P410i in the box, be sure to press any key to see extra Boot messages, else you will NOT be able to see the time to press F8 (Fn-Command-F8 if trying to use a Mac Book Pro via the Remote Desktop Client). It took installing vSphere 5 on this node to realize I had no disk on which to install.

Third Gotcha: Once everything was installed, I attempted to apply a Virtual Connect Server Profile so that the blade can properly access my networking. Even though the blade was found within the Enclosure within HP SIM, virtual connect could NOT see the enclosure. Actually, the Onboard Administrator said it could not participate in Virtual Connect.

Fourth Gotcha: The device would fail to reboot due to a power issue, which also affected the blade in Slot 3.

A bit of searching and I hit upon a possible solution: Move the blades in Slot 3 and 4 to Slots 5 and 6. Which means all my blades are now in the same cooling Zone within the chassis. Even with 6 Fans, the c3000 has two Zones that encompass more than just cooling.

Now, continuing with my new blade install:

  • Join new blade to vCenter Cluster
  • Apply vSphere 5 Profile

Viola that worked. Virtual Connect Manager could see the blade, the server profile could be applied. Now, I begin to wonder what will happen when I put in another blade, but I will cross that bridge when I get there.

Edward Haletky

Edward L. Haletky, aka Texiwill, is an author, analyst, developer, technologist, and business owner. Edward owns AstroArch Consulting, Inc., providing virtualization, security, network consulting and development and TVP Strategy where he is also an Analyst. Edward is the Moderator and Host of the Virtualization Security Podcast as well as a guru and moderator for the VMware Communities Forums, providing answers to security and configuration questions. Edward is working on new books on Virtualization.

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