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Michael Petrov
Co-Founder, CEO
5/25/2012
Want to patch Dell Firmware on the server running VMWare – BUCKLE UP

We know sometimes servers misbehave, and hardware manufacturers issue patches to their BIOS or firmware. Most of those patches are packaged to be installed through MS Windows or Linux. Dell does not package patches to be installed through VMWare ESXi.

 

Dell 11G+ servers have a new feature called Lifecycle Controller which is an embedded app that you can do maintenance through. One of the features of this app is the ability to update firmware through FTP or local media. However in one particular case we were not able to use FTP, and had issues using local media that even Dell Support could not assist. Normally, when updating firmware on Dell servers, you have the ability to patch with Windows, or Linux OS. However, ESXi is different and there is nothing that you can run through the service console.

 

In order to resolve the issue we had to boot up the server from Linux LiveCD and then patch firmware through Linux. It was a very silly problem as well as strange that Dell did not package upgrades through ESXi, especially knowing that most companies today use type of hypervisor on hardware.

 

You would think manufactures would prepare hardware related fixes for different flavors?

   

Replies

Huong on 7/25/2012 4:46:47 PM

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Anna on 7/13/2012 1:01:55 PM

Hi Crss,You can use packages such as Webmin to adtenismir you system using web based menu, but I think you will still need some Unix/Linux knowledge. I haven't tried webmin yet, but with only 32mb RAM, I imagine the web based administration system will be slow.Setting up print server is quite easy, the CUPS print server have their own web based administration system. The web based configuration is very slow (it reads a all drivers in the database), but you only need to do it once. The printing is also quite slow (I don't know whether it is slower or faster compared to the original firmware, because my printer is not supported on the original firmware).If somehow your files becomes corrupt, just unplug it, connect the device to USB port on your PC, and use Linux (or Linux Live CD) to scan/fix it.You need to download a special kernel and a root file system that I have prepared. After installing that part, you can use (almost) any software in the Debian ARM repository (so you don't need special applications for it).See the instructions here:

 

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