Updating firmware on an ESXi system

The following procedure describes the process for updating the firmware inventory on an ESXi system from a local update repository or an FTP server.

The following prerequisites and assumptions are required for this task.

Prerequisites and Assumptions

Before running UXSPI to update VMWare ESXi 4.1.x, ESXi 5.0.x, and EXSi 5.1.x, the following conditions must be met:
  1. After the initial power-on or subsequent reboot of VMware ESXi 4.1.x and vSphere 5.0.x, you must allow the Lenovo CIM providers to complete the initialization and loading process before continuing. This process can take up to 20 minutes.
  2. Verify the /etc/cim/lenovo/imm_fw_schema file is present by completing the following steps.
    1. SSH into the ESXi system.
    2. Verify the /etc/cim/lenovo/imm_fw_schema file is present.
    3. Open the file and check that the following lines are contained in the file:
      • SCHEMA_STATE=check
      • FW_VERSION=<IMM_Version>
  3. Beginning with UXSPI v4.40, UXSPI supports updating the ESXi hypervisor. Currently this function is only supported for the Lenovo Customized ESXi hypervisor. For ESXi 4.1 U1, the ESXi image itself is supported.
  4. If ESXi is in LOCKDOWN mode or the Lenovo CIM port (default 5988/5989) is modified, perform the following operations manually:
    • On EXSi 4.1: Enable SSH manually.
    • On vSphere 5.0.x, 5.1.x, and 4.1.x:
      1. Enable SSH manually and disable the firewall by SSH to vSphere.
      2. To turn off the firewall, run the command: esxcli network firewall set -d true.
      3. Close the firewall.
Note: Fix Central provides software updates for a specified system and operating system. You can find available VMWare ESXi fixes and patches in the Embedded Hypervisor section of Fix Central. To view available updates, either select your system and operating system or search Embedded Hypervisor. A patch was recently added for VMware vSphere 5.0.x, and 5.1.x with Lenovo Customization. To see the available updates, see Fix Central for Lenovo Systems - product view at http://www-933.ibm.com/support/fixcentral/systemx/groupView?query.productGroup=Lenovo+x86+servers.
On the command line, enter the UXSPI command for updating the firmware on the target system.
For more information on these options, see Command-line interface.
The following information will further assist you with updating an ESXi system:
  • To determine whether the IMM has completed initialization, ssh into the ESXi system and run this command: /etc/cim/lenovo/imm_fw_schema

    If the IMM has completed initialization, the IMM version is detectable. If it has not, the installed version of DSA/uEFI/IMM/FPGA displays as undetected.

  • Beginning in UpdateXpress System Pack Installer v4.40, UXSPI supports updating the ESXi hypervisor. Currently this function is only supported for the Lenovo Advanced Customized ESXi 4.1.x, 5.0.x, and 5.1.x hypervisor. Other versions of ESXi, for example the standard VMWare ESXi or Lenovo standard customized ESXi, are not supported.

    To update the remote hypervisor, you must run UXSPI from your local client. UXSPI connects to the remote ESXi host to perform the updates. Use the version of UXSPI that matches the operating system of your local client.

  • For ESXi 4.1 U1 and U2, only the updates to the Lenovo ESW (DSA/uEFI/IMM/FPGA), Brocade and QLogic options, and to the ESXi image itself are supported.
  • To perform updates using VMware ESXi 4.1 U1, you must run UXSPI on the local system to update the remote ESXi 4.1 U1 host.
  • The support of QLogic FC is not applicable because the firmware of QLogic FC is embedded in the driver.
  • For vSphere 5.0, 5.0 U2, 5.1, 5.1 U1, and 5.5 U1, if the Brocade driver and provider version is older than firmware version, you need to manually update the Brocade driver and provider to the version that is the same as the firmware. The Brocade driver and is available at Brocade Drivers and Downloads:http://www.brocade.com/services-support/drivers-downloads/index.page.