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Do firmware updates require reboots?

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Do firmware updates require reboots?

This question was originally posted on DCIM Support by Dominic Brasted on 2016-08-29


Hi,

I am planning to update all our UPS, PDUs, and Netbotz from Data Center Expert. Will updating the firmware require downtime on all the units? Or will the web cards reboot unobtrusively without bringing the units down, so we'll get communication outages but not require a maintenance window?

Thanks.

(CID:108235164)

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Re: Do firmware updates require reboots?

This answer was originally posted on DCIM Support by Angela Clark on 2016-08-30


Hi Dominic,

Yes, in the case of UPS and PDU, only the management interfaces (the UPS or PDU Network Management Cards (NMCs) ) reboot for a tiny window of management downtime - output power to your connected loads will not be lost. I would urge you to just double check on any Rack PDUs that you do not have any active alarms though. There are a few very rare scenarios on switched rack PDUs (those strips with switched/controllable outlets) that if there is a problem with the management interface and it cannot reboot properly, the outlets won't re-energize and come back on. This is only in the case if you have internal lost communication failure alarms which would show through DCE or the device's web interface. If you have no active alarms revolving around what i mentioned, this will not be a worry. 

With NetBotz products, the entire appliance will reboot so you'll miss around 2-3 minutes of environmental monitoring during the upgrade.

Let us know if you have any other questions.

(CID:108235184)

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Re: Do firmware updates require reboots?

This comment was originally posted on DCIM Support by Dominic Brasted on 2016-08-30


Angela,

Thanks for the reply. Regarding rack PDUs, your statement that "the outlets won't re-energize and come back on" indicates that at some point during a normal update, the outlets usually turn off and on again, and the problem you reference stops that process. If that's the case then any equipment connected to them is going to go down regardless. Please clarify, as I thought that power to connected equipment should stay on during an update.

If I've understood the rest of your post correctly, you're saying that as long as DCE isn't showing any active alarms at the time of the update, we should be fine to update without requiring downtime on any of the equipment (other than the Netbotz). Is that correct?

Thanks.

(CID:108824314)

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Re: Do firmware updates require reboots?

This comment was originally posted on DCIM Support by Angela Clark on 2016-08-30


Hi Dominic, To clarify, for any type of Rack PDU during a normal update, the outlets do not turn on/off and they remain energized and in their current state when the NMC does the soft restart to load the new firmware. It is only in these edge cases I've seen where internal communication between NMC and switched Rack relay boards are not able to maintain the state of the relays, especially if the entire rack PDU is removed from input power and then powered up again. All of these scenarios are prefaced by an active alarm though so it is why I brought up, even though it is not a common occurrence. I am sorry for the confusion and unnecessary worry. Your last paragraph is correct. For any devices, including Rack PDU, as long as they are operating normally and you have no active alarms we should check prior, a firmware upgrade of the management interface done through any method, including DCE, will not power on/off any attached loads. Devices that require special upgrade processes (or that require field service) we don't provide firmware through DCE also to prevent or avoid any required downtime during any updates. Please let me know if you have any other questions.

(CID:108824317)

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Re: Do firmware updates require reboots?

This comment was originally posted on DCIM Support by Dominic Brasted on 2016-08-30


Thanks Angela. Can you give me a rough idea of how long PDU and UPS updates take? I'm trying to plan out a schedule and need to know how much of the maintenance window the updates will take. Thanks.

(CID:108824316)

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Re: Do firmware updates require reboots?

This comment was originally posted on DCIM Support by Angela Clark on 2016-08-31


Hi Dominic - APC Rack PDUs and the UPS Network Management Cards (the NIC for the UPS) take typically about 5-6 minutes to complete the upgrade process. This involves transferring 2-3 firmware files and a reboot in between each one. Depending on the generation/model of the PDU or NMC, it may go closer to 4-5 minutes and the older generation products, you may see closer to the 6 minutes per each device. NetBotz Rack or Wall appliances usually take around 5 minutes in my experience to transfer the file and then reboot and apply it.

(CID:108824315)

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Re: Do firmware updates require reboots?

This comment was originally posted on DCIM Support by Muhammad Touseef on 2016-09-15


Hi Angela, What about Rack ATS.... do these devices reboot & turns off load following a firmware upgrade. Thanks,

(CID:108825529)

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Re: Do firmware updates require reboots?

This comment was originally posted on DCIM Support by Angela Clark on 2016-09-15


Hi Muhammad Touseef - Rack ATS has a special firmware upgrade procedure you must follow. See this link-> http://www.apc.com/us/en/faqs/FA156178 . If you do not follow it, you could have problems and cause damage to the ATS and if that happens, the load could reboot or worst case turn off. Upon applying a firmware update to ATS through DCE, you should receive a warning to do the stuff explained in the link above and outside of DCE, the firmware upgrade utility also warns about the upgrade process. So, if all process is followed - NO, load will not reboot or turn off during a Rack ATS firmware upgrade. As a side note, resetting to defaults/resetting ATS controller command action may cause a reboot as explained here -> http://www.apc.com/us/en/faqs/FA156352

(CID:108825544)

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