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On our HP servers, HP provides an image we can put on a USB key (or CD), boot from and patch the all the firmware in the system. On our Linux Dell servers there's a convenient yum repository we can set up in a few simple steps (I use puppet) to put firmware updates in place. Similar for windows, but I don't manage those. But on our Dell VMware ESX servers, we don't have any easy way to update firmware. We can go through a bunch of effort to find out the latest versions of every firmware on the system, download those and install them individually. But we can't easily just update all firmware in need of an update.

We like to check if there's firmware updates roughly quarterly, along with the rest of the "patch to current whether we need it or not" OS patches, but have been letting the Dell ESX servers fall out of date.

Anybody figured out an easy way to update all the firmwares (BIOS, RAID card, NIC, DRAC, etc.) in a Dell server on ESX, or without any OS support?

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

The Dell nomenclature you're looking for is the "Server Update Utility", or SUU. They're bootable ISO images containing firmware updates. I believe they're still released quarterly.

You can get fancier with ESX, since it will allow third-party software, and install Dell OpenManage Agents directly onto the hosts to allow more detailed remote monitoring if it's supported by your servers. You can also use OpenManage IT Assistant to monitor your OpenManage hosts en masse. OpenManage IT Assistant will let you see out-of-date firmware versions on remote hosts, hardware alerts, etc. It's a bit tedious to get it setup, but the end result is fairly nice.

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"Tedious to set up" is understatement of the year. I gave up after a full day and just use an excel spreadsheet (we only have ~10 blades so it's not such a big deal) – Mark Henderson Jul 21 '10 at 1:13
@Farseeker: We set it up in a datacenter w/ roughly 170 Dell servers and it was a "win". I'm not sure if it would've been a "win" at 160... >smile< It's damned tedious to setup, actually. – Evan Anderson Jul 21 '10 at 1:16
Awesome, that seems to have been the magic words to search for. Thank you.…… – freiheit Jul 21 '10 at 17:23
I'm downloading the Server Update Utility right now, noticing it is 9.9 gigs. That's too big for a blank DVD. How do you make the ISO bootable from a thumb-drive? – LonnieBest Oct 2 '15 at 12:07
I'd imagine Rufus would handle it: – Evan Anderson Oct 2 '15 at 19:14

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