UCS B-Series Start to Finish: Part 2

After the initial setup is done, I recommend to go ahead and install the latest available firmware  to get the most out of your environment. First, go to, and from the Support Menu, click “All downloads.”

Image 1. Cisco Support Site – > All Downloads

Screenshot 2016-05-05 14.30.02

Note: just hover over Support, don’t click

Image 2. Select The UCS B-Series Blade Server Software

Screenshot 2016-05-05 14.31.58

Image 3. Select the Server Software Bundle

Screenshot 2016-05-05 14.33.05

Image 4. Select the UCS Manager version and download the respective bundles.

Screenshot 2016-05-05 14.37.42

Number one (1) is the UCS Manager release version, number two (2) is the Blade Firmware, number three (3) is the bundle for the C-series. The C-Series bundle is not necessary, but it’s recommended to upload it too. Number four (4) is the UCS Manager and the FI firmware. With this, now your are ready to start the software update.

Phase 1: Pre-Work

  • Check that the NTP is configured and working (view Figure 6 on Part 1)
  • Take note of the management interfaces IP addresses and check that the admin status is enabled.

Screenshot 2016-05-05 14.56.21

  • Backup the UCS configuration

Screenshot 2016-05-05 15.02.40

  • Verify the status of each FI, the status should be ok and green before proceeding.

Screenshot 2016-05-05 15.07.47

  • Verify that the IO modules are up and operable

Screenshot 2016-05-05 15.12.06

  • If the environment has been previously configured and is in production, check that all the servers (and all the rest of the equipment in general) are working correctly.

Screenshot 2016-05-05 15.14.29

  • Verify that there is available capacity for the upgrade. If space is low delete any packages that are not in use (from the same place we will upload the packages later).

Screenshot 2016-05-05 15.22.27

  • Before upgrading to Cisco UCS Manager Release 3.1, ensure that the key ring in use has a modulus size of 2048 bits or more by doing the following:
    • Connect to the UCS manager via ssh
    • Verify the modulus size of the key ring in use by using the following commands:
UCS-A# scope security
UCS-A /security # scope keyring keyring-name 
UCS-A /security/keyring # show detail
  • If the default key ring is in use and has a modulus size less than 2048 bits, reconfigure the modulus size to 2048 bit or more, and regenerate the certificate by using the following commands:
UCS-A# scope security
UCS-A /security # scope keyring default
UCS-A /security/keyring # set modulus mod2048
UCS-A /security/keyring # set regenerate yes
UCS-A /security/keyring # commit-buffer
UCS-A /security/keyring # show detail
  • Upload the packages, click on the plus sign to upload the files.

Screenshot 2016-05-05 15.26.44.png

Check the Cisco UCS Manager Firmware Management Guide, Release 3.1

  • If the UCS Manager cluster uses the Fiber Interconnect 6296, please verify the Hardware version. SSH into the cluster and issue the “connect nxos” command, then “show module”

Screenshot 2017-07-06 11.41.23

  • If the system has version 1.0 installed, then open a support case with Cisco to update it to version 1.1.

Phase 2: UCS Manager

First, we update the UCS Manager software.

  • Equipment->Equipment->Firmware Management->Installed Firmware->Activate Firmware

Screenshot 2016-05-05 15.52.25

  • Click on the drop-down menu to select the new version

Screenshot 2016-05-05 15.52.15

  • In case this error message pops:

Screenshot 2017-07-06 11.50.56.png

  • Go ahead and clear the start up version and try again:


  • Re-login after a few minutes


Phase 3: FI Firmware

  • Equipment->Equipment->Firmware Management->Firmware Auto Install and then Click Install Infrastructure Firmware

Screenshot 2016-05-05 16.04.55

  • Select Ignore All and click Next.

Screenshot 2016-05-05 16.34.25.png

  • Select the version from the drop-down menu, check the Upgrade Now button and Click Finish.

Screenshot 2016-05-05 16.35.46.png

  • Click OK

Screenshot 2016-05-05 16.41.49.png

  • Verify the pending activities on top of the UCS manager to acknowledge the reboot of the FI’s. Verify that the hosts are working properly before the acknowledge.
  • Click Yes
  • Click OK
  • Monitor the Progress, this could take 40 minutes per FI

Screenshot 2016-05-05 16.42.08.png

  • When the primary FI reboots, the UCS manager will disconnect, and you will have to re-login. Check the progress and reboot the secondary FI when the option appears in pending activities on top.

Phase 4: Blade Servers

Now is the blade server turn. If the system is in production, check that all Service Profiles have the Maintenance Policy set to User Ack to avoid an immediate reboot of the servers. Before continuing, it is advisable to check that all components are up and operable.

  • Click on the Install Server Firmware link

Screenshot 2016-05-05 16.53.33.png

  • Follow the wizard clicking next, at the end click Install and click Confirm Install to the pop-up windows.

Screenshot 2016-05-05 16.55.32.png

Screenshot 2016-05-05 16.57.23.png

Screenshot 2016-05-05 16.57.54.png

  • Monitor the progress and check the Pending Activities on the top for the Acknowledge, if the system is in production make sure you schedule a maintenance window for this.

Screenshot 2016-05-05 16.59.21.png

An alternative would be to create a new Firmware Policy with the new version and then apply the policy to the Service Profile or the Service Profile Template.

With the system at the latest software version, we are ready to continue with the configuration of the Pools, Policies, and Templates.

Part III: Pools and Policies

Part IV: Service Profile Templates

Part V: Storage




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