[Linux-PowerEdge] Bootable media ISO updater too large for vFlash

Sven Ulland sveniu at ifi.uio.no
Thu Nov 3 07:27:21 CDT 2016

On 11/01/2016 07:15 PM, Jens_Heinz at Dell.com wrote:
> Hi Brian, indeed the ISO size is one of the downsides of the
> boot-able ISO project. [...] In order to make things as simple as
> possible for the majority of the users we decided to go for
> a one-size-fits-all approach per server model.

Hi, Jens. The firmware DVD has been discussed quite a bit over the
years, sometimes with rather interesting suggestions and/or
controversy [1,2,3,4,5]. I'm touting my own horn a bit here, but I've
been working with these challenges for years, and I'm still passionate
about finding good solutions.

I understand that the mechanisms around DUPs will not be changed any
time soon (although there's the fwupd thing [2]) – and its dependency
on proprietary libraries (srvadmin family) for determining component
IDs and similar, being rather tailored for RHEL-style systems – so
a live environment for firmware updates is probably the best kind of
solution given the situation.

I keep hoping that this live env will be designed for the heterogenous
10'000- node case, where the firmware upgrade procedure is not only
automatic, but well thought-out in such a way as to reduce the
deployment cost (resource-wise) and to provide as much insight as
possible, reducing blind faith.

Some quick examples: Make things network bootable, always. The initial
image should be tiny; fetch bulk data on-demand from a repo, which
must be possible to mirror locally to remove upstream dependencies.
Separate the component inventory collection (boot up, collect
inventory, report it plus a "waiting for action" state) from the
update procedure (triggered in bulk via simple APIs, push or pull)
– with the option of combining the two for zero interaction. Add
detailed instrumentation to facilitate reporting of progress, error,
completion, etc. See also [1,2].

[1] Latest firmware live DVD posted

[2] Introducing fwupd

[3] Dell Update Packages (DUP) and LiveCD/DVD

[4] How to update PERC 4 RAID Firmware (on debian)

[5] OM 7.1 Firmware LiveDVD posted

best wishes,
Sven Ulland

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