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

Soorej_Ponnandi at Dell.com Soorej_Ponnandi at Dell.com
Thu Nov 3 23:44:16 CDT 2016

Hi Sven,

	Have a look at DSU (Dell System Updates) utility which can provide bootable ISOs and perform automated firmware updates.

	Latest DSU repository link: http://linux.dell.com/repo/hardware/dsu/
	Copying relevant portions from DSU documentation:
							Package the updates into a bootable ISO or a directory

							dsu --destination-type=<TYPE>

									TYPE can be : <ISO | CBD>
									When the type is --destination-type=ISO :
									DSU runs in the interactive mode and the selected updates are delivered as a bootable ISO. Upon boot the components are updated.
									When ISO if used along with --non-interactive : 
									A bootable ISO is created. Upon boot it runs DSU in noninteractive mode. The repository location should be configured using --config=<FILE>

Soorej Ponnandi
Dell | Change Management

-----Original Message-----
From: linux-poweredge-bounces-Lists On Behalf Of Heinz, Jens
Sent: Thursday, November 3, 2016 7:18 PM
To: sveniu at ifi.uio.no
Cc: linux-poweredge-Lists <linux-poweredge at lists.us.dell.com>
Subject: Re: [Linux-PowerEdge] Bootable media ISO updater too large for vFlash

Hi Sven, in general I do agree. 
Unfortunately I'm not in the position to actively change anything about the current situation, but of course I'll try to find the right channels within Dell to escalate. 
The DVD [1] you're referring to, was an entirely Dell-Linux-community-born project to help our customers. (Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it were the guys who initially created the Dell Linux Live CD/DVD.) Later the release of Dell Repository Manager (DRM) offered an easy way to create (and customize) those images as needed. This is the feature we currently use for the bootable ISO project, to save our customers the time to create update images themselves. 

I am sure there is no ready-to-use solution out there yet, that suits all your needs, but there is a lot of stuff which might help. Unfortunately most of it is either unknown or not well documented. 
DRM leverages Dell Deployment Toolkit (DTK) components for the live OS part of the bootable DVD. DTK in fact has also network bootable images which can be used for custom solutions. Also there are options in DRM to not only create bootable images, but also local network repositories in various ways, which in return could be accessed from a booted live image too. 
I haven't had much time myself to play around with such solutions, but I know customers who work with it. 

We currently receive lots of feedback around DRM and we forward it to developers whenever possible. I can't promise anything, but maybe all the input finds a friendly ear and some (or all) of your suggestions might become part of future solutions. 

Bye, Jens. 

-----Original Message-----
From: linux-poweredge-bounces-Lists On Behalf Of Sven Ulland
Sent: Donnerstag, 3. November 2016 13:27
To: linux-poweredge-Lists <linux-poweredge at lists.us.dell.com>
Subject: Re: [Linux-PowerEdge] Bootable media ISO updater too large for vFlash

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 http://lists.us.dell.com/pipermail/linux-poweredge/2011-November/045492.html

[4] How to update PERC 4 RAID Firmware (on debian) http://lists.us.dell.com/pipermail/linux-poweredge/2012-February/045975.html

[5] OM 7.1 Firmware LiveDVD posted

best wishes,
Sven Ulland

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