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Info on HP Smart Update Manager (SUM) 5.0 and Virtual Connect Support Utility (VCSU)

As HP moves to an new and comprehensive approach to updating ProLiant firmware, ala. Service Pack for ProLiant using HP SUM, there have been some questions regarding when someone should be using the Virtual Connect Support Utility (VCSU) for updating the Virtual Connect module firmware and when to use HP SUM 5.0.


First let's review what each package does:


Virtual Connect Support Utility (VCSU) Overview

The HP BladeSystem c-Class Virtual Connect Support Utility enables administrators to upgrade VC-Enet and

VC-FC firmware, and to perform other maintenance tasks remotely on both HP BladeSystem c-Class c7000

and c3000 Enclosures using a standalone command line utility.


When the utility initiates a firmware upgrade process, all modules are updated at the same time. The utility

displays a progress message indicating that an update is in progress and the percentage completed. After

the module firmware updates are complete, the utility activates all of the modules.


HP Smart Update Manager (SUM) Overview

HP SUM has an integrated hardware and software discovery engine that discovers the installed hardware

and current versions of firmware and software in use on target servers. This capability prevents extraneous

network traffic by sending only the required components to a target host. HP SUM installs updates in the

correct order and ensures that all dependencies are met before the deployment of an update. HP SUM

prevents version-based dependencies from destroying an installation and ensures that firmware updates are

handled in a manner that reduces any downtime required for the firmware update process.


Kim Oswald, the Service Pack for ProLiant Strategic Program Manager, gives us some guidance on when to which one.




Here is some updated information concerning this question:


The recommendation is to use HP SUM unless the Virtual Connect module is in one of the following states:


•       Unhealthy

•       Non-redundant

•       Not part of a domain

•       The user wants to select the order of deployment

•       The user wants to back-up the configuration before flashing the VC firmware


In the above states, they must use VCSU.  Stay tuned in 2012 as these restictions may be subject to change.




There are already elements in HP SUM 5.0 that help in this area.  With HPSUM 5.0.0, we do perform a health check first and indicate if the Virtual Connect is unhealthy before attempting to perform any updates.  We also detect if it is not in a redundant configuration and prevent the use of HP SUM if in this configuration.


Here are some good resource locations to get more info:


1.  HP Insight Foundation Suite for ProLiant: http://www.hp.com/go/foundation

2.  HP ESSN Server Release Sets Landing page: www.hp.com/go/server/firmware/updates

3.  HP BladeSystem Release Sets for ProLiant: www.hp.com/go/proliant/bladesystem/updates or www.hp.com/go/bladesfw

4.  HP Firmware Release Sets Compatibility Table: www.hp.com/go/bladesystemupdates

5.  HP SPP & HP SUM landing page: www.hp.com/go/simple-fw-sw

6.. HP Service Pack for ProLiant  www.hp.com/go/spp

7.. SPP  downloads page vanity: www.hp.com/go/spp/download

8.  SPP Documentation: www.hp.com/go/spp/documentation

9.  HP SUM Documentation page: http://www.hp.com/go/hpsum/documentation

10. HP BladeSystem c-Class Virtual Connect Support Utility Version 1.6.0 User Guide:



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