Friday, June 12, 2009

Olivier's no-nonsense procedure to upgrade vPars using Golden Images

When comes the time to update servers, I'm not a proponent of update-ux. Why? Because all my data is stored outside of vg00 and my 50+ servers are 100% identical, so using Golden Images is actually the best way to update quickly and cleanly. Yet, the only official way that HP documents most upgrades seems to always revole around update-ux, leaving me on my own to upgrade systems when starting from a Golden Image.

This blog post will be the first part of a series that should span well until 2010. I have almost everything to upgrade, from low-life, disposable VMs to a cutting-edge Metrocluster. VM's are pretty straightforward to do, so today I'll start with vPars.

How do you update vPars to 5.xx / 11.31 without using update-ux?

The new 5.xx monitor series support mixed environments., so you need at least one vPar running 11.31, while the others can stick to 11.23. Here is the quickest way I found to do this.

1. Run "vparstatus -p partition -v" on each of your original vPars, and record all the information (especially boot disks)

2. Plan in advance what vparcreate syntax you'll need to do to recreate them. For example:
# vparcreate -p bonyeune -a cpu::1 -a mem::4096 -a io:1.0.4 \
-a io:

3. Put your server un nPars mode, and reinstall your "master" vPar using your Golden Image. The "master" vpar is the one on which you will boot the new 5.x vpmon. Add to your new server package T1335DC, i.e. the product name of the 5.05 Virtual Partitions product. Once this is done, recreate all your vpars, including the master vpar, using vparcreate (don't forget the boot disks).

4. Reboot the server in vPars mode, and launch the 5.x vpmon manually. Then try booting all your vPars one by one, starting with the master which runs 11.31, then the others which should still be at 11.23.

5. You can then upgrade at your will the remaining vPars. How do I do this now? Using vpardbprofile(1m) which has been added in recent releases. Using vpardbprofile, you can emulate EFI's dbprofile function, which lets you boot on a cross-subnet Ignite server easily.

Good luck

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