February 2013 HP Service Pack for ProLiant released

For those of you with HP ProLiant servers in your environment, you know that on a quarterly basis HP releases a new “HP Service Pack for ProLiant”, which is a combo ISO of firmware, drivers, and tools for your ProLiant rackmount and blade servers. It’s very important to keep firmware up to date, as it can contain critical security updates, stability updates, and compatibility fixes for new operating systems, such as Windows Server 2012 or ESXi 5.0 U2.

What is also interesting, and maybe I just wasn’t paying attention before, is that HP offers non-bootable subsets for specific operating systems and OSes. For example, you can download the BladeSystem Microsoft Windows Server pack ISO image separately. Personally I’d just do the full ISO, but maybe you want something a bit more portable.

In VMware environments it’s particularly important to be using validated configurations, which HP calls a recipe. That’s a combination of HP firmware, HP drivers, HP agents, and ESXi base image. Drifting from the supported recipes can cause problems, particularly in the BladeSystem. I have a link below to the VMware recipe PDF. Also new to this release is enhanced online deployment of firmware on ESXi hosts.

Finally, HP has provided some support Windows Server 2012 on limited G6 models. Windows Server 2012 is very different from Windows Server 2008 R2, so don’t even try and shoehorn it on a non-supported HP server if you want everything to work such as iLO.

HP Service Pack for ProLiant

Full Documentation
Release Notes
Content Report
Server Support Guide
February 2013 VMware Firmware and Software Recipe

Enhancements to the 2013.02 SPP include:

  • Contains drivers and firmware for newest HP ProLiant Gen 8 options
    • HP Ethernet 1Gb 4-port 366FLR Adapter
    • HP Ethernet 10Gb 2-port 560M Adapter
    • HP Ethernet 10Gb 2-port 560FLR SFP+ Adapter
    • HP Ethernet 10Gb 2-port 530T Adapter
  • Provides online deployment of VMware ESXi 5.0 and VMware vSphere 5.1 firmware smart components for HP ProLiant servers so that only 1 reboot is required for updates to take effect; thus increasing uptime. Supported new components are:
    • HP ProLiant Gen 8 and G7 BIOS System ROMS
    • HP Integrated Lights-Out 3 and 4
    • HP Smart Array Controllers – P2XX, P4XX, P8XX
    • Select Hard Disk Drives for HP ProLiant Gen 8 and G7 servers
  • Contains latest operating system support for:
    • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.9
    • VMware ESXi 5.0 U2
  • Extends Microsoft Windows Server 2012 support to the following HP ProLiant G6 servers:
    • HP ProLiant BL460c G6 Server
    • HP ProLiant DL380 G6 Server
    • HP ProLiant DL360 G6 Server
    • HP ProLiant ML350 G6 Server
  • Contains PXE Directory information and sample files about PXE booting the SPP ISO for improved qualification cycles, resource usage, maintenance windows, and downtime
  • Contains the latest release of HP Smart Update Manager, HP SUM 5.3.5.
    • Added ability to allow users to use root credentials to deploy firmware components and rpms to Linux systems when logged in with a user account
    • Performance improvement to Add New Target screen: Added Server / Operating System selections to the Target Type drop down list
    • Updated reports to include driver and agent information in addition to NIC /CNA/FC HBA driver and firmware information for Windows and Linux operating systems
    • Reduced memory usage and improved performance when generating repositories
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