The Firmware Update Orchestration ProcessΒΆ

For an orchestrated firmware update you need to first create a Firmware Update Orchestration Strategy, or plan for the automated firmware update procedure.

You can customize the firmware update orchestration by specifying the following parameters:

  • the host types to be updated; only worker-apply-type is supported

  • the alarm restriction mode; strict or relaxed where the relaxed mode allows the strategy to be created while there are alarms present that are not management-affecting

  • the concurrency of the update process; whether to firmware update hosts serially or in parallel

  • the maximum number of worker hosts that can be updated together when parallel mode is selected

For hosts that have the stx-openstack application running with active instances and since the firmware update is a reboot required operation for a host, the strategy offers stop/start or migrate options for managing instances over the lock/unlock (reboot) steps in the update process.

You must use the sw-manager CLI commands to create, and then apply the update strategy. A created strategy can be monitored with the command:sw-manager show command. For more information, see Firmware Update Orchestration Using the CLI.

Firmware update orchestration automatically iterates through all unlocked-enabled hosts on the system looking for hosts with the worker function that need firmware update and then proceeds to update them on the strategy apply action.


Controllers in Storage or Standard systems are not subject to firmware updates. However, the controllers for an All-in-one (AIO)system can be updated because they contain the worker function. Whenever controllers are added to a strategy they are updated first; before the worker only hosts.

After creating the Firmware Update Orchestration Strategy, you can either apply the entire strategy automatically, or manually apply individual stages to control and monitor the firmware update progress one stage at a time.

When the firmware update strategy is applied, if the system is All-in-one, the controllers are updated first, one after the other with a swact in between, followed by the remaining worker hosts according to the selected worker apply concurrency (serial or parallel) method.

The strategy creation default is to update the worker hosts serially unless the parallel worker apply type option is specified which configures the firmware update process for worker hosts to be in parallel (up to a maximum parallel number) to reduce the overall firmware update installation time.

The firmware update strategy, with specified and default options is used to create a reliable Firmware Update Orchestration Strategy that consists of a number of execution stages. Each stage generally consists of installing the firmware update while managing host instances, locking and then unlocking the hosts for a subset of the worker function hosts on the system. The specific steps involved in a firmware update for a single or group of hosts include:

  1. Alarm Query – is an update pre-check.

  2. Firmware update – is a non-service affecting update that can take over 45 minutes.

  3. Lock Host.

  4. Unlock Host – reboots the host so the updated image is used.

Systems with stx-openstack application enabled could include additional instance management steps. For more information, see Firmware Update Operations Requiring Manual Migration.

On systems with stx-openstack application, the Firmware Update Orchestration Strategy considers any configured server groups and host aggregates when creating the stages to reduce the impact to running instances. The Firmware Update Orchestration Strategy automatically manages the instances during the strategy application process. The instance management options include start-stop or migrate.

  • start-stop: where instances are stopped following the actual firmware update but before the lock operation and then automatically started again after the unlock completes. This is typically used for instances that do not support migration or for cases where migration takes too long. To ensure this does not impact the high-level service being provided by the instance, the instance(s) should be protected and grouped into an anti-affinity server group(s) with its standby instance.

  • migrate: where instances are moved off a host following the firmware update but before the host is locked. Instances with Live Migration support are Live Migrated. Otherwise, they are Cold Migrated.