Dell PowerVault MD3660f – Firmware Upgrade Process

The DELL PowerVault MD series Storage Arrays are solid and reliable units. Whilst I don’t use any for what may be considered “Primary” Storage, I use them for many workloads. Backup targets, Image Respositories, Archives, Unstructured data etc.

In a 5 RU form factor, it’s a dense package with over 120TB of usable capacity. md3660f






Generally these things just work, and work hard. But like everything, eventually they need a little TLC.

Maintaining the firmware is an easy process, and of course, is also non-disruptive* . I try and update once Per Annum to make sure I don’t have to do ‘bridge’ upgrades between compatible versions. Of course you can do so more frequently if issues are addressed or features improved or included. It’s up to you. Keep in mind though, if you do have issues, one of the first things you will be requested to do is upgrade the firmware.

In this case, I have an array which had a RAID controller replaced some months ago. Since then, it has showed an Alert in MDSM and also the Fault LED on the unit. This is despite the agent showing as healthy and no operations in progress.

3-5-2016 1-21-09 PM     3-5-2016 1-24-43 PM

I decided to upgrade, and checking the Release Notes for version showed it was a one step process and was indeed classed as URGENT ! so let’s go at it. Click on the Upgrade menu, and you will be advised that a pre-upgrade check will be done. Click ok, and wait while the test completes. You won’t get a progress, but the check took around 5 minutes.

3-5-2016 1-42-40 PM    3-5-2016 1-42-51 PM

Select the downloaded DLP package and (If you intend to ) the NVSRAM DLP package. As always, verify compatibility.

3-5-2016 1-46-17 PM  3-5-2016 1-47-25 PM

After you click yes, the packages will be transferred and then activated onto the RAID Controllers. This takes a maximum of 15 minutes per controller, but in my case took less than 10 for both controllers to be completed.

3-5-2016 1-50-37 PM   3-5-2016 1-51-21 PM 3-5-2016 1-51-34 PM  3-5-2016 1-54-55 PM

You’ll be advised that new FW has detected, so relaunch the MDSM3-5-2016 1-55-47 PM

3-5-2016 1-56-11 PM        3-5-2016 1-56-56a PM

……and voila, my fault condition had been cleared and the Firmware version is incremented to

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*provided you have multi-pathing correctly configured

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