Hi JAB,

OK, let me try one more time to clarify.  I’m not naming the vendor … they’re a 
small maker of commodity storage and we’ve been using their stuff for years 
and, overall, it’s been very solid.  The problem in this specific case is that 
a major version firmware upgrade is required … if the controllers were only a 
minor version apart we could do it live.

And yes, we can upgrade our QLogic SAN switches firmware live … in fact, we’ve 
done that in the past.  Should’ve been more clear there … we just try to do 
that as infrequently as possible.

So the bottom line here is that we were unaware that “major version” firmware 
upgrades could not be done live on our storage, but we’ve got a plan to work 
around this this time.

Kevin

> On Feb 13, 2018, at 7:43 AM, Jonathan Buzzard <jonathan.buzz...@strath.ac.uk> 
> wrote:
> 
> On Fri, 2018-02-09 at 15:07 +0000, Buterbaugh, Kevin L wrote:
>> Hi All,
>> 
>> Since several people have made this same suggestion, let me respond
>> to that.  We did ask the vendor - twice - to do that.  Their response
>> boils down to, “No, the older version has bugs and we won’t send you
>> a controller with firmware that we know has bugs in it.”
>> 
>> We have not had a full cluster downtime since the summer of 2016 -
>> and then it was only a one day downtime to allow the cleaning of our
>> core network switches after an electrical fire in our data center!
>>  So the firmware on not only our storage arrays, but our SAN switches
>> as well, it a bit out of date, shall we say…
>> 
>> That is an issue we need to address internally … our users love us
>> not having regularly scheduled downtimes quarterly, yearly, or
>> whatever, but there is a cost to doing business that way...
>> 
> 
> What sort of storage arrays are you using that don't allow you to do a
> live update of the controller firmware? Heck these days even cheapy
> Dell MD3 series storage arrays allow you to do live drive firmware
> updates.
> 
> Similarly with SAN switches surely you have separate A/B fabrics and
> can upgrade them one at a time live.
> 
> In a properly designed system one should not need to schedule downtime
> for firmware updates. He says as he plans a firmware update on his
> routers for next Tuesday morning, with no scheduled downtime and no
> interruption to service.
> 
> JAB.
> 
> -- 
> Jonathan A. Buzzard                         Tel: +44141-5483420
> HPC System Administrator, ARCHIE-WeSt.
> University of Strathclyde, John Anderson Building, Glasgow. G4 0NG
> 
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