Dell R710 vFlash/Firmware Update Issue

I found an issue with the Dell PowerEdge R710 iDRAC 6 Enterprise/vFlash platform that may affect more Dell 11th-generation servers.  I did some pretty extensive testing before contacting Dell support, and they've confirmed that my issue is not isolated to the one server I'm experiencing this issue on.  I've confirmed that I don't see the issue on the newer PowerEdge R620 server.

The issue is that I want to use the vFlash platform (an SD memory card that's managed by the out-of-band iDRAC management) to stage firmware update packages for remote systems running VMware ESXi.  The goal of this is to be able to send those packages and stage them in advance of a maintenance event, so that I'm not streaming the updates over the network during the maintenance event.  To accomplish this, you can create an ISO image for one or more server platforms that contain all the Dell Update Packages (DUPs) required using Dell's Repository Manager.  One of the limitations of the vFlash platform is that ISO images mounted must be 2GB or less, so I've just created an ISO for the targeted server model.

There are two options for the ISO image: one that is meant to be used by the Lifecycle Controller (LC; a bootable management environment) that contains the Windows DUPs, or a "Deployment" image that is bootable and contains the Linux DUPs.  I chose to use the LC method and created the appropriate image from Repository Manager.  Once uploaded to the vFlash, I restarted the server and hit F10 to boot to the LC.  I used its "Platform Update" feature to browse to the mounted ISO image and it discovered the updates, but complained that the DUPs on the media weren't Dell-branded updates.  When I found a reference to the second firmware update method, I created the Deployment ISO image for the R710 and booted to it.  That method only updated one item, "Dell 32-bit Diagnostics", leaving everything else untouched.  I tried both methods multiple times before engaging my Dell account team, who asked me to open a support case.  I demonstrated the issue to them in the course of a 1.5-hour web conference session and they followed up with me to let me know they're also seeing this issue in their labs.  I'll update with a resolution if/when I get it.

#Dell  #PowerEdge #R710 #wp  

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