Dell Equallogic PS5000 Firmware Upgrade Walkthrough from V4.1.X via V4.3.X to V5.0.X

Specifically this walkthrough is to upgrade a PS5000 from V4.1.4 via V4.3.8 to V5.0.8, with iSCSI volumes accessed via Microsoft iSCSI Initiator. It is not possible to upgrade directly from V4.1.4 to V5.0.8.

*Edited notes from Dell Equallogic documentation:
"iSCSI Initiator and Operating System Considerations.pdf"

Space requirements for proper operations

Maintain 100GB per member or 5% free space (whichever is smaller) in the group.

Preliminary steps

2: Download v4.3.8 firmware zip/tar to a management station and extract the kit...tgz
3: Download v5.0.8 firmware zip/tar to a management station and extract the kit...tgz
4: Download latest Host Integration Toolkits

*Management Station = any device with network/serial connectivity to the Equallogic SAN

Pre-upgrade tasks on Windows servers connected using the Microsoft ISCSI Initiator (if not done already)

1: Increase TimeOutValue Parameter to Avoid Disk I/O Timeouts

Increase the value of the REG_DWORD TimeOutValue parameter -
- to at least 60 seconds

2: (Optional) Increase Transmit and Receive Resource Settings
3: (Optional) Check Settings for Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiators for Clustered, Multi-Path I/O Environments
4: (Optional) Check Settings for Microsoft iSCSI Software Initiators for Single System, No Multi-Path Environments
5: Upgrade the HIT (Host Integration Tools) kit (can skip if not present/utilized)

*See "iSCSI Initiator and Operating System Considerations.pdf" from Dell for details on 2, 3, 4 above

Upgrade Tasks

1: (Optional) Shut down the hosts accessing group volumes.
2: Temporarily disable any snapshot tasks
3: Connect to the SAN using telnet, SSH, serial connection (do not connect to the group IP address)
*Recommend updating via the CLI - the GUI at time of writing did not show upgrade progress
4: Log in to the array using the grpadmin account
5: Use FTP (from DOS/Linux shell) to copy the V4.3.8 firmware.tgz file to the array you are upgrading

$ ftp
ftp> open X.X.X.X
ftp> binary
ftp> put kit_12345678.tgz
ftp> close
ftp> bye

*By default, the Microsoft Windows ftp working directory is the directory in which ftp was started
*Replace X.X.X.X with IP of the array, and kit_12345678.tgz with the appropriate file name

6: At the Group Manager CLI prompt, enter the update command

> update

7: When prompted, enter Y to confirm that you want to update the array’s firmware
8: When the controllers' firmware is updated, run the restart command to restart the array and accept yes to load the updated firmware (will briefly drop packets to the SAN whilst controllers fail over)

> restart

9: Verify the firmware update by entering member select member_name show controllers

> member select membername show controllers

*On arrays with dual control modules, if the FW Rev does not match, contact Dell Technical Support

10: Repeat the process for each additional group member
11: Perform 'Post Upgrade Tasks'
12: Repeat 4 to 10 for the V5.0.8 firmware

Post Upgrade Tasks

1: Restart the browser
2: (Optional) Restart hosts
3: Check all hosts connected to the SAN can still access the volumes

Further Notes

Dell Equallogic support advised that this could pretty much be done with no downtime.
The update command will update the primary controller first, then the secondary controller.
Will failover to the second controller which is why the TimeOutValue must be increased (if not done already.)
Whilst failing over - brief writes/reads to the SAN will not be possible.
When primary controller is updated, will failover back to the primary controller.
Must do the V4.3.8 firmware first, followed by the V5.0.8 firmware.
If you receive the error message "update failed - insufficient free space to expand kit; required 21MB, available: 19MB" - then use the dir and delete commands from the FTP connection, to list contents of the patch upload folder and can delete any *.core files (the firmware update kit automatically deletes itself after use)