Avance Software Upgrade Guide

Last Modified: 03/16/2015 at 15:54 | Release:

Important Considerations – Upgrade

You can only upgrade to R3.X or 4.0 from R2.0.1.11 and later releases. contact Avance support if you are running a release prior to R2.0.1. Refer to Upgrading from Older Avance Releases (R2.0.1) if upgrading from R2.0.1.

  • All VMs must be stopped when upgrading from Avance R2.x to Avance R3.x or R4.0. Important: once upgrade has started, do not start any VMs until the first R3.X or R4.0 node becomes primary and all of the stopped VMs have migrated to this PM.  
  • If you updating PV drivers as part of this upgrade and you are also running a Windows VM with 3 or more drives, refer to Appendix B for important precautions you must take to avoid a non-bootable VM.`
  • If you are running Kaspersky anti-virus software then you should update to the latest Kaspersky whitelist prior to Installation of Windows PV or you risk making the VM unbootable.
  • On upgrade Avance will calculate the amount of memory used by all stopped VMs and subtract this number from the total system memory in order to calculate the available memory. Avance will automatically increase the amount of memory Avance uses to 2GB if there is sufficient available memory to do so.
  • Windows 2000 VMs are not supported in this release.
  • Windows VMs require installation of new PV drivers and the .NET Framework after upgrade from a 2.X release.  A VM reboot is required for PV driver update.
  • Linux 4.X VMs require an upgraded Avance supplied kernel
  • Linux 5.X VMs require a stock RHEL kernel of 5.4 or greater.
  • Upgrades from release R2.0.1, refer to Appendix A – Upgrading from Older Avance Releases for additional information
  • HP platforms require new HP tools for this release. You will need to upload new HP tools after kit upload but prior to starting the upgrade.
  • Use keyword “firmware” and release “3.0″ or “3.1″ to search the Known Issues database to check for any firmware incompatibilities prior to upgrade. Please note that updates to the knowledge base are currently disabled but all 3.1 firmware issues also apply to R4.0.
  • A valid service contract is required for upgrade. Refer to Avance Licensing in the User’s Guide for details.
  • Direct upgrade  from Avance R2.1.0.9 or R2.1.0.10 is not possible, please contact Avance support for further details.
  • If you are upgrading Avance to R3.X or R4.0 and also upgrading the HP P410i storage controller firmware from version 1.66, you must execute the following steps in order:
    1. Upgrade to R3.X or R4.0.
    2. Upgrade HP P410i firmware on each node in a rolling upgrade.

Step 1: Upgrading Firmware

Use keyword “firmware” and the release to search the Known Issues database to check for any firmware incompatibilities prior to upgrade. you can also reference the Avance Firmware Matrix for list of the latest validate firmware versions. Firmware versions that are blacklisted are included in the Avance Compatibility Matrix by vendor.

  1. Login to the Avance Customer or Partner Portal.
  2. Click on Search for known issues under technical support.
  3. Select release the release you are upgrading to and issue type firmware.

Install the latest versions of BIOS, BMC, storage, and NIC firmware. In some cases this can be done through the Avance Management Console (see instructions below). If the firmware for the device or platform in question is not available through the Avance Management Console then the upgrade will need to be done through the physical console. In this case, please refer to the “How To” article “How to Upgrade Firmware from the Physical Console” found on the Avance Support portal.

  1. In the Avance Management Console, click Physical Machines.
  2. Select the secondary (non-primary) PM.
  3. Select the Firmware tab.
  4. Under Device, select the device to update. (ALT in the name indicates a mirror download site.)
  5. Under Tested Firmware, click the appropriate download link and save the file. (Do not run or open it.)
  6. Click Browse. Select the downloaded file. Click Open.
  7. Click Upload.
  8. When Component uploaded successfully appears, click Work On.
  9. Click Apply Firmware.

On a device with a mirror site, Apply Firmware can appear on either device.

  1. When Firmware Update Completed appears or after 15 minutes, whichever comes first, click View Details.
  2. Review the details for errors. Click Complete Operation.

If errors occurred, Complete Operation cancels and rolls back the operation.

  1. When the machine status changes to running (in Maintenance), click Finalize.
  2. Repeat these steps to upgrade the firmware on the primary PM.

Step 2: Uploading Avance Upgrade Kits

Avance R2.1 requires Microsoft Internet Explorer IE8 or Mozilla Firefox 3.6+ for accessing the Avance Management Console. You should upgrade your browser if you are not already running an approved version.

  1. Log in to the Avance Customer or Partner Portal. Go to the Downloads page.
  2. Download the Avance software upgrade kit for the latest release. A next to a kit indicates the kit is installed on the system and cannot be removed.
  3. Go to the Avance Upgrade Kits page. Click Add a Kit.
  4. Click Browse. Select the upgrade kit.
  5. Click Open. Click Upload.

Step 3: HP Systems Only: Upgrading HP tools

Avance interacts with server vendor tools to monitor and manage hardware states. HP servers require that these tools be installed on the server as follows.

  1. In the Avance Management Console, click Avance Upgrade Kits.
  2. Select a kit. The Details tab displays packages from the HP Tools collection and whether each has been uploaded.
  3. For each package showing Not Uploaded:
    1. Download the package by clicking its URL.
    2. Click Browse. Select the downloaded package. Click Open.
    3. Click Upload.
    4. When Component Uploaded Successfully appears, click OK.
    5. Select the kit again to refresh the display.

Step 4: Upgrading Avance Software

Avance software can be upgraded without interrupting business processing (such as virtual machines).

  1. Click Dashboard. If any warning or busy symbols appear, resolve these before proceeding.
  2. Click Avance Upgrade Kits. Available upgrade kits are listed. A indicates the current version.
  3. Select the upgrade kit to install. Click Upgrade. The Avance Upgrade Wizard appears.
  4. Follow the onscreen instructions.

WARNING: Do not close the upgrade wizard until the upgrade completes. Do not shut down the PMs while they are synchronizing.

Troubleshooting: See During Install, Upgrade, Recover, or Replace, a node fails to PXE boot in the Console online help.

Step 5: Upgrading Windows Para-Virtualized Drivers

Para-virtualized (PV) network and disk drivers do the following:

  • Ensure that under fault conditions, VMs properly migrate from the failed to the operating PM (node) without interruption.
  • Significantly enhance performance for network and storage subsystems.
  • Enable use of Windows disk configurations with more than three volumes.

The Dashboard displays a warning for each VM that needs Windows PV drivers installed or upgraded. Proceed as follows for each such VM:

  1. Click Virtual Machines. Select the VM.
  2. Click the CD Drives tab.
  3. If a virtual CD other than PV drivers is inserted, click Eject CD.
  4. Select xen-win-pv-drivers-6.0.2 from the menu. Click Insert a CD.
  5. Connect to the VM with the Avance VM console or other remote desktop application.
  6. Open My Computer.
  7. Double-click xen-win-pv-drive (D:).
  8. Accept the license agreement. Type the installation path. Click Install.
  9. When prompted, click Reboot now.

Troubleshooting: See PV Drivers VCD has been deleted from Avance Management Console in the Console online help.

Step 6: Upgrading Linux kernel Patches

If upgrading from R1.5.x to R2.0.2, install new Linux RedHat Package Managers (RPMs) in each Linux VM on the Avance unit. Upgrading Linux kernel patches is not required when upgrading from R1.6.x to R2.0.2

  1. Log in to the Avance Customer or Partner Portal. Go to the Downloads page.
  2. Download the latest Linux RPMs to a directory on the Linux VM.
  3. At the Linux command prompt, type:
    rpm -ivh --force /.rpm
  4. Type

    Press Enter.

Appendix A – Upgrading from Older Avance Releases (R2.0.1)

You can only upgrade to R3.X or R4.0 from R2.0.1 and later releases. contact Avance support if you are running a release prior to R2.0.1

Appendix B – Windows VM with three or more drives may crash after updating the PV drivers

Some Windows VMs with 3 or more total volumes crash and are unable to boot after updating to newer PV drivers. This can occur any time the PV drivers are updated, regardless of the version of Avance being upgraded from. This issue is very rare but we recommend special precautions be taken given the catastrophic nature of the issue. The crash is immediate, if the VM runs after installing the new drivers then there is no issue of a future crash due to the issue. This problem does not exist on fresh installs. Follow this upgrade procedure for systems with VMs with 3 or more drives:

  1. Stop all VMs and proceed with the Avance upgrade according to the Avance Upgrade Guide
  2. Wait for the successful upgrade of both nodes and a completely healthy system (green checked).
  3. Upgrade the PV Drivers on all VMs with 2 or fewer Volumes (including the boot volume).
    1. Disable any anti-virus software ahead of upgrading your PV-Drivers, and proceed to upgrade the PV drivers as per the instructions.
    2. Validate that each of these VMs boot after the PV-Driver update.
  4. If you have any VMs with 3 or more Volumes attached then
    1. Shutdown all VMs, including those with fewer volumes.
    2. Select the PM in the Avance Management Console and click Work On to place the secondary PM in maintenance mode.
    3. with the PM selected, click Shutdown and shut the secondary PM down. Wait for the PM to power off. The secondary PM now has a clean copy of all VMS with bootable PV drivers. This PM will be used to recover the VMs if any crash after PV driver update. Leave the secondary PM in maintenance.
    4. Install PV drivers for each VM and ensure they each boot without issue.   If any VM fails to boot with a blue screen of death proceed to Emergency VM Recovery below.
    5. Power On any remaining VMs that were already updated because they had fewer than 3 total volumes.
    6. If all the VMs now have updated PV Drivers (no PV driver alerts) and they have all successfully booted then there should be no further issues and you no longer require the VM information on the secondary node that was powered off.
    7. Once everything seems healthy power-on the secondary PM via the Avance Management Console.  The PM can then be removed from maintenance by clicking Work On. Avance will handle the re-synchronization of the data with this PM and you should be all set.  This re-synchronization may take 15-20minutes but is done in the background.

Emergency VM Recovery

  1. If you hit this step then you encountered a blue screen of death (BSOD) on one of your VMs.  Reboot this VM in safe mode and uninstall the PV drivers. Next try re-installing on the VM with a single boot drive.  This is done by shutting the VM down and detaching the data volumes in the Config wizard, booting and installing the PV-drivers then shutting down, re-attaching the data volumes and rebooting.   If this fails or you are not comfortable un-installing the PV drivers  then continue to the next step.
  2. If there are still VMs that will not boot then we recommend restarting your VMs from the secondary PM to get them back into production. To do this place the current node in maintenance mode (this will shut down any running VMs).   Disconnect the private link cable between the two PMs and shutdown the primary PM via the Avance Management Console. Next, power on the secondary PM. Once this PM returns to the running state you will get access to the Avance Management Console and you will have a quorum alert.   Force quorum to boot the VMs. This PM still has up to date data because the VMs did not run in production on the other PM. the VMs will now boot. Any VMs that got upgrade PV-Driver prior to shutting down this PM will be running the new drivers, all other VMs will have an alert indicating the PV-Drivers need to be updated.  At this point please contact Avance Support for further assistance.

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