Installing a software or hotfix upgrade on individual devices can be a time-consuming task involving downloading an upgrade image, logging on to individual devices, configuring each upgrade task, and monitoring the job as it completes.
With Enterprise Manager as your software image management system, you can catalog and store several versions of software and hotfixes on the Enterprise Manager system, and use these images to perform upgrades to as many managed devices in the network as necessary.
By storing and cataloging all upgrade images in one location, the central repository makes it easier to manage the upgrading of a wide range of managed devices in the network.
After you add software images to the repository, you can then deploy software and hotfix images from the repository to one or more managed devices in the network.
When you set up an automated upgrade process, you can elect several options such as choosing the install location and reboot location. Once you start an upgrade task, you can monitor the progress of each device upgrade on the task list.
The Enterprise Manager software repository provides a central location where you can store all software upgrade and hotfix installation images. Once you download software or hotfix images from the F5 Networks FTP server, you can store all of the necessary images in the Enterprise Manager repository, enabling you to more efficiently manage the upgrading of devices in the network.
From the Enterprise Management screen, you can view and deploy multiple software images to as many managed devices in the network as you require.
If additional images become available, you can add them to the software repository for deployment at a later time.
Each image that you add to the repository includes an MD5 signature that you can use to manually check the validity of the software image.
Once you download a software image from the F5 Networks FTP server to your Enterprise Manager system, you can add it to the software repository.
You manage hotfixes on a separate list from the software upgrade list, but you import hotfix images in a similar fashion.
If you no longer need to keep software or hotfix images in the software repository, you can delete them from their respective list screens. Once you remove an image from the list, Enterprise Manager deletes the image from its database. If you need to deploy this image in the future, you must re-import it to the software repository.
From the software image list, or the hotfix image list, check the box to the left of the image name and click Delete below the list.
After you confirm the deletion, Enterprise Manager deletes the software or hotfix image from its database and removes it from the image list.
Using Enterprise Manager, you can deploy software or hotfix images to multiple managed devices in the network. Instead of logging on to each individual device, you can configure Enterprise Manager to upgrade multiple devices in a software upgrade task. A software upgrade task is a series of jobs that you configure to upgrade managed devices with software stored in the Enterprise Manager software repository. Each job consists of one individual device upgrade.
A software upgrade wizard streamlines the task of software upgrades while providing enough flexibility so that you can set custom options on each device you plan to upgrade. The wizard guides you through the process of selecting devices to upgrade, including which of the upgrade image or hotfixes to install, which boot location is upgraded, and which boot location is used during the reboot.
You can use the device groups feature to further enhance the upgrade process in that you can deploy a software or hotfix upgrade to an entire device group at once. Then, all of the members of the device group are upgraded during the upgrade task.
BIG-IP systems feature a multiple boot capability, which means that you can install the software on multiple disk boot locations on each managed device. A boot location is a portion of a drive with adequate space required for a software installation (this was previously referred to in other documentation as a boot slot). The BIG-IP 1500 (C36), BIG-IP 3400 (C62), and BIG-IP 6400 (D63) platforms support this functionality, and if you manage any of these systems with Enterprise Manager, you can select the boot location for software upgrades when configuring an upgrade task.
To minimize the risk when performing a installation to a system in a high availability configuration, we recommend that you configure only one device in the pair per upgrade task. For example, for an active-standby pair, instead of adding both the active and standby devices to the installation list when configuring the task, upgrade only the software on the standby device. Then, when the upgrade completes, you can switch the device to active mode to test whether the upgrade works properly. Once you confirm that the upgrade works as expected, you can configure a task to upgrade the second device of the pair.
Although Enterprise Manager supports a network topology that features a tiered configuration where a top-tier BIG-IP system load balances requests to multiple lower-tier BIG-IP systems, the software upgrade wizard does indicate which devices exist on which tier.
If your network topology features a tiered configuration, we recommend that you do not schedule devices on both tiers for upgrade in the same upgrade task. This ensures that Enterprise Manager can maintain a connection to all devices in the network throughout an upgrade task.
In addition to installing software and hotfixes on managed devices, you can install software and hotfixes to Enterprise Manager systems, including the system you are working on. This means that Enterprise Manager can upgrade itself, as long as you added Enterprise Manager software to the software repository.
When you configure a software upgrade or hotfix installation task, any Enterprise Manager systems in your network appear among the list of devices that you can upgrade (if you elected to discover Enterprise Manager devices in the network). You can configure an upgrade task for Enterprise Manager in the same way that you do for any managed device.
Although the name suggests otherwise, you can use the software upgrade wizard to install previous versions of software on managed devices in the network.
You can configure software version rollbacks, or downgrades, in the same way that you configure software upgrades. However, because of the way the software management process operates, this may cause issues during a software downgrade.
After a typical software installation, Enterprise Manager applies the current device configuration to the newly installed software. After a downgrade task, it is possible that the current device configuration is no longer compatible with the software version. Because of this, we recommend that you manually reconfigure the device after completing a downgrade task.
The simplest method of installing software to a device is through the software upgrade wizard. The software upgrade wizard provides four steps to guide you through all the configuration options necessary to start an upgrade task. When you perform a software upgrade, you have the option to include hotfixes in addition to the software.
You can select a software image to install, and the devices to install the image to, in Step 1 of 4 of the software upgrade wizard.
You can select hotfix images to include in the upgrade process in Step 2 of 4 of the software upgrade wizard. This screen displays available hotfixes that are compatible with the software you selected on the previous screen.
You can specify the install location and select a reboot option in Step 3 of 4 of the software upgrade wizard.
You can review the details of the upgrade task you just configured in Step 4 of 4 of the software upgrade wizard. The Task Details table list the devices selected for upgrade, the current boot location on each device, the install location you selected, and the location that the device will boot to when the upgrade process completes.
The task properties screen displays information about the task you started, including a detailed list of all the devices you configured a software upgrade on, and the progress of each installation.
Because you may install hotfixes on devices in your network more often than you install full software upgrades, it is important to have a simple method of deploying hotfixes to many devices at once. You can use the hotfix installation wizard to create a hotfix installation task. A hotfix installation task is a series of jobs that you configure to upgrade one or more managed devices with hotfixes stored in the Enterprise Manager hotfix repository. Each job consists of one individual hotfix installation per device. When you install hotfixes to one or more devices, you can only install on a managed device's currently active boot location.
You can select a hotfix image in Step 1 of the hotfix installation wizard.
You can select which devices to install the hotfix to in Step 2 of the hotfix installation wizard.
You can review and elect to remove a device from the hotfix installation task in Step 3 of the hotfix installation wizard.
The task properties screen displays information about the task you started, including a detailed list of all the devices you configured a hotfix installation on, and the progress of each installation. The section Monitoring software and hotfix tasks provides additional information about the task list and how to work with tasks in the list.
When you start a software upgrade or hotfix installation, the task properties screen appears automatically to give you details of how much of the task is complete, and if the process is successful. You can also view an overview of the tasks running, or the details of a particular task.
The task list displays an overview of all tasks on Enterprise Manager, including running and completed tasks. When all the install or upgrade jobs in a task finish, the task name and description remains in the task list until you delete it.
Once you start a software upgrade or hotfix installation, the task is added to the Enterprise Manager task list. If you start more than one upgrade task, additional tasks also appear in the task list.
The progress bar on the task list indicates the overall progress of the task. For example, if you scheduled ten devices for a hotfix installation, the progress bar will indicate 60% when 6 of those devices have completed the hotfix installation.
If you click the name of a task, the task properties screen opens, giving additional details about a task, and providing the opportunity to cancel any pending installations remaining in the task. See the following section for information about modifying a running task.
Once a task finishes, and you no longer need a record of the task, you can delete the task from the task list.
You can cancel pending jobs in tasks that are already running by using the task properties screen. Whenever you start a software upgrade or hotfix installation task, the task properties screen opens. Alternately, you can click a task name in the task list to open the task properties screen.
The task properties screen displays details about a running task. For example, if you start an upgrade task on 10 devices, the properties screen displays the overall process and the progress per device.
On the task properties screen, click the Cancel Pending Items button below the task summary table(s).
After the current device completes its upgrade, Enterprise Manager cancels any software installations or hotfix upgrades for all devices listed in the Task Summary table as Pending.
On the task properties screen, in a task summary table, click the Details link to the right of any software upgrade or hotfix installation job.
The task details screen opens, providing additional details specific to that job, including any suggestions if the job failed.