For test scenario 4, we updated the ax740sc101 cluster by using Single-click Full Stack Cluster Aware Updating (CAU) in Windows Admin Center. We configured a simple workflow in Windows Admin Center to orchestrate the update of the operating system and hardware components of all the nodes in the stretched cluster. Dell OpenManage Integration with Windows Admin Center v2.0 introduced a snap-in feature that intelligently selects the correct hardware updates from a deliberately populated solution catalog. The Dell Update Packages (DUPs) in the solution catalog are certified and validated to optimize the performance and availability of Dell EMC Integrated System for Microsoft Azure Stack HCI.
We followed the guidelines in the to ensure that Windows Admin Center and its extensions were set up correctly for Full Stack CAU functionality. The following figure shows the initial view of the Full Stack CAU workflow.
To configure the CAU role to the cluster, we followed these steps:
This action launched a scan for updates. The CAU extension then discovered the required Azure Stack HCI operating system updates, as shown in the following figure:
This action performed a node validation to ensure that all prerequisites were met for hardware updates. The online update catalog for Microsoft HCI Solutions was selected, since the Windows Admin Center gateway server had access to the Internet. The following figure depicts the compliance report generated for the cluster. Only the iDRAC firmware was found to be out of compliance on all four nodes and was selected for updating by default.
After generating a summary of the updates to be applied, the OpenManage Integration extension downloaded the DUP that was required for updating the iDRAC firmware.
The following figure shows the confirmed operating system and firmware updates that were applied to the nodes during installation.
The following figures show the status of ax740xds1N1 and its VMs, respectively, in the Bangalore site in Windows Admin Center and Failover Cluster Manager before the update process.
Before the update status on the server in Windows Admin Center changed to Installing, the node was drained in Failover Cluster Manager. During the draining process, the cluster used Live Migration to migrate all the VMs running on ax740xds1N1 to ax740xds1N2 in the Bangalore site.
The following figures show the node and VM status, respectively, after the ax740xds1N1 update status changed to Installing.
As expected, this behavior was consistent throughout the update of the remaining nodes in the stretched cluster. Each node was drained, and its VMs were live migrated to the other node in the same site. The inter-site links between Bangalore and Chennai were never used during update operations. In addition, the process required only a single reboot per node.
The following figure shows the fully updated stretched cluster in Windows Admin Center:
In total, the process of applying the operating system and firmware updates to the stretched cluster took approximately three hours, and the process had no impact on the OpenManage Enterprise application. Many variables can affect update performance and duration. Some of these variables include: