February 24, 2019

Quick boot and hba driver updates

vSphere 6.7 introduced a new feature called Quick Boot that reboots ESXi of certain server models without going into POST. This can save quite a bit of time as many servers can spend several minutes during POST. In clusters with many servers this means we can save hours or even days during a year of updates and reboots.

When using vSAN it's very important that you follow the HCL in regards to using supported firmware+driver versions. We had a newly installed vSAN cluster with servers in a non-supported state. Because of this we used Update Manager to deploy a supported driver. The driver was installed, but the server never came up again. When we checked the console of the first host we saw the error message: "LoadESX in progress".
If we reset the power of the server it would complete POST and boot up with the new driver installed.

Disabling Quick Boot (from the Update Manager configuration) solved this problem and we were able to get all servers in our cluster up to date without any problems.

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