These are just some quick notes with screenshot on how to apply a hotfix to your F5s when running vCMP guests. Let’s assume you’re also running HA. Here are the steps I followed:
- Upload the Hotfix ISO and F5 OS ISO to each of our vCMP guests and the parent host.
- Force the standby guests offline
- Install the OS on an unused or new partition.
- Install the hotfix onto that new partition.
- Update the boot location and activate
- After the guests are upgraded, do the same for the parent host.
- Bring the guests back online
- Force the current active units to standby, and perform the same operations.
In my situation, I wanted to apply hotfix 7 to my currently running 11.4.1 hotfix 3 installation. I downloaded the necessary files from downloads.f5.com:
In HA environment, force standby host offline
Now, to avoid any unexpected failovers or prevent others from making changes, it is recommended to force the units you’re going to upgrade offline. Do this on the standby. This is equivalent to a “maintenance mode”. See this article for more information:
SOL15122: Overview of the Force Offline option
Upload and install the Image
Now navigate System > Software Management. You should see something similar to below, listing out your currently available partitions and which images are installed on them. Note that HD1.1 is active, install is complete and is running 11.4.1 build 637.0. Also note that there are currently no “Available Images” to install.
We need to upload the 11.4.1 image so it can be installed on another partition (i.e. Boot Location). Click “Import” and browse for your ISO.
Click Import. Do NOT navigate away from this page. If you do, the upload will cease and you’ll have to start over again.
After it completes you should now see this listed in your “Available Images”. Ensure that this is MD5 verified.
Now install this image onto an unused partition. Here I’ll use HD1.2. Click “Install”
You’ll see progress
After it completes, you’ll see it installed, and note the build is the default without a hotfix:
Upload and install the Hotfix
Navigate to the Hotfix tab, and follow the same steps to import the hotfix. After it’s imported you should see something like this:
Click install and choose the partition that you just installed the image on. For us, HD1.2.
You’ll see it installing
Boot into the newly patched image
Once complete, move over to the “Boot Locations” tab. You’ll see your new install on HD1.2 as an option.
When you are ready, click on HD1.2. You’ll be given the option to install this configuration and choose your source volume, which is HD1.1 in this case.
Click “Activate”. This will cause the unit (or vCMP guest in this case) to reboot into the new boot location with the hotfix applied. This process should take about 5-10 minutes. Just be patient, and you should eventually see the page load when complete. Give it a few more minutes after you see this page, it takes a bit to load the full configuration.
You have a couple of options now – You can patch your host parent unit (recommended), or if you are only needing to patch a single vCMP guest, you can now login to the upgraded guest and “release from offline” to take bring the unit back online. Let’s assume you also want to patch the host itself.
Patch the Host
Log into the host management and follow the same exact steps above to import and install the OS and Hotfix. Before activating the boot location, ensure that your vCMP guests are offline or at least in standby. Activate and wait about 10 minutes for the upgrade to complete. After completed, you’ll need to navigate to vCMP > Guest List. You’ll see that your vCMP guests are in “configuration” mode. I unfortunately did not capture a screen shot of this, but instead of green status dots you’ll see gray, and the “Requested State” will be “Configured”:
Click on the individual guests, set the correct hotfix, then move the requested state to “Provisioned”, and finally to “Deployed”:
Your vCMP guests will now be deployed:
You can now login to the guests, release from offline if necessary, and ensure that HA is restored, the device should be in standby.
Next steps to complete the other side (HA environment)
Force your active guests to standby, should be zero downtime. Ensure operations, then take your now-standby guests offline. Complete the same exact steps above to complete the full install.
Additional activation when working with vCMP guests: