Rolling Out Scale Driver Updates with Group Policy on Windows Server 2012 R2



  • Running any type of environment we want to keep our drivers up to date as a matter of course. In the specific case of the Scale HC3 hyperconverged systems, we have a driver release (specifically a Windows Paravirtualized Network, Storage and Serial Communications driver release) that comes out with each cluster version update. These drivers are located on an ISO image built into the system and provided automatically but the drivers themselves will not be applied without intervention.

    Of course we can deploy these drives any number of ways, including manually. But a very common approach will be to apply Windows Group Policy as our means of software deployment.

    Our first step is to create a deployment share for our packages. This can be anywhere on your network that is accessible to the VMs that you wish to update. So this could be on your domain controller, a dedicated Windows file server, a Linux file share, whatever. Often you will already have a share that has this purpose, but if not you will need to create one.

    So we will need to start by copying the drivers package from its location to our deployment share. To access the drivers from their source, we need to go into our VM management and mount the latest Scale driver ISO to the VM on which we will be working.

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    There you will find the deployment for the AMD64 version of the latest system drivers. Pick the drivers applicable to your OS version and architecture, of course. These are simply the most common ones.

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    Once we have our package in place, we can go into our Group Policy Management Tool and create a new Software Deployment GPO to distribute our new package. This is a very basic approach, you will likely want to study Group Policy and consider advanced security groups and processes for your own environment. But in a basic environment you can approach this very easily.

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    In my example I am creating the policy for my Domain Controllers. You will likely want to do this for a custom group of Scale VM machines that you will need to create, otherwise you will apply the drivers to machines that are not hosted on your Scale HC3 cluster.

    Once we have our security group, we right click and select "Create a GPO in this domain, and Link it here..."

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    Once you have your new GPO, right click on it to edit.

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    Go to Policies -> Software Settings -> Software installation; and right click to add a new package.

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    Now we navigate to the network share location of the Scale HC3 PV drivers and select the package. It is very, very important that you do not select the files from the file system, it must be from the network share.

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    That's it. We are done. You can now test the update by running gpupdate /force from the command line on one of the Scale HC3 Windows virtual machines that you included for the update.



  • I was planning out a document for our Scale HC3 customers that was around Windows Group Policy pushes just like this, @scottalanmiller. Great content as always!



  • We are just starting to plan our hardware refresh. I'm seriously considering Scale. I like the info that I've seen so far.



  • @scotth said in Rolling Out Scale Driver Updates with Group Policy on Windows Server 2012 R2:

    We are just starting to plan our hardware refresh. I'm seriously considering Scale. I like the info that I've seen so far.

    We love ours, it has been great.



  • @scottalanmiller said in Rolling Out Scale Driver Updates with Group Policy on Windows Server 2012 R2:

    @scotth said in Rolling Out Scale Driver Updates with Group Policy on Windows Server 2012 R2:

    We are just starting to plan our hardware refresh. I'm seriously considering Scale. I like the info that I've seen so far.

    We love ours, it has been great.

    I'm still pulling down information..... I need a vibrant DR plan in place or decided on before I commit to a platform. It always seems to be overlooked as an afterthought.



  • @scotth said in Rolling Out Scale Driver Updates with Group Policy on Windows Server 2012 R2:

    @scottalanmiller said in Rolling Out Scale Driver Updates with Group Policy on Windows Server 2012 R2:

    @scotth said in Rolling Out Scale Driver Updates with Group Policy on Windows Server 2012 R2:

    We are just starting to plan our hardware refresh. I'm seriously considering Scale. I like the info that I've seen so far.

    We love ours, it has been great.

    I'm still pulling down information..... I need a vibrant DR plan in place or decided on before I commit to a platform. It always seems to be overlooked as an afterthought.

    Yeah, don't remind me. At least with @scale the ability is in place to implement a DR plan, you just need some sort of storage to push backups to.



  • @scotth said in Rolling Out Scale Driver Updates with Group Policy on Windows Server 2012 R2:

    @scottalanmiller said in Rolling Out Scale Driver Updates with Group Policy on Windows Server 2012 R2:

    @scotth said in Rolling Out Scale Driver Updates with Group Policy on Windows Server 2012 R2:

    We are just starting to plan our hardware refresh. I'm seriously considering Scale. I like the info that I've seen so far.

    We love ours, it has been great.

    I'm still pulling down information..... I need a vibrant DR plan in place or decided on before I commit to a platform. It always seems to be overlooked as an afterthought.

    Common approach is to get something like a Synology or a ReadyNAS and use the Scale HC3 built in snapshot and export backup functionality to push full image backups on a schedule out to the NAS.