Sun X4100 Server – Upgrading Firmware and LSI Controller

By November 14, 2017Uncategorized

Overview

This article covers the best procedure to update your ILOM’s firmware. I found SUN’s documentation really scattered about this important topic. I read through their PDF’s and decided to use the ILOM to do this as opposed to command line where it was a bit more documented.

The scenario I found myself in was I was experiencing silly network interface issues, specifically with the “nge” interfaces. For example, I would configure nge0 with an IP address and it would be all good until I started to transfer a file through it. When transferring a file, it would start off OK but stall midway through, and after the stall I could no longer connect to the server through the network, only through ILOM. When opening the console through ILOM and ifconfig only showed my localhost interface and the nge0 had disappeared. Same behaviour if I configured nge1 as well. I thought it was a driver issue at first but after trying a few of Nvidias drivers both new and old the same thing occurred.

Notes:

  • You must apply the firmware upgrades in stages.
  • Our server in this example is a Sun Fire X4100 M2 Server
  • I assume you have physical access to the server to access the ILOM. If you are remote and your ILOM is already setup, skip to step #4.
  • I assume you know your ILOM password already if it is not the default password mentioned below.
  • Remember if you mess something up here your server will unlikely boot up and you will need to contact a sun technician, or follow the another guide on my wiki.
  • One admin I know did have the LSI driver update install freeze during the flash and the server would not boot up until it was completely powered down and AC power cables removed so the SP shut off. When it was restarted the SP found the LSI card again and the flash worked.

Procedure

1. Download your files from Sun.

2. Setup your ILOM with a connectible address. I choose 192.168.2.2 for my ILOM. Login to your ILOM and do the following:

cd /SP/network

set pendingipaddress=192.168.2.2

set pendingipnetmask=255.255.255.0

set pendingipgateway=192.168.2.1

set pendingipdiscovery=static

set commitpending=true

3. Setup your laptop network card to be 192.168.2.1/24 and run a crossover cable from your laptop NIC to the network management interface in the back of the server. Open Firefox and enter “https://192.168.2.2” and you should hit the ILOM. root/changeme is the default username/password.

4. First thing we need to do is figure out which upgrades we need to do. Sun kind of fails a little here and instead of being able to just grab the latest firmware, apply it, and be at the lastest revision, we need to apply each version in order. So for my M2 it ended up being 5 different firmware upgrades.

When you log into the ILOM you will find yourself on the Versions page. Here you can see your current installed version. So log in there and write down your version number.

Now if you look at the html file README in the software you downloaded in step 1 it will tell you the version it will upgrade to. Ex:


Ilom.x4100M2-2.0.2.10-r35249.ima: This file contains the Integrated Lights Out Manager
(ILOM) firmware version 2.0.2.10 and the BIOS version 81 needed to upgrade to
software release 2.1. For instructions, see the Sun Fire X4100 M2/X4200 M2
Server Software Release Notes for Software Release 2.1 on your product documentation web site.

So you need to go through these README’s now that you know your ILOM version and find the one that is the closest upgrade and start from there. In my case I had to apply the software from version 1.4, 2.0, 2.0.1, and 2.1 in that order. Once you figure out where you need to start move to step 5.

5. So the actual upgrading itself is not to difficult. We first need to shut down our guest operating system. Do an init 0 or stop /SYS from the ILOM.

6. When the OS is down, click on the Maintenance tab. You need to enter Maintenance Mode in order to do this, so click the Enter Maintenance button.

7. Next browse to the image file you downloaded. This needs to be the proper version, remember we figured this out in the previous steps. Hit Upload File and you will be brought to the Firmware Verification page. Confirm everything looks good here and is what you intended. If so click on Start Upgrade.

9. You should hit the Upgrade Status page. Sit back and let this do its thing.

10. Once finished you should get an upgrade complete window tell you the SP has been reset.

11. Your firmware and BIOS are upgraded at this point and you should be able to fire up the OS by typing start /SYS from the ILOM. However if you have a couple more versions to apply repeat from step 6. The first couple i upgraded i ended up confirming the OS came up after each flash, but now i just do the upgrades all at once, then apply the latest LSI update. Its your call, safest is obviously to confirm everything is good after each upgrade.

12. Once you are at the latest version its time to update your LSI Firmware.

Updating LSI Firmware

After updating your SP firmware and BIOS, its good practice to update your LSI controller firmware to the latest version. You will notice on the download page that each version also comes with a bootable iso image for updating the LSI controller. So unlike the SP firmware, you can grab the latest version of this software and apply it. So assuming you completed this process, lets continue:

Procedure

  • 1. Download your files from Sun.
  • 2. Burn the.ISO file onto a disc. For the 2.1 version of the software the filename is FW12390_B61801.iso. Always go with the latest and greatest however.
  • 3. Insert the CD into the CD-ROM and restart your server to have it boot from the CD.
  • 4. Enter 1 when asked what to you want to do.
  • 5. Wait for it finish.
  • 6. Reboot your server and remove the CD as it POST’s.
  • 7. Your server should now be up to date and you can get support from SUN without getting the typical run around.

Troubleshooting

The only thing I’ve noticed is that sometimes you need to dump your browser cache, both cookies and saved files if the web application becomes flaky. By flaky i mean you get the Done. errors with yellow exclamation mark or its hangs on verifying your firmware or something similar.

Some cases where users are using a password longer than 16 characters, they may not be able to log into the web GUI until their password is reset to a password that is fewer than 16 characters.


Source by John McNeil

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