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Automated generation of firmware compatibility tables for fixed environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000099022D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Mar-09
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-09
Document File: 1 page(s) / 22K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

In the BladeCenter environment , when a new component or function is initially developed it is almost always necessary for customers that already have BladeCenters deployed in their environment to update firmware on one or more components prior to being able to utilize the new function or install the new component. The specific combination of firmware images required is extensively tested prior to formal announcement of support for the function or component. This testing is tracked in accordance with internal or external processes using a tool such as Test Tracking Tool (TTT). When testing completes, these firmware images will be uploaded to IBM's external website. The documentation for each image may include references indicating that it is a prerequisite for supporting the new function or component in the BladeCenter enclosure. Customers wishing to take advantage of this function or introduce this new component into their enclosure must manually check the vendor's external website for firmware dependencies and search for each image independently.

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Automated generation of firmware compatibility tables for fixed environment

     This article describes a method which modifies existing test tracking tools to automatically generate a machine parsable and/or human readable data model which identifies the set of firmware images that have been validated together to support the new function or component. As the final step in the testing process, when the results have been certified, the compatibility table is generated. It is then uploaded to an external website where it can be accessed by users and cross-referenced to the announcement of the new function or component. There are two major advantages of this approach. The first advantage is that the compatibility table is consolidated in a single file where it can be easily found by a user. The second advantage is that the table is generated programmatically as a result of input during the testing process. This has the effect of ensuring that prerequisite firmware levels for supporting a new function/component reported to external users accurately reflect the actual firmware levels that were used in test. Currently when a customer finds an issue with a new function/component that was not seen in test, one of the questions asked internally is which specific levels of firmware were tested. By publishing the specific version in the form of a table, customers can be more confident that what they are using has been internally validated.

Our invention consists of the following...