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Method and Algorithm for Real-Time Cloning of Missing or Corrupt Vital Product Data (VPD)

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000197339D
Publication Date: 2010-Jul-02
Document File: 2 page(s) / 111K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

A common problem related to server development bringup in manufacturing or in the field is related to corrupt or missing vital product data (VPD). A server contains many types of hardware components that each contain some form of VPD related data. These components include processors, dimms, I/O hub adapters and other hardware that comprise the system. The VPD data is collected by the system when it is powered on to standby and much of this data is similar across components with the same part number and EC level. Unfortunately, this vital product data is subject to being corrupted by software bugs or programmed incorrectly due to human error which could then cause a problem when the system is IPLing (booting). Typically when a problem is detected with the VPD, the IPL process fails and the system terminates. Our idea solves this problem by identifying hardware components with missing or corrupt VPD and then clones (repairs) the missing or corrupt information from another similar component that has good VPD data. The IPL is then allowed to complete successfully rather than failing and an informational error log is written to the system log for future action by the user.

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Method and Algorithm for Real -Time Cloning of Missing or Corrupt Vital Product Data (VPD)

Disclosed is a method to correct missing or corrupt vital product data (VPD) in real-time to prevent server initial program load (IPL) failures.

server contains many types of hardware components that are each programmed via a smart chip with an electronic signature called VPD that describes the hardware component. VPD may include the part number, associated voltage data, special keywords or other characteristics specific to the hardware.

VPD data is collected by the system via the I2C bus when a server is IPLed and most of the VPD data is the same across hardware components of the same part number and engineering change (EC) level. VPD data is subject to being corrupted by software bugs or could be missing if programmed incorrectly due to human error.

When a VPD problem due to missing data or corruption is detected during the server IPL process the system will terminate. Our idea solves this problem of the system terminating by identifying hardware components with missing or corrupt VPD in real-time during the IPL process and then clones the information from another similar hardware component with the same part number that has good VPD data . The IPL process is then allowed to complete successfully and an informational error log is written to the system log for future action by the user at a later time so the VPD on the associated hardware component can eventually be correc...