Browse Prior Art Database

Method to identify missing hardware resources and verifying FW/OS components

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000215417D
Publication Date: 2012-Feb-26
Document File: 4 page(s) / 55K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

The idea involves having a compatible/ comparable hardware inventory data structure in various parts of firmware in order to detect missing and not supported devices. In the current scenario, when a device doesn't figure in any one part of firmware, extensive debugging is required from various groups in order to find the root cause of the problem. This debug process often involves members of the various groups using commands to query the device tree representation at each part of firmware (FIPS, PHYP, OF etc) and then finding out where the first instance of mismatch has occurred. The debug process is inhibited due to the fact that the different parts of firmware don't have a comparable or similar device tree representation. In order to bridge this gap, the invention proposes new data structures in each part of firmware, which are similar and thus comparable. The presence of these data structures would help in finding out and also debugging problems which are related to missing hardware resources.

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Method to identify missing hardware resources and verifying FW /OS components

The idea involves having a compatible/ comparable hardware inventory data structure in various

parts of firmware in order to detect missing and not supported devices.

In the current scenario, when a device doesn't figure in any one part of firmware, extensive debugging is required from various groups in order to find the root cause of the problem. This debug process often involves members of the various groups using commands to query the device tree representation at each part of firmware (FIPS, PHYP, OF etc) and then finding out where the first instance of mismatch has occurred.

The debug process is inhibited due to the fact that the different parts of firmware don't have a comparable or similar device tree representation.

In order to bridge this gap, the invention proposes new data structures in each part of firmware, which are similar and thus comparable. The presence of these data structures would help in finding out and also debugging problems which are related to missing hardware resources.

The method also proposes to have comparison events at specific points in time periodically in order to find out potential problems. And lastly, on detection of such errors, error logging takes

place in order to grab the attention of the user rather than the user finding out missing hardware on their own, which is the case presently.

The hardware resources which could mismatch between various parts of firmware are


Processor


Memory


Physical Slots


I/O Adapters populated in various slot


Service Processors


Bulk power controllers


Fans

In order to alleviate the possibility of missing resources going unnoticed or developers & testers spending considerable amount of time to figure out which part of the system firmware is the first to loose the resource, the method proposes to have comparable data structures to be populated/ modified at specific instances and then compared with each other in order to find out if there are any missing resources.

These comparable data structures would be populated by different parts of the system namely FIPS, PHYP, Open firmware(OF) and finally the operating system (OS).

This is illustrated in the diagram below:

1


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Fig. 1

If a mismatch is found, corresponding errors with pertinent details will be logged.

Events associated:

- Populating

- Repopulating/ Refresh

- Comparison

- Error Logging

Populating:

This event involves populating the data structures initially when various sub-systems IPL.


i.e. upon FSP IPL, data structure D1 would get populated (possibly with the help of the VPD collected).

Post this, once the PHYP IPLs, data structure D2 would get populated. Similarly, upon OF and OS IPL, data structures D3 and D4 would get populated respectively.

Repopulating/ Refresh:

A refresh of these data structures happens following a hardware change in the system e.g. deconfiguration of some resource, dynamic logical partitioning etc.

C...