Browse Prior Art Database

Autonomous Firmware Update of BladeCenter2 Disclosure Number: IPCOM000126901D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Aug-09
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Aug-09
Document File: 3 page(s) / 71K

Publishing Venue



This disclosure teaches a method that implements a systematic algorithm by leveraging Management Module2's presence in the BC2 with its persistent storage space and its provided functionality to achieve a highly intelligent, efficient, and secure algorithm for updating the firmware on the BladeCenter2 components. The same update method can be viewed as an application and therefore can be extended to performing other functions with similar characteristics for the BladeCenter2 as well. The method to be described below requires a persistent storage area in the MM2 for keeping update iso images and scripts. The script can be executed by a remote user (authenticated by the MM2 security) to perform update to I/O modules as well as the blades. A script can also be executed autonomously when a new blade is inserted into the chassis.

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Autonomous Firmware Update of BladeCenter 2

     The BladeCenter update includes a variety of OEM and IBM firmware residing on each hardware component. Typically, each updatable component has its own unique method of update. A standard update method for performing such task is to remote login a target component and issue update command on an individual base. Some require TFTP support others FTP for obtaining the new update image, which in many cases can be a sizable package. This type of method is tedious and prone to network latency, especially with large size image. Furthermore, TFTP support is limited to be within a local subnet. This results in a constraint to such a common method of setting up a TFTP at the remote update utility user's system. Such a subnet limitation is a significant drawback on global manageability. On top of all that, managing userids and passwords of 14 blades per BladeCenter chassis is a daunting task.

     What is needed is an autonomous method to enable updating of every module in the BladeCenter chassis through a single, out-of-band component such as through the Management Module.

     The BC2 I/O modules (ethernet and fiber channel switches, pass through modules, etc) firmware updates include T/FTP server and client for obtaining the necessary update images/packages. There is a variety of vendor-specific update methods required by each 3rd party OEM vendors for updating its supplied component. In addition updating Intel and Power blades also require a different set of drivers and images.

What needs to be done is as the following,

Set up the set of TFTP server, FTP server and FTP client in the MM2.

Remote UpdateXpress BladeCenter Update Utility (BCUU) secure FTPs the update

CD images (UpdateXpress CD) and an executable Script into the MM2 persistent storage.

BCUU secure telnet (SSH) into the MM2 and authenticate itself as an UpdateXpress


user and therefore is allowed to execute the Script.

The Script would mount the UX CD image to MM2 and run the CD image auto detect


The auto detect program would discover the updatable components such as

Ethernet and Fiber switches and determine their firmware versions.

The program would update the down level components to the current level ones in

the CD image on a per component base.

For updating blades, the program would mount the appropriate C...