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Smart Array 5i firmware update

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ddmobley
Occasional Visitor

Smart Array 5i firmware update

I have some DL380 G3's, DL380R03 X2.8-512KB/400, 1GB 349201-xx1, versions. The Smart Array 5i SCSI firmware is reporting version 1.92. I am running a RHEL 5.6 variant (CentOS5). Since the release of the 2.6.18-238 kernels, I have been experiencing disk I/O hangs are random times when under heavy disk load.

Can you tell me if this SCSI firmware update, cpq_cciss-3.6.28-7.rhel5.i686.rpm, located at http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=316529&swItem=MTX-33281cbfb5ad422c8c235b9339&mode=4&idx=1 is the correct Smart Array 5i SCSI firmware update for my model of DL380 G3? Will I experience any issues by installing the RPM remotely? Any tips?
5 REPLIES
Matti_Kurkela
Honored Contributor
Solution

Re: Smart Array 5i firmware update

The RPM you linked is not the firmware package, but an updated SmartArray driver (the "cciss" kernel module).

It is meant for RHEL 5.4 and older, and there is no updated version for RHEL 5.5 and later: that usually means RHEL 5.5 and later have the equivalent fixes built in to the standard kernel.

The latest firmware for SmartArray 5i is 2.76, released in July 2008:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=316529&swItem=MTX-f52b709cf62f4a8d827862e3b2&prodNameId=3288130&swEnvOID=1080&swLang=8&taskId=135&mode=4&idx=0

Apparently the on-line firmware update package for Linux has not been updated to indicate compatibility with RHEL 5. I think it most likely works with RHEL 5 too, but use at your own risk...

MK
MK
ddmobley
Occasional Visitor

Re: Smart Array 5i firmware update

Thanks for that URL. There are so many choices I don't want to make a mistake and try to install the wrong one remotely and brick my production servers.

I have an extra DL380 G3 at my disposal, I will try to update them using the software from the URL you provided for the Smart Array 5i and the cciss driver link I found and see what happens.

What would happen if I ran the new cciss driver with the old firmware? Other than the obvious "it won't boot".
ddmobley
Occasional Visitor

Re: Smart Array 5i firmware update

By the way, the URL I provided says the cciss driver update supports these kernels:

SUPPORTED KERNELS:
The kernels of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 (x86) supported by this binary rpm are:
2.6.18-128.el5 - Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Update 3 (x86)
2.6.18-128.7.1.el5
2.6.18-164.el5 - Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Update 4 (x86)
2.6.18-164.2.1.el5
2.6.18-164.6.1.el5
2.6.18-164.9.1.el5
2.6.18-164.11.1.el5
2.6.18-164.15.1.el5
2.6.18-194.el5 - Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Update 5 (x86)
2.6.18-194.3.1.el5
2.6.18-194.8.1.el5
2.6.18-194.17.1.el5
2.6.18-194.26.1.el5
2.6.18-238.el5 - Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 Update 6 (x86)
Matti_Kurkela
Honored Contributor

Re: Smart Array 5i firmware update

Oops, apparently I got my browser tabs mixed up or something. The version in your link indeed includes an updated version that is good for RHEL 5.6... and it specifically mentions fixing heavy I/O "performance problems".

The RPM should be installable remotely just fine, since the currently-active system disk controller module *cannot* be replaced while the system is running: installing the RPM just replaces the module file on disk and generates a new initrd (leaving the old one as a backup). The new initrd will take effect on next boot.

If the new module turns out to have fatal errors (which is very unlikely), you could revert to using the old version simply by editing the boot entry in GRUB to replace the initrd filename with the name of the backed-up original initrd. But finding out the filename of the backup initrd will be difficult if you have already rebooted and the new initrd is not viable, so *after installation, look into /boot and pay attention to the initrd file names*, just in case the next reboot fails.

RedHat Bugzilla seems to have more information on this issue:
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=615543

Apparently the problem seems to appear mostly when a new driver and old firmware version are used together... so updating the SmartArray firmware might be a good first step for you, as your current firmware version is very, very old.

Updating the driver probably won't hurt, either. Just be ready to remove the driver update RPM if/when RedHat releases a kernel update with an updated cciss driver.

MK
MK
ddmobley
Occasional Visitor

Re: Smart Array 5i firmware update

That Bugzilla thread has me in it at the end, under uHostMe Internet. I appreciate your help, it has been invaluable, especially helping me find the right tools. Since I have one spare DL380 G3 inhouse, I will be able to test the installation of the firmware then the cciss driver RPM.

Note in the cciss driver RPM installation instructions, it says if you get any errors during the install to uninstall the RPM and it would put the old cciss driver in place so you don't have to manually dig through grub.conf to find it.