Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Intel SR1530HSH/SH Server System Build Experiences

Not too long after our post Intel SR1530SH/HSH and S3200SH Series - Xeon X3350/60 Not Supported Yet ..., Intel released a number of updates for the server board S3200SH that the SR1530HSH Server System is based on. The links are available at the end of this post.

The BIOS update that was required to enable support for the new Xeon X3350/60 CPUs was released.

Since these particular systems incorporate hot swap capabilities, updating the BIOS alone is not an option. We also need to update the BMC, FRU, and other components. The Intel Deployment Assistant (IDA) that boots via the supplied Intel drivers CD gives us the ability to connect to the Internet and download any required updates and then apply them seamlessly.

We are finding that the updates available to the IDA via the Internet are out of date though. So, we end up having to go to the product's support page and downloading the newest update package manually.

Once we have downloaded the update, we do the following to update the server system:
  1. We extract the download and place it on a USB flash drive in an appropriately named folder.
  2. From there we boot the SR1530HSH/SH system up into the BIOS and enter the Boot Manager.
  3. We choose the EFI Shell option for boot device and wait until the shell finishes booting.
  4. A little *BSD/Linux experience pays off here as we need to access the USB drive: fs0: [Enter]
    • Once the EFI shell finishes booting it will tell you in the list of attached drives which "drive letter" to connect to.
    • Note that some standard DOS shell commands work as do *BSD/Linux ones.
  5. Once into the updates folder type: startup.nsh [Enter]
    • Note that the update initialization may take a while. Please wait until it generates the update options.
  6. Choose your update type (we choose both BMC & FRU)
  7. Options will be presented to enter user data such as part numbers, serial numbers, and the like.
  8. Once the process is complete, one will see: Updates completed. Please reboot using the front panel button.
Upon rebooting the system, make sure to head back into the BIOS to make sure that all of the settings are as they should be.

If using the on board RAID controller, we tend to setup and initialize the arrays before we do the updates. When using an add-in RAID controller such as the SRCSASRB, we will update the firmware on the RAID controller after updating the system BIOS and components as the newer RAID controller firmware may break the connection with the server board on an older BIOS.

Product related links: We are finding that the Xeon 3000 series 1U Server Systems provide a really good value for our clients that are seeking to virtualize a number of desktops for Remote Web Workplace access or for legacy Line of Business Application access.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists

*All Mac on SBS posts are posted on our in-house iMac via the Safari Web browser.

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