After getting the Intel Modular Server (IMS) together, we fired it up to see how things looked.
We set up one of our own management desktop VMs with an IP on the same subnet as the default IP for the IMS management module. The VM’s NIC was then connected to the switch the IMS was connected to.
This is what we were greeted with once into the Modular Server Control (MSC) console:
The three compute modules were sight unseen for the moment.
Now, flip over to the firmware management node and we see:
The current firmware build version is 188.8.131.5281120.14717. Dollars to donuts the new MFS5520VI compute modules are not being recognized by the older firmware.
Now, there is an important caveat in the most current firmware’s release notes (v5.0 as of this writing):
The system must be at firmware level v2.7, v3.0, v3.6, v4.0, or v4.1 prior to starting this update.
Given the above screenshot, it is pretty obvious that we will need at least two firmware update runs to get to the newest v5.0 version on this particular IMS (Intel part number MFSYS25).
Now, given our experience with pretty much any I.T. related product, it is _very_ important to read through the Release Notes thoroughly. There are a lot of caveats with regards to the various IMS configurations and firmware update processes. Those caveats span a new configuration as well as an in production configuration.
Prior to loading and using the V2.7 unified software update – all server modules in the system must be powered down.
In our case, they did not even power up so we are okay to go forward.
Or so we thought:
Okay, the compute modules are still plugged into the chassis but they are off as we power cycled them with video connected to verify.
We needed to pull all three compute modules out of the chassis before we received the following:
Start Update button is now available.
Note the absence of the compute modules in the component listing below the Start Update button.
One thing to take note of is the following firmware listings on the MFS5520VI Compute Module download page:
There are are definitely a number of earlier firmware versions missing from this list. Given that, it is pretty reasonable to conclude that the compute modules do not need to be installed until _after_ the next firmware update to v5.0.
Since this is our first experience with the IMS, there is definitely a learning curve involved with getting the hardware configured and ready for our Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 cluster.
- If the IMS’s firmware is earlier than v2.7, then download v2.7 and v5.0 or whatever is the newest version from Intel’s MFSYS25 Support site (link through the product support page).
- Unzip the package and read the Release Notes.
- Make sure the MFS5520VI compute modules _are not_ plugged into the chassis.
- Connect and log onto the management module.
- https://192.168.150.150 (default IP).
- User/Pass: admin/admin (default user/pass).
- The management module’s status lights will indicate green when the update is finished and the fans will settle down to a fairly quiet hum depending on the room/shop temperature.
- Follow steps 1 through 16 to update to v2.7 if v2.6 and earlier firmware is installed.
- Steps 1-16 are in firmware v2.7’s Release Notes.
- Note that each round of firmware updates will take anywhere from 30-90 minutes.
- Steps 1-15 are in firmware v5.0’s Release Notes.
- Note that it will take quite a while for the reboot to happen. The fans will quiet down near the end of the updates. The MSC will be available, though one or both of the Storage Control Modules may still be updating.
- Make sure no chassis components are updating before moving onto the next steps.
- Note that the BIOS update for each of the Compute Modules will be a separate process once the firmware portion of the updates have completed.
- This process can be run simultaneously on the balance of the Compute Modules.
- We do this as a precaution, not as a rule to make sure that things run as expected.
- If a video connection is to be had, the scripts that are running on the actual Compute Modules can be watched as they execute.
- Update status will show the correct BIOS string _before_ the Compute Module has completed its boot cycle.
Once configured, we were ready to begin the next phase of configuring the IMS for our Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 cluster.
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book