Saturday, 6 July 2013

Updating the Intel Modular Server from v6.5 to v6.8 Involves Taking the Storage Controllers Offline

We are in the process of updating the firmware on our Intel Modular Server from v6.5 to v6.8 on our way up to v6.10.

When we uploaded the file using Modular Server Control (MSC) we came to the point where the firmware would not go any further before we reset the Storage Controllers into Safe Mode.


The process of flipping the two Storage Controllers into Safe Mode takes about five to ten minutes with a few CONFIRM steps required.

Once they are offline, we are able to move on with our firmware updates:


Given that storage is offline this particular update will need to be run after hours. A backup is mandatory for any servers whether physical or virtual prior to running this update (we only back up the guests in the case of a Hyper-V Failover Cluster).


IE10 is a waste of time. IE9 in Compatibility Mode with the MSC in Trusted Sites will work for the most part. Third Party browser may be the best option for this process.

Note that the IMS will go into Limp Mode once the first SCM goes offline. That means that hearing protection should be worn during the process.


The update process can take anywhere from 40 to 60 minutes to complete. Please budget time for this process accordingly.

Intel Modular Server Support:

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

Chef de partie in the SMBKitchen
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Joseph Worrall said...

Phil --

We had deployed 6.10 some time ago without a problem but the time it takes is annoying as you indicated. This coming weekend will be doing test deployments of 2012 Server on MFSYS25/MFS5520VI. Looks like the Intel posted MPIO driver is now extremely old. Any idea where to find a newer one as all IMS's we have sold have redundant storage controllers? Thanks /s/ Joe

Philip Elder SBS MVP said...

CMD: Start PowerShell [Enter]

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature -Online -FeatureName MultiPathIO

mpiocpl.exe [Enter]

Second tab click the ADD button. Reboot once it asks.

Your disks will be seen as MPIO enabled and be set to Round Robin.

RR is okay for the OS disk not shared with the other Compute Modules but we would set Least Queue Depth for VM's LUNs.

Simply put: It is all built in now and has been since 2008 RTM. :)

NOTE: The feature name is case sensitive though some of PS is not.


Chris Parks said...

I am getting ready to upgrade from 6.6 to 6.10 next weekend. I have planned a 4 hour maintenance window, hoping for 2 hours of downtime. I am pretty nervous about this, I do have replicas and backups of my VMs. Any advice or words of encouragement?

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


Do you have the Admin Pack that allows one to back up the setup on the CMM?

You should be okay. We've done this a lot with very little issue.



Chris Parks said...

Yes, I do have the Admin pack. Looking around I do not see where I can backup the settings. Can you guide me? Thanks.

Philip Elder Cluster MVP said...


Import/Export in the left-hand column.