Monday 23 July 2018

Mellanox SwitchX-2 and Spectrum OS Update Grids

We're in the process of building out a new all-flash based Kepler-64 2-node cluster that will be running the Scale-Out File Server Role. This round of testing will have several different rounds to it:

  1. Flat Flash Intel SSD DC S4500 Series
    • All Intel SSD DC S4500 Series SATA SSD x24
  2. Intel NVMe PCIe AIC Cache + Intel SSD DC S4500
    • Intel NVMe PCIe AIC x4
    • Intel SSD DC S4500 Series SATA SSD x24
  3. Intel Optane PCIe AIC + Intel SSD DC S4500
    1. Intel Optane PCIe AIC x4
    2. Intel SSD DC S4500 Series SATA SSD x24

Prior to running the above tests we need to update the operating system on our two Mellanox SwitchX-2 MSX1012B series switches as we've been quite busy with other things!

Their current OS level is 3.6.4006 so just a tad bit out of date.


The current OS level for SwitchX-2 PPC switches is 3.6.8008. And, as per the Release Notes for this OS version we need to do a bit of a Texas Two-Step to get our way up to current.



Now, here's the kicker: There is no 3.6.5000 on Mellanox's download site. The closest version to that is 3.6.5009 which provides a clarification on the above:


Okay, so that gets us to 3.6.5009 that in turn gets us to 3.6.6106:


And that finally gets us to 3.6.8008:


Update Texas Two Step

To sum things up we need the following images:

  1. 3.6.4122
  2. 3.6.5009
  3. 3.6.6106
  4. 3.6.8008

Then, it's a matter of time and a bit of patience to run through each step as the switches can take a bit of time to update.


A quick way to back up the configuration is to click on the Setup button then Configurations then click the initial link.


Copy and paste the output into a TXT file as it can be used to reconfigure the switch if need-be via the Execute CLI commands window just below it.

As always, it pays to read that manual eh! ;)

NOTE: Acronym Finder: AIC = Add-in Card so not U.2.

Oh, and be patient with the downloads as they are _slow_ as molasses in December as of this writing. :(


Philip Elder
Microsoft High Availability MVP
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book !
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