x3650 M2 Installation notes

I’ve been playing on site with a customer’s x3650 M2, getting it ready to install GPFS.  There are a few notes on this machine:

First impression is that this thing boots like a p-Series machine.  In other words, it takes forever to boot!  First if you plug it in you have to wait about 3 minutes for it to become active.  Then once you power it on, you need to wait a long time for it to boot up.  (time this)

I found myself staring at the boot screen for a long time.

Since the machine was plugged into a QLogic HBA and had all sorts of paths, that took even longer to boot.  I’m not talking about the Linux part where the init starts walking through everything.  I’m talking about before we get there.   AND, when I got there, the local hard drive could not be found!!!

Answer:  It was a bug in the QLogic firmware.  So we had to update it.  That was not easy nor was it fun.

The package you download to do it is here:

http://driverdownloads.qlogic.com/QLogicDriverDownloads_UI/Product_detail.aspx?oemid=376

We got 2.04af at this time.

But how to update?  Would be nice if they had a bin image that run under Linux, but that wasn’t the case.  The solution was to install SAN Surfer and update it that way.

Looking for the eUFI shell?  Its not there.  Too dangerous, so IBM doesn’t ship it.  This is probably a good idea given the support nightmare you could cause yourself, but not when 3rd party tools tell you to boot up into the eUFI.  That just causes more confusion.

After eUFI was updated, boot time improved.  But I think we could do better here.

The silver lining?  This is one solid box.  Performance is outstanding and a good quality piece of work.

  • http://benincosa.com Vallard

    Turns out there is a bug with the QLogic firmware that has the eUFI code traverse all the LUNs and leads to long boot up times. (40 minutes!). Developers are looking into it.

  • Ed Baldwin

    Can you give details on how you were able to get into an EFI shell on the x3650 m2? I have the exact same issue. I have downloaded all of the QLogic firmware and have upgraded that. But as you said IBM did not install the EFI Shell therefore I cannot do the EFI upgrade on the QLogic controllers.

    • http://benincosa.com Vallard

      In our case, we called IBM and they had to send a field technical support person out to do the update. At first they tried the EFI method, but I think it was too complicated… The solution at the end was to use SANsurfer to do the update. This worked out better and didn’t require any EFI. The only drawback was that we had to install SANsurfer.

      IBM in general will not give the EFI shell out out as it makes it too easy to hose a system. This is probably a good idea as it can lead to all sorts of support issues. Its unfortunate that you did not receive the QLogic cards with a more recent firmware update.

  • Nonenowhere Com

    To make this article helpful, give details, like how you installed the efi shell. Thanks.

    • Vallard

      Yeah, I suppose that I could have investigated how to install the EFI shell, but as I pointed out above IBM didn’t ship it at the time.  Not sure what the story is now.  I don’t work on IBM hardware as much anymore.

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