The Importance of Firmware Updates

Its still a continuing saga trying to setup our new SPARC T3-1 server, but thats a different story. Linux is rather forgiving in regards to the hardware it runs on, which makes it great. You can still run Linux on an old i386, probably wouldn’t get anything like KDE on it, but its enough to run it. My experiences with SPARC servers is different. Sun made these servers like tanks, but part of that is they are very particular about hardware.

We have a SL48 tape library connected via a SAS HBA that was our backup library that was running on a linux server without any trouble. Now we want to use this for backup/archiving as part of our SAM-QFS setup(a future post about that when its done). Install the card, boot the os, but I don’t see the tape library. It was rather frustrating but more so was finding that this SAS HBA, a Sun product, was not listed in the support site and thus no updates/etc were readily available.

Its just expected that since its Sun hardware, patch/firmware/etc should be on the support site(now all run by Oracle). It took some digging but I was surprised to find the firmware over at LSILogic’s website. After opening a support ticket and detailing this, they recommended the firmware update and Viola! The OS can see the two tape drives and the robot.

Now what I need next is the server itself to work correctly. The fault light is on and reports some sort of pci error. That turned into the previously referenced continuing saga as I deal with Oracle to figure this error out. A motherboard swap didn’t fix it.