Updating the firmware on a Micron p420m

Update: Micron released B218 in July 2015 to resolve a critical issue with command time outs. Micron highly recommends upgrading to this firmware release.

A common PCIe flash card for PernixData customers to use is the Micron P420m in their environment. It’s a very high performing and cost effective PCIe card and has a variety of applications.

Like all hardware devices, the p420m has firmware that occasionally needs to be updated. To perform the firmware update, we’re going to download the Micron rssdm utility (packaged with the ESXi drivers) on Micron’s site in the Support Pack for Linux and VMware package. As of January 2015, the support pack B145.03 from September 2014 is still current.

The first step to determining which firmware version the card is running is to install rssdm. Put the host into maintenance mode, copy the vib for your version of ESXi to the host, and run the esxcli software vib install -v command and reboot the host.

Once the host is back up, log in and execute the /opt/micron/bin/rssdm -L command to see the firmware version of the card.

micron-rssdm-output

As you can see, my card is running firmware version B2100600 and needs to be updated. At the time this article is posted, current firmware version is B2120500. We’re going to copy the new firmware to the host or shared datastore and perform the upgrade.

With the host in maintenance mode and the device removed from the FVP Cluster, copy the B145.03.00.ubi firmware image downloaded from the Micron Support Pack above to a location accessible by the host. The B145.03.00.ubi file will be in the Unified Image folder.

Then execute /opt/micron/bin/rssdm -T /path/to/file/B145.03.00.ubi -n 0

micron-firmware-update

Once it’s complete, reboot the host.

When the host is back up, verify the new firmware is active.

micron-new-firmware

Secure erase the drive by executing: /opt/micron/bin/rssdm -X -n 0 -p ffff

Screen Shot 2015-01-19 at 10.40.10 PM

Note: For those interested, -X is to perform the secure erase, -n is to specify the drive ID, and -p is for password (default is ffff)

After the secure erase is complete, remove the host out of maintenance mode and add the device back to the FVP Cluster.

Intro to Git and the Rise of Social Coding Presentation

Over the Christmas season, I participated in social coding community event called Commitmas. The objective was to learn git and try to use it every day for 12 days. As I wrote in another blog post, Rockin Around the Commitmas Tree, this was a great opportunity to jump start learning to use it with others in the community.

Since then I’ve continued using git on a regular basis for various side projects. I wanted the opportunity to share with the PernixData SE team a little bit about what I’ve learned and why it’s important for us to learn and use git. I feel that learning git is a crucial foundational skill for building and managing next generation datacenters and developing applications. I also like git for daily use to manage versions of documents or presentations.

Putting together this presentation was a bit special for me for two reasons. First, it’s the first technical presentation that I created that wasn’t related to my core competency, VMware vSphere. This stands out to me because it’s representative of my personal journey to be an early adopter of these new technologies. The configuration management/container/PaaS space is still in a very early phase and it reminds me of stories I’ve heard about having to perform vMotion on the command line. That’s always sound so old school to me because I started using vSphere in 2009 when 4.0 was released and it was all well established. I often wonder what this space will look in a few years and will it take less time to mature.

It’s also the first time that I’ve used reveal.js to create a presentation. I’ve had the chance to see a few presentations with done with reveal.js and really like the elegance and simplicity of it. As a technologist, I like the geekiness of creating my presentation with HTML.