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EBG Server Education

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface


(UEFI) Technology
March 2009
Study guide
XW5173
Release 1.00
This course is owned and published by
EBG Server Education.

___________________________________________________________________________________

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Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) technology Table of contents

Table of contents
Table of contents........................................................................................................... 3
Objectives .................................................................................................................. 6
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) technology ......................................... 7
Overview .................................................................................................................... 7
What is UEFI? ...................................................................................................... 7
Why UEFI? ........................................................................................................... 8
UEFI and the industry ........................................................................................... 9
Look and feel ........................................................................................................ 9
User advantages of UEFI ......................................................................................... 10
Richer configurations .......................................................................................... 10
Improved setup configuration and update .......................................................... 10
Improved consistency and feature penetration across the portfolio .................... 11
Simplified error handling ..................................................................................... 11
Improved code quality and faster development .................................................. 12
Update and configuration on today's BIOS systems ................................................ 13
Update and configuration on UEFI based systems .................................................. 14
UEFI compatibility with BIOS ................................................................................... 15
Impact of UEFI on the market place ................................................................... 15
User interface........................................................................................................... 16
F1 setup goals and architecture ......................................................................... 16
Splash screen ..................................................................................................... 16
Setup screen ...................................................................................................... 17
System settings .................................................................................................. 18
Network device ................................................................................................... 19
Processor details ................................................................................................ 20
Architecture .............................................................................................................. 21
UEFI architecture and components .................................................................... 21
Components ....................................................................................................... 22
Firmware execution flow ..................................................................................... 23
Firmware events - Logs ........................................................................................... 25
Logging ............................................................................................................... 25
System event log ................................................................................................ 25
Firmware event ................................................................................................... 26
POST event viewer............................................................................................. 27
What are firmware diagnostic codes? ................................................................. 28
Firmware path..................................................................................................... 30
Beep codes......................................................................................................... 31
Early light path support ....................................................................................... 32
Summary ............................................................................................................ 34
Memory RAS features.............................................................................................. 35
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Memory population rules .................................................................................... 35


Processors and memory architecture ................................................................. 35
Memory error handling ....................................................................................... 36
Correctable memory error PFA........................................................................... 37
CATERR (catastrophic errors) ............................................................................ 37
Memory initialization events ............................................................................... 38
Memory runtime events ...................................................................................... 39
System board DIMM details................................................................................ 40
DIMM population error ........................................................................................ 41
Example of population error ............................................................................... 42
System event log ................................................................................................ 43
Summary ............................................................................................................ 43
RAS features ........................................................................................................... 44
PCI event data .................................................................................................... 44
PCIe event example ........................................................................................... 44
Three boot failure ............................................................................................... 45
Automated BIOS Recovery (ABR) and watchdog............................................... 45
Legacy (BIOS) compatibility ..................................................................................... 47
Compatibility Support Module (CSM) overview .................................................. 47
CSM configuration options ................................................................................. 48
CSM configuration options ................................................................................. 49
Console redirection settings ............................................................................... 50
OS support ......................................................................................................... 51
UEFI and CSM interaction .................................................................................. 51
Native UEFI driver vs. Legacy Thunk driver ....................................................... 52
UEFI and CSM interaction .................................................................................. 53
Summary ............................................................................................................ 54
Boot operations ........................................................................................................ 55
Start options ....................................................................................................... 57
CD/DVD ROM .................................................................................................... 57
Floppy disk ......................................................................................................... 58
Hard disk 0 through hard disk 4 .......................................................................... 58
Hard disk 0 through hard disk 4 UEFI booting ................................................. 58
PXE network ....................................................................................................... 58
USB storage ....................................................................................................... 58
Diagnostics ......................................................................................................... 59
iSCSI and iSCSI critical ...................................................................................... 59
Legacy only ........................................................................................................ 59
Embedded hypervisor ......................................................................................... 59
Summary ............................................................................................................ 60
iFlash ....................................................................................................................... 61
What is iFlash ..................................................................................................... 61
Benefits of iFlash ................................................................................................ 61
IFlash usage using the update package ............................................................. 61
iFlash Use running CLI ....................................................................................... 63
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iFlash highlights and options usage.................................................................... 63


How to determine the current firmware level? .................................................... 64
Overview of iFlash data flow ............................................................................... 65
Summary ............................................................................................................ 66
ASU ......................................................................................................................... 68
What is ASU? ..................................................................................................... 68
What does ASU do for customers? .................................................................... 68
ASU use case (batch command) ........................................................................ 69
ASU command set.............................................................................................. 69
ASU save, restore, and replicate features .......................................................... 70
ASU showvalues ................................................................................................ 70
ASU block diagram ............................................................................................. 71
ASU XML file intro .............................................................................................. 72
ASU IMM settings structure ................................................................................ 73
ASU supported subsystems ............................................................................... 74
ASU instances syntax ......................................................................................... 75
VPD settings (UUID and DMI) ............................................................................ 75
ASU .................................................................................................................... 76
ASU connectivity on-line/in-band ..................................................................... 77
ASU connectivity out-of-band (remote) ............................................................ 78
ASU boot order configuration ............................................................................. 78
ASU application consolidation ............................................................................ 79
ASU troubleshooting ........................................................................................... 79
Summary ...................................................................................................................... 81

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Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) technology Objectives

Objectives
After completing this course, you will be able to:
1. Explain what UEFI is and why it is now IBM's standard firmware interface.
2. Explain how to navigate within the UEFI interface.
3. Define the components that make up the UEFI components.
4. Define the firmware events and logging capabilities with a UEFI system.
5. Define how to interpret diagnostic codes.
6. Define the memory RAS features of UEFI.
7. Define other RAS features of UEFI.
8. Explain Legacy mode operations and CSM.
9. Define the boot operations and how to add a boot device.
10. Define how iFlash works.
11. Describe the principles of ASU.

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Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) technology Overview

Unified Extensible Firmware Interface


(UEFI) technology
Overview
Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI)
UEFI stands for "Unified Extensible Firmware Interface". The UEFI specification defines
a new model for the interface between personal-computer operating systems and
platform firmware. The interface consists of data tables that contain platform-related
information, plus boot and runtime service calls that are available to the operating
system and its loader.
Together, these provide a standard environment for booting an operating system and
running pre-boot applications.

What is UEFI?
EFI was developed in the mid 90s by Intel as a replacement for BIOS (Basic
Input/Output System).
Intel required the use of EFI on Itanium platforms, but the industry did not accept EFI
given its proprietary nature.
Intel opened the EFI 1.1 specification to the UEFI Forum and UEFI 2.1 Spec was born.

Figure 1: UEFI on computer

UEFI was designed to enable OSs to take full advantage of the hardware by:

Being architecture independent

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Modular

Extensible

Why UEFI?
UEFI was developed as the next generation for BIOS.
BIOS was first released in 1981, with the IBM PC, and is still in use today on most x86
platforms. BIOS is very stable, but carries many of the limitations imposed by 1980s
hardware designs.
BIOS started as an 8K piece of code that initialized the chipset and provide simple
services. BIOS has grown to now include:

Enterprise RAS functionality

High end scalability

iSCSI

Blade Open Fabric Manager (BOFM)

Active energy manager

Figure 2: UEFI usage

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UEFI and the industry


IBM will be the only manufacturer that will be embracing UEFI fully and using it as a
platform on all of its systems developed in 2009 and beyond.
11 Promoters
20+ Contributors
70+ Adapters

Look and feel


With the new splash screen, it becomes very apparent that there is now a new look and
feel to UEFI.

Figure 3: New splash screen

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User advantages of UEFI


Richer configurations
BIOS

16-bit code architecture: Only 1MB of memory can be addressed.

Adapter Vendors must squeeze all option code into a shared 128K.

Limits the number of adapters that can be effectively installed.

Vendors are limited in the function they can provide in the option ROM.

Legacy OSs designed with these limitations in mind.

UEFI

64-bit code architecture: 16 TB of memory can be addressed.

Adapter Option ROMs can be loaded anywhere in memory with no size


restrictions.*

Eliminates Code Space Constraints Example: 1801 Resource Errors.

Adapter vendors are free to add function. For example, IPV6.

UEFI OSs can take advantage of the lifting of Legacy restrictions.

Improved setup configuration and update


BIOS

Cryptic ctrl key sequences required for configuring adapters.

Advanced Settings Utility (ASU) has partial coverage of F1 settings.

iSCSI configuration requires separate tool.

In-band only updates through DOS, wFlash, or iFlash.

UEFI

UEFI defines a human interface that is being extended to adapter vendors. Adapter
configuration can move into F1 setup.

Eliminates ctrl key sequences for configuring adapters.

Advanced Settings Utility (ASU) will now have 100% coverage of settings.

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UEFI settings can be accessed out of band by ASU through the iMM Web interface.

iSCSI configuration is in F1 setup and consolidated in to ASU.

UEFI code updates can be performed in band through the customer operating
system, and out of band through the iMM Web interface.

Improved consistency and feature penetration across the portfolio


BIOS

Limited code space for function.

Multiple code bases specialized by segment.

Certain functions only available by segment.

UEFI

Unified code base for IBMs entire x86 portfolio.

Consistent user experience across the System x portfolio.

New features will be widely available. such as CRTM, AEM, and iSCSI

Simplified error handling


BIOS

Multiple beep codes for fundamental failures.

Numerous Legacy POST errors.

UEFI

Elimination of beep codes all errors covered by light path.

Architected front panel progress codes.

Reduction in number of error messages.

UEFI Event codes available out of band.

Human readable event logs in F1 setup.

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Improved code quality and faster development


BIOS

Patchwork of standards.

Proprietary code.

Monolithic, not conducive to new functionality.

Primarily coded in assembly.

UEFI

Unifying standard - working to UEFI 2.1 specification.

Open source core with vendor plug-ins.

Modular and extensible to enable easy addition of new function.

Code is written in C.

Modern compilers, robust debug.

Self-certification test.

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Update and configuration on today's BIOS systems

Figure 4: Update BIOS diagram

On the systems currently employing BIOS updates and configuration, changes are only
available from the OS or in a preboot state using DOS utilities.

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Update and configuration on UEFI based systems

Figure 5: Update UEFI diagram

Firmware updates and configuration changes, ASU (Advanced Settings Utility), are now
available from the OS (inband) and remotely (out of band) by the IMM. In either case, all
updates and configurations are always processed by the IMM interface.

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UEFI compatibility with BIOS

Pure UEFI does not support Legacy OSs.

Legacy compatibility is provided by the CSM (Compatibility Support Module)

The CSM provides all the required resources to boot a Legacy OS:
o

Legacy BIOS calls and interrupts

Memory maps and tables

Legacy boot mechanisms

To ensure the highest level of compatibility, IBMs CSM is based off of the IBM
BIOS we have been shipping for years.

To date, IBM has found no compatibility issues with Legacy OSs.

The CSM is integrated into the UEFI code and does not require any interaction by
the user to invoke.

Long term goal being to remove the CSM when the market bears.

Impact of UEFI on the market place

Only UEFI aware OSs can take advantage of Legacy free features.

UEFI OSs are just now becoming available:


o

First available OS is Microsoft Windows 2008 Server

Select Adapter Cards must include UEFI support:


o

All onboard adapters will have UEFI support

DOS is not supported. DOS utilities used today for setup and configuration will no
longer be supported. There is a Whitepaper available from the IBM support site and
also linked to from this course that describes in detail what is supported, what is not
supported, and what new utilities are available.

Deployment tools need to be validated.

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User interface
F1 setup goals and architecture
The UEFI screens or F1 Setup uses a hybrid graphics/text mode where the graphics
border is drawn and designed to blend with the text mode window in the middle to give
the impression that the forms are graphically rendered.
Industry standard form browsers are UEFI HII compliant which ensures that add-in
devices and adapters from OEMs can present their configuration seamlessly along with
built in features.
Each screen in F1 setup is based on a HTML-like VFR form. Third party adapters can
contribute forms through HII access protocol.

Splash screen

Figure 6: Splash screen of UEFI

This bold new look now has four (4) message areas on the screen.

Backup bank indicator - This will only be seen if the original firmware page or bank
is found to be corrupt, then the system will load from the backup image.

Splash screen with brand logo.

Navigation bar with one new option F6 to view the POST event log.

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Event /MSG status bar with both event ID and explanation of ID.

Note: Pressing F1 presents the setup screens.

Setup screen

Figure 7: Setup screen

The setup screen layout looks almost exactly like the BIOS setup screens from the
previous systems.
One new area is the firmware event status bar. Firmware events uses the UEFI-IMM
interface. Events map to:

Light path actions

Standard IPMI platform events

Generates firmware event record

Shown on splash screen status bar

F6 POST event viewer

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System settings

Figure 8: System settings

Layout of system settings shows three areas.


The first of the three areas are the system board devices.
The second area is for the adapters that have UEFI drivers that are up to 2.0 level.

Driver configuration protocol (also known as Adapters and UEFI Drivers)


o

For older EFI1.10 and UEFI 2.0 complaint devices

Simple hook for launching their code (similar to option ROM banners,
within setup utility)

The third area is for adapters that are UEFI level of 2.1 or higher.

HII access protocol


o

UEFI 2.1 and up

Local management through setup Form (similar to Web page)

Future: HII 2.2


o

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Out of band management of third part device or adapters (potentially


through IMM, OS tools, and so on)

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Figure 9 shows an example of the network configuration settings for a Broadcom


adapter with a firmware of greater than 2.0.

Network device

Figure 9: Network device

This is a sample of an option device configuration page. The page that is being
displayed is from the option ROM of the device and not that of UEFI.

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Processor details

Figure 10: Processor details

The processor details screen shows information for each socketed/installed physical
package.
F1 setup > system information > system summary > processor details

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Architecture
UEFI architecture and components

Figure 11: UEFI architecture

UEFI is made up of many components. At the center is the core which is open source
code which IBM is using from Tiano.
Low level hardware drivers based on 64-bit code are included in the framework.
Above the low level drivers is the IBM value add components such as the setup utility,
IMM, BOFM, and CSM. The following topics goes into more detail on the value add
components.

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Components

Figure 12: UEFI components

There are three basic categories of UEFI:

Post

Preboot

Runtime

The bottom light green area represents the hardware components of the IMM chipset.
Refer to the course on IMM (XW5180) for more detail on the chipset.

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Firmware execution flow

Figure 13: Execution flow

Figure 13 shows another graphical view of the firmware execution phase. Video is first
seen after the DXE or driver execution environment is loaded.

Use the Data Capture function which is included with pDSA (preboot DSA) for
detailed failure investigation.
o

IPMI SEL aux log contains UEFI events along with failure data such as
PCI advanced error reporting registers, Memory SBE counters.

F6 system log viewer parses the IPMI SEL aux log. This log entry supplements IPMI
platform events with the UEFI diagnostic code and in PCI or memory failures and
contains extensive additional data.

Port 80 checkpoints can change between firmware build levels. They are basically
used as a measure of progress (they generally increase in value as the boot
progresses).

Video is only initialized after POST is complete on current system IMM or UEFI
platforms.

Power button is disabled until IMM has completely started (~2minutes):


o

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Quick blink (4 blinks per second) = power control not ready


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o

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Slow blink (1 blink per second) = power control ready

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Firmware events - Logs


Logging
During the start process of a system, the system will first go through its Power On Self
Tests (POST) and the newly architected Checkpoint Codes (CP) will be recorded in the
System Event Log (SEL), then displayed on the video monitor. After the checkpoints are
completed the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) events monitored by
the Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) are all logged and recorded as well in the
IPMI SEL. During the firmware initialization, the newly defined firmware diagnostic
codes and the associated action steps are also recorded and displayed on the system
monitor.

System event log

Figure 14: System event log

This system event log is from:


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F1 setup > system event logs > IMM system event log
The Standard events are BMC or IPMI events. The firmware event is from the firmware
diagnostic code.
IPMI SEL viewer system event log

Non-volatile log of events

Accessible in and out of band

Standard SEL entries that are generated by firmware events have UEFI auxiliary log
entries associated with them that contain the originating firmware diagnostic code +
service data

Firmware event

Figure 15: Firmware event

Viewed by:
F1 setup > system event logs > system event log > firmware event

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POST event viewer

Figure 16: POST event viewer

This is a viewer, not a log. Only events from this boot are viewable here as a
convenience rather than having to dig through a long System Event Log for Firmware
Diag code events.
F1 setup > system event logs > POST event viewer (*not a log):

Volatile Log of events that occurred on the current boot

Standard event attributes only (Severity, Diag Code, MRI String, affected FRU)
methods of viewing firmware event logs:

F1 setup > system event logs > POST event viewer

<F1> setup -> system event logs -> system event log
o

All entries with -> E.DIAG_CODE are events that can be further
examined.

pDSA collect service data

DSA

IBM director

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IMM collect service data (not available at first release)

UEFI shell firmware event log dump (not available at first release)

What are firmware diagnostic codes?

Figure 17: Firmware diagnostic codes

Not BIOS POST codes, no relationship/mapping

An upcoming Industry Standard driven by IBM UEFI team.

Tier 1 events for customer and service problem determination

Hierarchical

+Value-add software subclasses:

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Energy management

iSCSI

CRTM

IMM

Scalability

Example of diagnostic code

Example: E.0058008 DIMM failed memory test


o

Class = 0 (computing unit)

SubClass = 5 (memory)

Operation = 8 (DIMM failed memory test)

E.[DiagCode]
o

E (Error Severity) = { I, S, W } where I = Informational, S=Severe, and W=


Warning.

DIAGCode is composed of Class, SubClass, and Operation fields

Figure 18: Example 1

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Figure 19: Example 2

Firmware path

Firmware events are stored as auxiliary data associated with standard IPMI events.

Every firmware event is associated with a corresponding IPMI event.

Recommended to use the firmware event diagnostic code for problem determination
and action steps that are defined in the PDSG.

Firmware event listeners are:

Virtual-GPIO (a register bit) UEFI-IMM interface


o

Maps to light path actions.

Maps to standard IPMI platform events.

Also generates a firmware event record that can be associated with the
standard IPMI event.

Firmware splash-screen status bar

<F6> POST event viewer

WHEA records (posts to windows event logs)

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Port80 checkpoints

Beep codes

Beep codes are not used by System x Firmware. Beep codes have been replaced
with new logged events and early light path support.
o

Rationale for removal blade-strategy (whos beeping at me?).

Server-environments (noisy air-handlers/fans).

Emergence of out-of-band management tools as the preferred mechanism


for interacting with server systems.

RAS error/system information functionality should exist in a common information


domain that is out-of-band accessible.

Replaced by early and enhanced light path and early initial IPMI events.

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Early light path support

Figure 20: Early light path

Early communication with IMM allows UEFI to assert early initialization errors:
o

No memory

Memory Init failure

Chipset and CPU faults are monitored by IMM (ABR and watchdog being
outcomes)

No beep code support in UEFI-Complaint System x Servers:


o

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Redundant with light path

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Figure 21 shows examples of UEFI diagnostic codes


These are examples only. The PDSG will contain a complete listing.

Figure 21: UEFI diagnostic codes examples

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Summary
The diagnostic codes, checkpoint codes, and IPMI events logs are all viewable from
many places:

In-band IMM

Out of band through IMM

pDSA

DSA

F1

Resources available are the IMM Users Guide and the PDSG for the system.

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Memory RAS features


Memory population rules

First use the system PDSG for supported populations (optimal thermal,
performance and test-matrix/warranty).

UEFI memory population rules (required):


o

Channel ordering is not enforced (except in RAS modes).

DIMMs must be populated from the end of channel forward.

Example: For a three DIMM channel where DIMM 3 is the farthest


from the memory controller.

Must populate sequentially within the channel.

Figure 22: Population rules

Processors and memory architecture


Each processor has its own memory and memory controller. The loss of a processor
package or the memory controller disables all memory associated with that processor.
Memory is not installed in pairs. Use the User's Guide or the PDSG for memory
installation guidelines for the system.

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Figure 23: Processors and memory structure

Memory error handling

Time zero faults:


o

POST memory test will flag and disable any DIMMs with correctable or
uncorrectable errors.

Runtime faults:

Correctable errors:
o

Systems Management Mode (SMM) keeps a running inventory of Single


Bit Errors (SBE) per DIMM. This is checked against the HW Design Guide
Predictive Failure Analysis (PFA) algorithm and any DIMMs exceeding
PFA limits will be called out.

Uncorrectable errors:
o

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Will result in Catastrophic Error (CATERR) which is captured by IMM into


a CATERR file that UEFI will parse on the next start and disable or callout
DIMMs as needed.

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Correctable memory error PFA

Implemented by SMM driver

Correctable memory errors are signaled through SMI (SMM Interrupts)

SMM PFA driver maintains RAS inventory of all DIMMs

PFA thresholds

16 (single bit errors) SBEs in the last 10 minutes of operation

256 SBEs in the last 24 hours of operation

PFA limitations are:


o

SBEs can only exceed PFA on one DIMM per CPU.

SMIs are disabled for that CPU to prevent SMIs from taking all cycles
from OS, making the system appear slow or halted.

CATERR (catastrophic errors)

IERR + MC8 (memory controller errors)

On CATERR latch all CPU packages will enter non-active state

IMM eecodes MSRs through Platform Environment Control Interface (PECI):

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If MC8 : Generate CATERR file for UEFI

Else Investigate possible CPU fault (IERR algorithm)

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Figure 24: CATERR

Memory initialization events

E.0051006 DIMM mismatch detected, DIMM


o

Populate DIMMs according to population order per PDSG

Ensure memory DIMMs are the same type and speed and FRU

E.0051009 no memory detected


o

Ensure memory is present in the system

Reseat DIMMs

Populate DIMMs According PDSG Population table (doc section ref)

E.005100A No usable memory detected


o

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Ensure memory is present in the system


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Reseat DIMMs

Clear CMOS to re-enable all Slots

POP DIMMs according to PDSG population table

E.0058008 DIMM failed memory test, DIMM

Reseat and attempt to POST again

Replace failed DIMM (indicate FRU failure light)

Ensure DIMM is same type and speed as others

E.00580A1 invalid DIMM population for mirroring mode

If there any DIMM LEDs asserted, resolve failure

Populate DIMMs according to population order per PDSG.

E. 00580A4 memory population changed, DIMM


o

Informational only, DIMM was added/remove/moved

E.0058007 unsupported DIMM population, DIMM


o

POP DIMMs according to population order per PDSG

Memory runtime events

E.0051003 Uncorrectable DIMM Error


o

If affected DIMM POST memory test, reseat

Replace all DIMMs with FRU fault light that is on.

Note: Your server offers single DIMM failure isolation, no need to replace DIMM
pairs unless both have fault led on

F1 setup and re-enable all disabled DIMMs , save settings

Run pDSA memory test

E.0058001 PFA threshold exceeded

Note: These action steps can be followed at the next maintenance interval and
the server will remain operational. The customer should be advised that the
likelihood of fatal memory event is increased when any DIMM has hit its
Correctable PFA limit.

March 2009

Update UEFI Firmware to current level

Reseat DIMMs and run pDSA memory test


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o

If problem persists, IBM recommends replacement of affected DIMM (can


be identified by DIMM fault LED)

P.00580A5 mirror failover complete


o

Loss of redundancy, check log for DIMM failure (uncorrectable, or PFA)


events and handle accordingly

Re-enable mirroring mode

System board DIMM details

Figure 25: System board DIMM details

To enable a DIMM after a RAS event:


F1 setup -> system settings -> memory -> system board DIMM details
If a DIMM is disabled due to an error or failure the user can enable. The user cannot
disable and enable DIMM.

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DIMM population error


Example of DIMM details view with a population error view. Note the text in the right
column stating the corrective action plan.

Figure 26: DIMM population error example

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Example of population error


Post error event log view
F1 setup -> system event logs -> POST event viewer

Figure 27: Population error example

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System event log

Figure 28: System event log

Summary

Memory SBE PFA events will result in a Fault LED on affected DIMM (along with
SEL and aux Log entry).

Memory configuration errors are called out on a per-DIMM basis. Use this to determine
which DIMM is incorrectly populated.

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RAS features
PCI event data
IPMI platform events for PCI are extremely limited. It is recommended to use:

pDSA to capture PCI failure data from UEFI aux log

F1 setup > system event logs > system event log > firmware event to view the
decoded firmware event extended service data.

PCIe event example


Investigate each event in detail in the SEL to see the root cause of the issue. Details of
each IPMI platform event are located in the systems PDSG.
<F1> setup -> system event logs -> system event log

Figure 29: PCIe event

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Three boot failure

Provides detection and recovery of non-POST-able configurations:


o

Recovery mechanism involves hiding the NVRAM server configuration,


forcing code to use safe-boot values.

Figure 30: Recovery mechanism

Automated BIOS Recovery (ABR) and watchdog

ABR scenarios
o

ABR timer

UEFI does not fetch sufficient number of instructions to disable the ABR timer prior
to it expiring

UEFI detects that code that will be later executed is corrupt


o

Watchdog timer

Disabled by default, can be enabled from F1 setup->settings->IMM

Cleared on POST complete event

Recovery methods

March 2009

While booting backup, press F3 at firmware splash-screen to reset


server into primary Bank

Through IPMI command

Through IMM Web interface

If both banks are non-bootable

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If locked code is good (CRTM+PEI), you can use IMM to reflash


UEFI banks out of band

Clear Real Time Clock (RTC) and Complimentary Metal Oxide Semiconductor
(CMOS)

Clearing RTC or battery through the appropriate jumper, switch or by removing the
battery, results in the loss of configuration for first-generation IBM-UEFI servers just
as it does on Legacy systems.

IBM-UEFI restores the server configuration to default values if the RTC battery
status indicates loss of battery.

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Legacy (BIOS) compatibility


Compatibility Support Module (CSM) overview
The CSM is one of UEFI's components (see architecture topic)

The CSM is not Legacy BIOS:


o

The CSM is a collection of UEFI drivers 16-bit assembly modules that


together provide Legacy compatibility to UEFI firmware.

While its goal is to produce an environment that is equivalent to what


BIOS produced in the past, it does so in a completely different manner.

The CSM has two main functions:


o

Provides UEFI support for devices that do not have a UEFI driver, but do
have a Legacy option ROM (PCI option ROM support):

Limited to video and PCI mass storage devices.

Provides support for Legacy operating system, installation / execution.

The CSM mirrors support provided on previous (BIOS) systems, with several
changes:
o

Support added for USB 2.0 (Legacy USB).

Support added for PCI FW 3.0 option Roms.

CSM includes the limitations of the Legacy environment.

Helps, but does not eliminate 1801 errors.

Software iSCSI (iBoot) is supported.

Requires UEFI driver for Ethernet devices.

Limitations exists relating to multiple targets and attempts.

Supports both native and compatibility mode IDE (no Advanced Host
Controller Interface (AHCI) support provided by the CSM).

CSM integration into UEFI firmware:

March 2009

Automatically invoked when needed, such as during the running of a


Legacy option ROM or OS boot.

Configuration options are integrated into setup, so there is no separate


setup utility or boot menu for Legacy support.

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CSM configuration options

Figure 31: Legacy support

To view
F1 setup > system settings > Legacy support
Note: The settings shown in the following screens cannot be default. Currently
Microsoft Windows 2008 Server needs to have the Legacy video on boot.

Force Legacy video on start:


o

Rehook Int 19h:


o

This setting controls the type of video support when the system starts.
This option should almost always be set to enable. Disabling this breaks
Microsoft Windows Server 2008 (UEFI mode).
This setting determines if we enable a Legacy option ROM to take over
the boot process (to run a configuration utility for example).

Legacy thunk support


o

March 2009

This setting determines if we enable UEFI to use a Legacy option ROM to


control a device for which there is no UEFI driver. This should be enabled
in most cases.

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CSM configuration options

Figure 32: Devices and I/O ports

F1 setup > system settings > devices and I/O ports

Configure SATA:
o

Configure IDE mode:


o

This setting determines the IDE mode of the system: compatibility or


native. This setting is mainly for systems that support booting from IDE /
SATA hard disks. Not all operating systems support native mode. If
unsure, set to compatibility mode (not all systems will have this entry.)

Enable or disable Legacy ROM execution:


o

The CSM only supports IDE. No other setting will be supported in Legacy
mode (not all systems will have this entry).

Allows for the individual selection of Legacy option ROMs to disable. This
is useful in the case where you are running out of ROM space, or want to
speed up post time by not running unnecessary ROMs.

Set option ROM execution order:


o

March 2009

Enables you to specify what order option ROMs will run. This is useful for
both space and Legacy boot device priority.

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Console redirection settings

Figure 33: Console redirection settings

Remote console enable:


o

This must be enabled for console redirection.

Legacy option ROM display:


o

This determines what serial port will be used for Legacy redirection.

Note: The CSM only supports output to a single remote console at a time. It is not
possible to have both a SOL and SP redirection session running concurrently under
the CSM.

Active after boot:


o

March 2009

This determines if redirection is terminated when we begin the OS boot


process.

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OS support
Today the CSM is required for all supported operating systems.

UEFI*:
o

Microsoft Windows Server 2008 x64 is not 100% UEFI compliant. It


requires Legacy video support through the Int 10h Interface.

Legacy:
o

The CSM supports ACPI / MPS aware operating systems, Windows


Server 2008, all flavors of Microsoft Windows Server 2003, RHEL 4.x /
5.x, SLES 10, and VMware 3.5. See system specifications for complete
list. DOS is not supported.

*Linux distributions are rapidly catching up and will support UEFI (x86_64) in the very
near future. It is expected that they will not have the Legacy video / CSM requirement.

UEFI and CSM interaction

Using a Legacy option ROM controlled device under UEFI:


o

Requires use of a Thunk driver. A Thunk driver maps UEFI protocol


methods to a Legacy Int XX device.

This allows a Legacy device to speak UEFI so the system can use
it.

We provide thunk drivers to support both Video through Int 10h and
PCI mass storage devices through Int 13.

There are some drawbacks to using Legacy option ROM devices under UEFI:

March 2009

A lot of overhead in processor mode switching for Legacy interrupts (this


is only seen during the boot process not in the runtime environment)

Multiple USB enumerations on option ROM initialization (for mass storage


devices)

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Native UEFI driver vs. Legacy Thunk driver

Figure 34: UEFI driver vs. Legacy thunk driver

Booting into a Legacy environment:


o

March 2009

After the system determines that we are trying to start into a Legacy
environment the following steps take place:

UEFI passes all of the necessary tables / structures / boot order to


the CSM.

UEFI disconnects all UEFI drivers from devices.

UEFI then runs any Legacy Option ROMs that are found in the
order defined by setup.

UEFI tells the CSM to update tables and start. This is the point of
no return, the CSM now owns the machine, and UEFI is essentially
gone.

At this point, the CSM ensures that everything is setup to look like
and behaves as a BIOS boot environment.

The CSM issues a Int 19h and attempts to boot from the device(s)
specified by UEFI.

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Figure 35: Simple block read

UEFI and CSM interaction

When Booting into a Legacy environment, there can be some pitfalls:


o

There are cases where we cannot be able to map UEFI devices to Legacy
drive numbers on a 1:1 basis. Depending upon the boot order, disk
arrangement, option ROM execution order, this can prevent booting.

If you know you are starting a Legacy OS, then it is suggested to move the
Legacy only boot option to the top of the boot order. PXE booting can
have a similar situation, under the CSM environment.

PXE boot order is controlled by the option ROM execution order.

Some things to watch for:

Installing a Legacy OS to a disk previously used for a UEFI OS (having a Global


Unique Identifier (GUID) Partition Table (GPT)) will fail.
o

March 2009

Legacy operating system does not know how to handle GPT disks and
this will cause install failures. The failures will not be obvious in most
cases. The install can appear to finish as normal, with the result being an
unbootable disk.

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Diskpart.efi (UEFI shell utility), or Diskpart.exe (from Microsoft


Windows PE) enable you to clean the disks so they are useable in
a Legacy environment.

Legacy tables cannot be present in low memory when starting to a UEFI OS.
o

When starting to a UEFI OS, as a general rule, Legacy tables that did
reside in the 0xE0000 -> 0xFFFFF memory region cannot be present.
Under UEFI, scanning low memory for tables is not the supported method.
Please see the UEFI specification / OS specific documentation for how to
obtain the required data.

Summary
The CSM provides support for Legacy devices used under UEFI through Thunk drivers.
The CSM provides install and boot support for Legacy operating systems which are
ACPI / MPS compliant. Today, all operating systems require the CSM.

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Boot operations

Figure 36: Boot manager

Boot manager
F1 Setup > boot manager
From this screen you can add items to the boot menu or change the boot order.

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Figure 37: File explorer

Some of the items you can see:

CD/DVD ROM

iSCSI critical

Floppy disk

Legacy only

Hard disk 0-4

Embedded hypervisor

PXE network

USB storage

Diagnostics

iSCSI

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Start options

Figure 38: Start options

F1 setup > start options


The start osptions screen shows the current boot order.

CD/DVD ROM

Looks for first CD/DVD ROM drive with media

Examines boot catalog for bootable partitions


o

A CD/DVD can be marked as bootable. If so, it is also marked with a type.


There are two types of boot catalog entry recognized EFI and x86.

If EFI bootable partition exists, Boot EFI object

If a x86 bootable partition exists, Boot Legacy mode.

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Floppy disk

Always bootable in x86 mode.

The default boot code on a diskette displays the message Non-system disk or disk
error when not a system disk.

Microsoft Windows XP zeros an extra two bytes. UEFI recognizes this and makes
Microsoft Windows XP formatted diskette appear as not bootable.

Hard disk 0 through hard disk 4

Can be either MBR (master boot record) or GPT (GUID (global unique identifier)
partition table):
o

MBR is the Legacy method of disk partitions.

Legacy OSs can only be installed on MBR disks.

EFI OSs can only be installed on GPT disks.

Disk is inspected for eligibility to boot, and if bootable, the proper mode is
attempted.

Hard disk 0 through hard disk 4 UEFI booting

Support for \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI requires UEFI boot order entry lower in the
list to work. If the UEFI boot order entry is lost, load the defaults. UEFI OS must be
manually started to recreate the UEFI boot entry.

PXE network

Uses PXE configuration:


o

To determine UEFI or Legacy mode

For UEFI mode, determines which NIC to use

USB storage

First one detected is eligible for booting:


o

Embedded hypervisor key is excluded

If USB media contains \EFI\BOOT\BOOTX64.EFI, the USB key is started in UEFI


mode.

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If not UEFI, or UEFI image returns failed, and USB Key has MBR formatted for x86
start, the USB key is started in Legacy mode.

Diagnostics

Boots to on board diagnostics:


o

Not expected to be in the boot order, but can be added if necessary.

Designed to always enter diagnostics when processed.

Targeted for use by F12 or IPMI SetBootOptions

iSCSI and iSCSI critical

Uses ISCSI Configuration


o

To determine UEFI or Legacy mode

To get parameters for accessing iSCSI initiator and setting iSCSI target

In UEFI mode, determines which NICs to use

iSCSI Critical means retry forever


o

External event required to restart the system if iSCSI fails

Legacy only

Used as an override, not a boot item


o

Processes the next four (4) generic options as potential Legacy boot
options

Forces the transition to Legacy mode

Primary use is to force an x86 boot of a dual boot CD/DVD ROM

Also can be used to attempt booting a device not known to the UEFI
environment (adapter without UEFI driver)

Embedded hypervisor

Used to boot an embedded hypervisor key

March 2009

Only boots the IBM embedded hypervisor key

Not limited to the internal USB port


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Summary

Legacy mode
o

UEFI mode to Legacy mode is a one way transaction.

F12
o

Cannot try Legacy mode then boot to UEFI. For example, a Legacy
bootable CD that displays Press Any Key to install cannot return to
the boot order to boot an UEFI OS.

Available during boot, activated by pressing F12

Presents a list of all bootable options

List includes all generic options

IPMI SetBootOptions (CLI mode)

March 2009

Standard options supported

PXE Default

HDD (Hard Disk 0)

CD/DVD floppy disk

Reserved value of 1100b is used for hypervisor

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iFlash
What is iFlash
Integrated-Flash (iFlash) is an on-line platform independent system firmware update
utility. iFlash is shipped packaged together with each firmware update package (UXSP
Update Xpress system package). iFlash can be run from a command line interface or a
graphical user interface.

Benefits of iFlash

Single tool for all firmware updates for all new system platforms
o

Communicates with IMM Flash Manager

Update system firmware on IMM/UEFI systems:


o

IMM

UEFI

pDSA

Included as part of the firmware update packages

IFlash usage using the update package


The packages available to download from the support site are IMM, UEFI, and pDSA.
Example of a package name is ibm_fw_imm_yuoo19a_windows_32-64.exe.

CLI from either Microsoft Windows and Linux (most used option)

Syntax: ibm_fw_imm_yuoo19a_windows_32-64 <up_options> <flash_options>


o

<up_options>

-x : extract content

-s : run update silent and unattended

<flash_options>

--backup : secondary flash

--no-boot : restart control

--user / --pass : authentication

--silent : no output from iflash

Example ibm_fw_imm_yuoo19a_windows_32-64.exe x

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From Microsoft Windows only (GUI option)


Running the Microsoft Windows executable brings up the following GUI. The two
options are:

Perform update

Extract to hard drive

Extract to hard drive allows scripting to occur.

Figure 39: Firmware update

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iFlash Use running CLI

Figure 40: CLI

Extract package content (-x or GUI)

Tool is interactive (attended) by default

Syntax:
o

iflash --package <fw_update.upd> [<options>] [<connectivity_parms>]

iFlash highlights and options usage

iFlash does have platform checks to avoid incorrect cross machine UEFI flashing

Requires a running LAN connection


o

Auto installs and configures the IMM in-band interface

Options:
o

March 2009

--force:

Used by Update Package invocation

This option can force a downlevel code to be installed

unattended:

When used from CLI removes the prompt

Not required or used by Update Package invoke

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o

package:

Defines the FW package to use for the update

Not required by Update Package invoke since it is implicit (correct


FW is in the package)

--no-reboot:

IMM Flash Manager controls the restart (IMM only today)

Design to override the IMM Flash Manager directed IMM reboot

Use case: avoid losing remote presence control

How to determine the current firmware level?


The command used is:

iflash.exe --package imm_yuoo18a.upd

The result shows the automatic in-band connection to the IMM and current IMM VPD.

Figure 41: Result screen

March 2009

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Overview of iFlash data flow

iFlash has a control channel and a data channel

Control channel (LAN or KCS)

KCS is not authenticated (restricted users)

LAN requires authentication <connectivity_parms>

Uses IMM account default values when not specified

Default settings: USERID/PASSW0RD

Data channel - firmware transfer (LAN only)

March 2009

Acquired authentication through control channel

FTP data transfer

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Figure 42: iFlash data flow

Summary
The update express support packages available on the IBM support site will have a
Microsoft Windows version and a Linux version.
Support Update Packages are available for:

IMM

pDSA

UEFI

March 2009

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The packages can be installed out of band using the IMM interface or in-band directly
from the operating system. In either method, in-band or out of band, the data is staged
into the firmware. While the system is in a start state there are sections of firmware
memory space that are locked (write protected). Only on the next system restart, during
the initialization phase, can these memory locations can be updated.

March 2009

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Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) technology ASU

ASU
What is ASU?
ASU is the Advanced Settings Utility an on-line platform independent system firmware
configuration utility. It has a command line interface that integrates and consolidates
other configuration applications. Also available for unattended mode is a scripting
capability that can be used in batch mode setting.

What does ASU do for customers?


ASU is a customer tool and has the following features:

Configure Legacy BIOS, BMC, RSA firmware settings

Configure IMM (SP and IPMI), uEFI, VPD and iSCSI

Supported in multiple OS (Microsoft Windows/Windows PE, Linux, VMware)

Uses Legacy configuration files (DEF) that define system and subsystem specific
settings

IMM settings support does not require a configuration file. The configuration file is
embedded in the IMM.

Additional converged applications / utilities

Available for free download on the Web as package:


o

www.ibm.com/systems/support/supportsite.wss/docdisplay?brandind=500
000 8&lndocid=MIGR-55021

Single command
o

Syntax: asu set setting value [-v] [-nx] [connectivity]

Perform a single setting: set IMM external IP

Command line:

Output:

March 2009

asu set IMM.HostIPAddress1 "192.168.70.125"


IMM.HostIPAddress1= "192.168.70.125"

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ASU use case (batch command)

Batch command (scripting support)


o

Syntax:

asu batch batch_filename

Sample for setting several settings

Command line:

asu batch CmdList.txt

batch_filename content:

set IMM.HostIPAddress1 "192.168.70.125"

set BootOrder.WolBootOrder=Network=Hard Disk 0

ASU command set

Rich inventory of commands

Use of the additional command set is as a deployment or provisioning tool

Syntax:
o

asu [application] <command> [<options>] [<connectivity_parms>]

Command set:
o

set ......................................................Set setting to a value

loaddefault .........................................Load Factory Defaults

show / showdefault / showvalues.........List Settings and Values

showgroups........................................Show groups of settings

batch..................................................Set multiple settings

save/restore/replicate........................Backup and System copies

Command set (Legacy only):


o

readraw/writeraw................................CMOS raw data handling

patch.................................................Add external config file

BMC/RSA specific (Legacy only)

March 2009

Import/Export/Generate.................... RSA certificate management

Reset............................................... Hardware reset

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ASU save, restore, and replicate features

Save or restore
o

Back up existing machine settings into a file

Simple format: simple manual re-configuration

Replicate
o

Use to clone machine settings (one-to-many)

Uses same format as save/restore (manual configuration)

Automatic IMM CM archived settings

Settings archived when migrating UEFI or IMM versions

Example:
asu save save.txt
save.txt content:
MM.HostName1=IMM-001A64E60694
IMM.HostIPAddress1=192.168.70.125
IMM.HostIPSubnet1=255.255.255.0
IMM.GatewayIPAddress1=0.0.0.0

ASU showvalues

Powerful command

Displays:
o

Per setting syntax

default setting <>

possible values = (single only)

settings min/max w/default setting

settings list == (allows multiple)

Example
March 2009

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asu showvalues
Sample output:
IMM.SNMPv3_AuthenticationProtocol.1=<HMAC-MD5>=HMAC-SHA
IMM.NTPFrequency= numeric min=0 max=3600 default=80
IMM.AuthorityLevel.1=<Supervisor>=ReadOnly=Custom
IMM.RemoteAlertRecipient_Status.1=<Enabled>=Disabled
IMM.SerialBaudRate=2400=4800=9600=19200=38400=57600=<115200>=230400
BootOrder.BootOrder==CD/DVD Rom=Floppy Disk=Hard Disk 0=Network=Hard
Disk 1=Hard Disk 2=Hard Disk 3=Hard Disk 4=USB
Storage=Diagnostics=iSCSI=iSCSI Critical=Legacy Only=Embedded Hypervisor

ASU block diagram

Same ASU for local or remote access

Local access
o

KCS or LAN connectivity

Remote access through LAN only

All required components are integrated and automated

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Figure 43: ASU block diagram

ASU XML file intro

Settings defined in XML file


o

Transfers between ASU and IMM-CM (config manager)

Transferred as compressed file (performance)

End users do not see or use the XML file

March 2009

ASU provide a facility to dump file

Special tool required to decompress

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Figure 44: XML config doc

ASU IMM settings structure

Setting defined in groups


o

IMM

UEFI

SYSTEM_PROD_DATA

BootOrder

Settings Syntax

<group_id>.<setting_name>

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Example:
o

IMM.HostIPAddress1=192.168.70.125

<group_id>.<setting_name>.<instance>

Example:
o

IMM.LoginId.1=USERID

Command short cuts (see demo)

asu showgroups

asu show uefi

asu show imm.hostipaddress1

asu show --setlist <set_name> <set_name>

Figure 45: ASU IMM settings

ASU supported subsystems

IMM

March 2009

SP (RSA replacement)

IPMI (small subset)


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Subset of Web GUI

Subset of F1 set up

Boot Order (lists special syntax)

UEFI

System Product Data (VPD)


o

Replaced xFLASH set of commands

Instances (replacement for Legacy utility)

iSCSI

ASU instances syntax

Special syntax for certain settings

Syntax:
o

<group_id>.<setting_name>.<instance>

Normally instances are a decimal sequential number


o

example: asu show imm.loginid.1 where the one is the decimal number

Figure 46: ASU instances syntax

VPD settings (UUID and DMI)

FRU configuration

How to configure when hardware is replaced?

March 2009

Special group of settings

Grouped in: SYSTEM_PROD_DATA

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Figure 47: VPD settings

Settings include:

SYSTEM_PROD_DATA.SysInfoProdName

SYSTEM_PROD_DATA.SysInfoSerialNum

SYSTEM_PROD_DATA.SysInfoUUID

SYSTEM_PROD_DATA.SysEncloseAssetTa

ASU

How to invoke ASU to connect to IMM?


o

Use the connectivity parameters

Syntax:

asu [application] <command> [<options>] [connectivity_parms]

Connectivity Parameters:
o

March 2009

--host <ip_address>
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Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) technology ASU


o

--user <user_id>

--password <password>

Figure 48: ASU

ASU connectivity on-line/in-band

LAN/USB Access
o

Authentication is required

Host IP is optional

Microsoft Windows: INF/CAT

Linux: Config Script

Auto IMM Configuration


ASU integrates function to auto configured/set up OS for LAN
access

Example:

March 2009

Default setting used when not specified (ip_addr=169.254.95.118)

Additional components required (included in package)

Default settings used when not specified (user_id=USERID


password=PASSW0RD)

asu set IMM.HostIPAddress1 9.5.51.10 [--host <ip_addr> --user


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<user> --password <pwd>]

KCS
o

Restricted users (no authentication)

Fallback process to in-band LAN failures when LAN access when host is
not specified

Works as-is using Legacy command syntax:

asu set <setting_name> <setting_value>

Example:

asu set IMM.HostIPAddress1 192.168.70.125

ASU connectivity out-of-band (remote)

LAN access (external IMM port)

Invoke from any remote client (Microsoft Windows/Linux)

Requires the --host <ip_addr> parameter

Example:
o

asu set IMM.HostIPAddress1 192.168.70.125 --host <ip> [--user <user> -password <pwd>]

ASU boot order configuration

Special group: BootOrder

List style settings:


o

BootOrder.BootOrder=item1=item2=item-n

All items in the list or a subset can be specified

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Figure 49: ASU boot order configuration

ASU application consolidation

ASU integrates the following applications:


o

Savestat

used by Microsoft Windows PE tool kit

See ASU help for details

iSCSI

Configure iSCSI settings using standard ASU command set

IMM Auto LAN Configuration

Auto configures the IMM LAN in Microsoft Windows and Linux

Requires usbutils rpm (Linux)

ASU application cmd syntax


o

asu [<application>] <command> [<options>] [<connect_parms>]

ASU troubleshooting

Messages related to potential user errors to note:


o

Unable to validate userid/password on IMM

Established KCS connection to the IMM

March 2009

When attempting LAN connection failed to authenticate


Connected through KCS. Is LAN configured? Other messages can
provide details.
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o

Failed to connect to local IMM

LAN-over-USB device not configured

Either LAN or KCS access is failing when running on-line


Auto config code failed to set up the IMM

LAN/USB Log Parameter:

March 2009

-l <number> where number 0,1, 2

0/1 are standard out/err (always on)

2> is debug aids

Logs all output to asu.log in current directory

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Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) technology Summary

Summary
This course enabled you to:
1. Explain what UEFI is and why it is now IBM's standard firmware interface.
2. Explain how to navigate within the UEFI interface.
3. Define the components that make up the UEFI components.
4. Define the firmware events and logging capabilities with a UEFI system.
5. Define how to interpret diagnostic codes.
6. Define the memory RAS features of UEFI.
7. Define other RAS features of UEFI.
8. Explain Legacy mode operations and CSM.
9. Define the boot operations and how to add a boot device.
10. Define how iFlash works.
11. Describe the principles of ASU.
UEFI is part of the next generation of servers moving away from the old BIOS systems
of yesterday. UEFI leaves in the past many of the legacy issues that have plagued the
servers such as 1801 errors. DOS tools and utilities are no longer supported allowing
the community to move ahead to more powerful tools in the support of this new platform
of systems.
This new generation of systems gives the service and support community more
powerful tools and logging capabilities. It provides a common/uniform tool platform and
methodology across the IBM System x and BladeCenter server environment.

March 2009

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