Feature on Demand key replacement process for Emulex VFA/VFA III Adapter - IBM BladeCenter, Flex System, and System x


RETAIN tip: H205574


When a system board is replaced, the Function On Demand (FoD) activation keys on the original system board need to be transferred to the replacement system board. If users fail to export the activation keys from the original system board, the keys have to be retrieved from the IBM Key Management System (KMS) FoD web portal at the following URL:

Retrieval of keys using the web portal can be performed by machine type and serial number. In order to retrieve all keys, the adapter must have had keys installed at the IBM factory or it must be installed in the system it was identified with at the time of key creation in the field.

This data can be updated with the Adapter Mobility function of the web portal if an adapter is moved (or was keyed prior to this feature becoming active for field activations in the 4th Quarter of 2012).

In the event keys for a connected adapter with activated function do not get retrieved from the machine type and serial number query, the keys can be queried by the unique identifiers from the adapters.

For Emulex-based options, this unique identifier is a property of the Emulex Application-Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) that is etched into the silicon.

A new key is required for Emulex options that are connected to the component being replaced. Generation of a new key requires the identity of the old ASIC to effect a transfer of entitlement on the web portal. Entitlement transfer is initiated using the Hardware Replacement function on the web portal.

Affected configurations

The system may be any of the following IBM servers:

  • BladeCenter HS23, type 7875, any model
  • Flex System x220 Compute Node, type 2585, any model
    Flex System x220 Compute Node, type 7864, any model
    Flex System x220 Compute Node, type 7906, any model
    Flex System x240 Compute Node, type 8737, any model
    Flex System x440 Compute Node, type 2584, any model
    Flex System x440 Compute Node, type 7917, any model
  • System x3100 M4, type 2582, any model
  • System x3250 M4, type 2583, any model
  • System x3330 M4, type 7382, any model
  • System x3500 M4, type 7383, any model
  • System x3530 M4, type 7160, any model
  • System x3550 M4, type 7914, any model
  • System x3630 M4, type 7158, any model
  • System x3650 M4, type 7915, any model
  • iDataPlex dx360 M4 2U chassis, type 7913, any model
  • iDataPlex dx360 M4 server, type 7912, any model

The system is configured with one or more of the following IBM Options:

  • Emulex 10 Gigabit Ethernet Virtual Fabric Adapter III for IBM System x, Option part number 95Y3764, any replacement part number (CRU)
  • Flex System CN4054 10 Gigabit Virtual Fabric Adapter, Option part number 90Y3554, replacement part number (CRU) 90Y3557

This tip is not software specific.

The Emulex firmware for the M4-generation systems is affected.


The issue of keys not being retrieved by system serial number when they are keyed to a sub-element of the system that carries a different identifier has been corrected with a Features on Demand Web Portal database update.

The database schema now associates the machine type and serial number of the hosting machine or chassis to every key generated, such that a query by machine type and serial number will retrieve all keys that have been created and are installable into that server or chassis.

To enable field migration of adapter cards or I/O modules from one system or chassis to another, the web portal now supports a process flow, labeled Adapter Mobility to enable updating of the machine type and serial number association.

The instructions in the Symptom and Workaround sections of this Tip still apply to situations where a transfer of entitlement is required as part of a replacement process or where data in the database was created prior to the schema update and no further association has been made.


There are two (2) situations that require taking two (2) different actions to address the same root cause of system board replacement.

The first situation is when the Emulex parts are on a separate card. Only copies of the existing keys need to be installed after system board replacement for reactivation of function. Keys can be requested from the web portal at the following URL:

When prompted during the Key Retrieval process flow (querying by Unique ID), the Emulex FoD identifier for each ASIC will need to be entered by the user.

This identifier can be retrieved from Dynamic System Analysis (DSA) (both online and DSA preboot inventory reports will show the Emulex identifier in the Emulex section of the report). It also can be retrieved using the Emulex 'hbacmd' command line utility provided with the Emulex software support stack from IBM.


If using 'hbacmd,' invoke the following command:

hbacmd getfodinfo [MAC]

(where: '[MAC]' is the Media Access Control (MAC) address of one (1) of the ports for the ASIC being queried.)

The identifier information also can be retrieved from the system Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Setup Utility (entered by pressing F1 when prompted during UEFI initialization) under the sub-menu for adapter information.

Note: ASICs support two (2) ports apiece, so users may receive duplicate identifiers if they invoke this command against every Emulex-based MAC shown in their system device inventory. Identifiers are 32 digits in length and consist of letters and numbers.

If keys are retrieved by this process, but not visible in the system machine type and serial number query, users should execute the Adapter Mobility process flow to register the adapter with the system serial number to avoid having to repeat this process of key retrieval in the future.

The second situation is replacing a system board with the Emulex part directly connected to it, as is the case in the IBM Flex System x240 Compute Node, the Flex System x440 Compute Node, and IBM BladeCenter HS23.

For this situation, users need to transfer entitlement from the failing unit's ASICs to the replacement. This requires users to take note of the ASIC identifiers prior to removing the old unit and then utilizing the transfer of entitlement function after retrieving the old activation record on the FoD web portal.

If the information required to complete the Hardware Replacement task flow on the web portal is not available, users will need to contact IBM Level 2 service and request a new activation key of keys for the replacement part or parts at the following email address:

Additional information

The workaround details the steps required for users to retrieve keys for Emulex activations, both in the case where the keys needed already exist, and the case where a transfer of entitlement is required due to a physical part replacement, which is a side-effect of a system board replacement.

The web portal now maintains an additional database association between the machine type and serial number of the server the Emulex option activated at the time of activation, thus allowing a single system-identity-based query to retrieve all activation data, even when the activation is bound to something other than the machine type and serial number.

Applicable countries and regions


Document id:  MIGR-5090088
Last modified:  2013-03-20
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