Solarflare firmware update utility 4 adapter limit Linux only



Source

RETAIN tip: H21300

Symptom

The Solarflare firmware update utility will fail to install the firmware on more than four (4) adapters connected to a system.

That means the update only works on the first four (4) adapters found on the Peripheral Component Interconnect Express (PCIe) bus.

This is a limitation of the utility and the release level of the Linux operating systems (OSes).

Later versions of Linux and the Solarflare firmware update utility do not have this limitation.

The failure is exhibited by the Solarflare firmware update utility failing to run to successful completion (see attachments).

This limitation is documented in the Solarflare Users Manual and its exert is documented in the following.

This limitation is valid for these adapters:

  • Solarflar 10 GB Dual-Port Host Bus Adapter (HBA) (NetFlare) Option part number 47C9954 vendor number SFN5162F
  • Solarflar 10 GB Low-latency Dual-Port HBA (HyperFlare) Option part number 47C9952 vendor number SFN6122F

Affected configurations

The system is configured with at least one of the following:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, any update 9
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6, any update
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11, any service pack
  • SUSE Linux SLED 10, any service pack

This tip is not system specific.

This tip is not option specific.

Note: This does not imply that the network operating system will work under all combinations of hardware and software.

Please see the compatibility page for more information:

Solution

This is a limitation of older versions of Linux OSes.

Workaround

The Solarflare Users Manual calls out this limitation as stated in the following:

  Sfupdate: Linux MTD Limitations

Linux kernel versions prior to 2.6.20 support up to 16 MTD (flash) devices. The Solarflare adapter is equipped with six (6) flash partitions. If more than two (2) such adapters are deployed within a system, a number of flash partitions will be inaccessible during upgrade.

The limit was raised to 32 in Linux kernel version 2.6.20 and removed altogether in 2.6.35.

Users should consider one (1) of the following options when upgrading firmware on systems equipped with more than two (2) Solarflare adapters:

Note: All Applications accelerated with 'OpenOnload' should be terminated before updating the firmware with sfupdate.

  1. Upgrade two (2) adapters at a time with the other adapters removed.
  2. Upgrade the kernel.
  3. Rebuild the kernel, raising the value of 'MAX_MTD_DEVICES' in 'include/linux/mtd/mtd.h.'

The workaround is for the following adapters:

  • Solarflar 10 GB Dual-Port Host Bus Adapter (HBA) (NetFlare) Option part number 47C9954 vendor number SFN5162F
  • Solarflar 10 GB Low-latency Dual-Port HBA (HyperFlare) Option part number 47C9952 vendor number SFN6122F

Additional information

Linux kernel versions prior to 2.6.20 support up to 16 MTD (flash) devices. The Solarflare adapter is equipped with six (6) flash partitions.

If more than two (2) such adapters are deployed within a system, a number of flash partitions will be inaccessible during upgrade.

The limit was raised to 32 in Linux kernel version 2.6.20 and removed altogether in 2.6.35.

Applicable countries and regions

 


Document id:  MIGR-5093096
Last modified:  2013-12-12
Copyright © 2014 IBM Corporation