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Updating IPMI firmware on a SuperMicro server

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Super_Micro_Computer_Logo.svgLast week we moved to a new office building and a old SuperMicro server popped up. In particular a SuperMicro X8DTL-IF in a 936A-R1200B chassis. It’s a rather old server now, but since I want to use this machine for SAN-like testing and purposes it comes in handy for me! In the past this machine was used as a big storage box containing backupdata and never received system maintance like BIOS updates for example. So upon examining the unit I found out that it was running the stock firmwares that were present at the time of delivery so the IPMI firmware running is version 02.02 whereas the current version is 03.13. In this post I will explain how to update the IPMI firmware on this mainboard using the webinterface.

Management interface:
The machine has a management network interface which works by using IPMI. The management interface can be reached via the webbrowser if you browse to it’s assigned IP-address. Even when the machine itself is powered off (but connected to mains) the management interface is accessible and allows you to perform several maintance related tasks like remote power management, KVM and console redirection. If you access it via the browser a login screen like below appears:
Screenshot_20160606_113508
The default username is ADMIN and the password is ADMIN.

Checking the IPMI firmware version:
Once logged in to the interface go to System -> System Information and the following information should be displayed (version numbers may vary):
Screenshot_20160606_114158

Getting the IPMI firmware update:
I cannot give downloads for this as this is updated regularly and may vary per board used. Please navigate to the SuperMicro website and browse to the board that you use. On the specitications page go to “IPMI Firmware” link. You should end up with a .ZIP file containing a .bin file. Extract that to a convenient place.

Updating the IPMI firmware:
The update process is pretty straight-forward. In the web interface go to Maintenance -> Firmware update. On the page that shows up you will need to enable update mode by clicking the Enter Update Mode and confirm that you want to do so on the popup that shows up.
A file selector button appears, point to the .bin file that is in the downloaded .ZIP file and select the Upload file button. Once the file is uploaded a confirmation screen appears which shows the current running version and the newly installing version:
Screenshot_20160606_120648
If you want your current settings to be preserved, leave the checkbox ticked. Not ticking the box will reset all settings to factory defaults.

Click on the Start Upgrade button to start the upgrade, the progress will be showed after clicking the button:
Screenshot_20160606_121217

When the update is finished the management interface will reboot and you will return back to the login screen.

Checking the new installed firmware:
Log back in to the web interface to check if the firmware was installed successfully, go to System -> System Information to check the new version. In this case the upgrade has succeeded:
Screenshot_20160606_121646

Author:langerak

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