SuperMicro Build – BIOS and IPMI

Upgrading the BIOS and IPMI firmware is not necessary but I do highly recommend at least the IPMI update. Depending on the age of your system the BIOS may already be up to date. I purchased three servers at the same time, from MITXPC and two of them already had the updated BIOS firmware. Upgrading the firmware can be a daunting task, especially if you have just bought a new server. The last thing you want to do is break your new server by upgrading the Firmware incorrectly. Luckily the process to upgrade the firmware is pretty straight forward so I went ahead and did it just to be sure. If you aren’t comfortable taking responsibility for upgrading your firmware then just upgrade the IPMI software.

Upgrading the BIOS Firmware and IPMI

Download the SuperMicro BIOS update and IPMI update files from the website here:

https://www.supermicro.com/support/bios/firmware.aspx

https://www.supermicro.com/support/resources/results.aspx

The IPMI update will all you to use the iKVM/HTML5 console screen rather than the older JAVA based console. This is much easier to use and much more secure.

In order to upgrade the BIOS firmware you need to boot to a USB disk and apply the firmware update from there. I use Rufus to create the bootable USB disk. There are no specific configuration details that you need to configure with Rufus other than to use a FAT32 file system and select the FreeDOS bootable image.

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Once this is finished, copy the relevant files to the USB drive. You can see below that I have also copied the SuperMicro IPMI tool. This is handy in case you need to reset the IPMI settings.

IPMICFG_1.26.0_20161227 – SuperMicro IPMI Configuration Tool

REDFISH_X10_346 – SuperMicro IPMI Update

X10SDVF6_A03 – SuperMicro BIOS Update

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Insert the USB drive into your SuperMicro E200 and boot to the USB. You will need to Select the non UEFI bootable device that represents your USB drive.

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When FreeDOS has booted, change the directory to the BIOS Update folder and then type:

FLASH.bat

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The BIOS update will now run. It takes a while, so be patient. Once it is complete you will see the below confirmation to power-off the system. For good measure it is also recommended by SuperMicro to reset the CMOS.

The BIOS update is now complete. The next step is to update the IPMI.

The IPMI update can be done from the UI very easily. If you haven’t already configured the IPMI, log into the BIOS and on the IPMI tab configure your networking settings.

Type the IP address for the IPMI into a web browser and then enter the default username and password (needs to be capitals):

Username: ADMIN

Password: ADMIN

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Under the Maintenance tab, select Firmware Update.

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Press the button to “Enter Maintenance Mode” and then upload your IPMI Update file.

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Once the files are uploaded you will need to un-tick the Preserve settings options. This is required by SuperMicro as part of the IPMI upgrade. If you leave these options ticked the upgrade may fail.

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The upgrade may take a while and the system will reboot once it has finished. Once the upgrade is complete you can see the Firmware Revision is now updated.

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After the IPMI upgrade is complete, you can now launch a iKVM/HTML5 remote console session.

Your hardware is now ready to use. The next blog post will be demonstrating the VMware Validated Design and the Automated Deployment Toolkit, which will build the entire SDDC stack in my home lab, FULLY AUTOMATED.

Home Lab Build Series

IntroductionHome Lab Build – From the Start

Part 1SuperMicro vs Intel NUC

Part 2 – SuperMicro Build – The Components

Part 3SuperMicro Build – The Installation

Part 4SuperMicro Build – BIOS and IPMI

Part 5 – Networking Configuration

Part 6 – VVD – Automated Deployment Toolkit – vSphere, VSAN, NSX and vDP

Part 7 –  VVD – Automated Deployment Toolkit – vRA, vRO, vROps and Log Insight


PreviousSuperMicro Build – The InstallationNext – Networking Configuration