Update BIOS firmware on multiple systems at once using Supermicro Update Manager (SUM)

Update BIOS firmware on multiple systems at once using Supermicro Update Manager (SUM)

One method to update BIOS and IPMI firmware remotely is via the Supermicro Update Manager command-line tool, a.k.a. "SUM".

Before using SUM for BIOS updates, it is critical to ensure that all target systems are of the same motherboard model. If you flash an incorrect BIOS image onto a system it is not meant for, it could brick the motherboard and/or void the warranty. (Ask our Support Team to help you check if you are not sure; use the email address listed at the end of this article.)

Secondly, for BIOS updates, all target systems must also have a SUM key or license applied.

You can confirm on any given system that SUM has been applied by looking in the IPMI webGUI under Maintenance > BIOS firmware update. If you see no greyed-out license key fields, this indicates SUM already activated.

Using the SUM command line utility will likely be more expedient to check multiple machines' SUM activation status, however. Here are two such methods:

# ./sum -l <file-name-with-BMC-IP-addresses.txt> -u ADMIN -p ADMIN -c QueryProductKey

NOTE: If the count you get back is equal to the number of systems you're querying, then all the systems have SUM activated.

# ./sum -l <filen-name-with-BMC-IP-addresses.txt> -u ADMIN -p ADMIN -c CheckOOBSupport

Example output -- The console output contains the following information:

Node Product Key Activated.......OOB
Feature Toggled On...............YES

BMC FW Version...................02.41
BMC Supports OOB BIOS Config.....Yes
BMC Supports OOB DMI Edit........Yes

BIOS Board ID....................0660
BIOS Build Date..................2013/9/18
BIOS Supports OOB BIOS Config....Yes
BIOS Supports OOB DMI Edit.......Yes

NOTE: If all nodes list OOB under Node Product Key Activated, you can proceed to the next step.

NOTE: If you have some that aren't activated, request a SUM license key; our Sales team can provide you with a quote to apply to any systems that are lacking this.

Here is a link to further information and downloads for SUM: https://www.supermicro.com/products/nfo/SMS_SUM.cfm

Click on the link on that page titled "Download SMCI™ Software" to download Supermicro Update Manager (SUM) version 2.1.0 (latest at the time of this writing).

You will be asked to fill out a form including your name, company, and email address, and then accept a EULA on the next page, before you can download it.

The Linux download for this version is titled: "sum_2.1.0_Linux_x86_64_20180903.tar.gz".

Once you've established that all nodes are SUM-activated, please see the accompanying user guide included in your download.

Starting on p. 128, section 6, "Managing Multiple Systems (OOB Only)", you will find that, for instance, you can:

Get BIOS information from a list of systems:

# ./sum -l <system list file> [-u <username> -p <password>] -c GetBiosInfo [--file <filename>]

Update the BIOS firmware on a list of systems:

# ./sum -l SList.txt -u ADMIN -p PASSWORD –c GetBiosInfo --file SMCI_BIOS.rom

Fetch current BIOS configurations for a list of systems:

# ./sum -l <system list file> [-u <username> -p <password>] -c GetCurrentBiosCfg --file <USER_SETUP.file> [--overwrite]

Apply a specific BIOS configuration to all systems in a list:

# ./sum -l SList.txt -u ADMIN -p PASSWORD -c ChangeBiosCfg --file USER_SETUP.file --reboot

Important note on networking considerations:

In order to manage systems out-of-band via SUM, you will need to ensure the 'master' system and the 'target' nodes are all either in the same network and subnet, or that UDP port 623 is not blocked by your firewall. Most firewalls and switches block UDP 623 by default, meaning for the most part, customers must issue these commands from inside the same network, and not across subnets.

If you have any questions, or need support with using the SUM tool, please contact us in Support: support@siliconmechanics.com. We'd be glad to assist you.
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