Difference between pages "Git Merging Guide" and "Dell PowerEdge 11G Servers"

(Difference between pages)
 
 
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This page is here to show Funtoo Linux developers different techniques that can be used to merge various things.
+
__NOTITLE__
  
== Comparing Experimental and Master ==
+
== Funtoo Linux on Dell PowerEdge 11G Servers ==  
  
The best way to get a quick and dirty understanding of the differences between experimental and master is to do this:
+
This section provides valuable information regarding the use of Funtoo Linux on Dell PowerEdge 11G servers. This information has been validated on Dell PowerEdge R710 systems with Intel Xeon 5500 processors but should also apply to varying degrees to the entire Dell PowerEdge 11G family.
  
<console>
+
'''Please be sure to read all important compatibility notes associated with your specific Dell PowerEdge model, which can be found in the ''Important Compatibility Notes'' column in the table below:'''
# ##i##cd /root/git/funtoo-overlay
+
# ##i##git diff --stat origin/master origin/experimental
+
</console>
+
  
This will show a summary of what modifications where made on a file-by-file basis.
+
{| {{table}}
 +
!System
 +
!Form Factor
 +
!Processor
 +
!Integrated NIC
 +
!Important Compatibility Notes
 +
|-
 +
|R210
 +
|1U
 +
|Intel Xeon 3400 series
 +
|BCM 5716
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm">'''When using a non-RHEL-5 kernel, it's highly recommended to <tt>emerge broadcom-netxtreme2</tt> after installing your kernel, in order to use the latest drivers from Broadcom.com rather than the in-kernel <tt>bnx2</tt> (1GbE) or <tt>bnx2x</tt> (10GbE) drivers. This will help resolve firmware initialization and other hardware compatibility issues that may result in your network interfaces being unavailable at boot or performing sub-optimally under load. See [[#Kernel Compatibility|Kernel Compatibility]] for more information.'''</ref>
 +
|-
 +
|R310
 +
|1U
 +
|Intel Xeon 3400 series
 +
|2x1GbE (BCM 5716)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
 +
|-
 +
|R410
 +
|1U
 +
|Intel Xeon 5500 series
 +
|2x1GbE (BCM 5716)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/><ref group="hw" name="intel5500">'''The Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 series processors used in Dell PowerEdge 11G servers have known errata (bugs) related to C-states (CPU power saving states) that can and will result in unexpected and unpleasant server behavior in real-world, day-to-day operation. Intel has released CPU microcode updates in 2010 and early 2011 to address these issues. Be sure to update your BIOS to the most recent available from Dell. Dell includes Intel CPU microcode updates as part of their BIOS updates. BIOS 3.0.0 or greater is recommended.'''
  
== Package Replacement: Funtoo Overlay (branch to branch) ==
+
For more information on Intel Xeon 5500 errata, see [http://www.intel.com/assets/pdf/specupdate/321324.pdf Intel's Xeon Processor 5500 Series Specification Update, April 2011].</ref>
 +
|-
 +
|R415
 +
|1U
 +
|AMD Opteron 4100 series
 +
|2x1GbE (BCM 5716)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
 +
|-
 +
|R510
 +
|2U
 +
|Intel Xeon 5500 series
 +
|2x1GbE (BCM 5716)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/><ref group="hw" name="intel5500"/>
 +
|-
 +
|R515
 +
|2U
 +
|AMD Opteron 4100 series
 +
|2x1GbE (BCM 5716)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
 +
|-
 +
|R710
 +
|2U
 +
|Intel Xeon 5500/5600 series
 +
|4x1GbE (BCM 5709c)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/><ref group="hw" name="intel5500"/>
 +
|-
 +
|R715
 +
|2U
 +
|AMD Opteron 6100 series
 +
|4x1GbE (BCM 5709c)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
 +
|-
 +
|R810
 +
|2U
 +
|Intel Xeon 6500/7500 series
 +
|4x1GbE (BCM 5709c)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
 +
|-
 +
|R815
 +
|2U
 +
|AMD Opteron 6100 series
 +
|4x1GbE (BCM 5709c)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
 +
|-
 +
|R910
 +
|4U
 +
|Intel Xeon 7500/E7 series
 +
|4x1GbE (BCM 5709c) or 2x10GbE + 2x1GbE (BCM 57771)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
 +
|-
 +
|T310
 +
|Tower
 +
|Intel Xeon 3400 series
 +
|optional BCM 5709c (PCI-E)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
 +
|-
 +
|T610
 +
|Tower
 +
|Intel Xeon 5500/5600 series
 +
|2x1GbE (BCM 5709c)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/><ref group="hw" name="intel5500"/>
 +
|-
 +
|T710
 +
|Tower
 +
|Intel Xeon 5500/5600 series
 +
|4x1GbE (BCM 5709c)
 +
|<ref group="hw" name="bcm"/><ref group="hw" name="intel5500"/>
 +
|-
 +
|}
  
When merging in funtoo-overlay, we might want to merge things from experimental to master. To do this, first pick a specific package to compare changes:
+
==== Important Hardware Notices ====
  
<console>
+
<references group="hw"/>
# ##i##cd /root/git/funtoo-overlay
+
# ##i##git diff --stat origin/master origin/experimental app-shells/bash
+
app-shells/bash/bash-3.1_p17.ebuild  |  150 -------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-3.2_p51.ebuild  |  199 ---------------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-4.0_p37.ebuild  |  193 --------------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-4.0_p38.ebuild  |  193 --------------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-4.1_p10.ebuild  |  191 -------------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-4.1_p7-r1.ebuild |  189 -------------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-4.1_p9-r1.ebuild |  189 -------------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-4.2_p10.ebuild  |    5 +-
+
8 files changed, 2 insertions(+), 1307 deletions(-)</console>
+
  
The "----" in the diff above shows that several ebuilds were removed ("----" means many lines were removed) in the experimental branch, and <tt>bash-4.2_p10.ebuild</tt> had slight modifications. This looks like a good candidate for grabbing from experimental to replace entirely what is in master. Here's an example of something that is ''not'' a good candidate for a wholesale replacement:
+
=== Updating Firmware ===
  
<console>
+
The most reliable method to update firmware is to use Dell Repository Manager. This program requires Windows but has the ability to make a bootable Linux ISO image that can update your server firmware in an efficient manner. The PowerEdge R710 also has a built-in "Unified Server Configurator" that can be used to update firmware in a pinch, but it is can take an extremely long time to download and apply server updates.
# ##i##git diff --stat origin/master origin/experimental sys-apps/pciutils
+
sys-apps/pciutils/Manifest                        |    3 -
+
sys-apps/pciutils/files/conf.d-pciparm            |  28 -------
+
sys-apps/pciutils/files/init.d-pciparm            |  80 --------------------
+
.../files/pciutils-3.1.4-install-lib.patch        |  40 ----------
+
sys-apps/pciutils/files/pciutils-3.1.7-fbsd.patch  |  11 ---
+
.../files/pciutils-3.1.7-install-lib.patch        |  41 ----------
+
.../pciutils-3.1.8-avoid-segfault-on-init.patch    |  16 ----
+
sys-apps/pciutils/files/pciutils.cron              |    2 -
+
sys-apps/pciutils/pciutils-3.1.8-r1.ebuild        |  76 -------------------
+
9 files changed, 0 insertions(+), 297 deletions(-)
+
</console>
+
  
In this example above, <tt>sys-apps/pciutils</tt> had a lot of cleanups in experimental, but the output above indicates that there is a new <tt>pciutils-3.1.8-1.ebuild</tt> in master that is not experimental. If we replace what is in master with that in experimental, we will lose the new ebuild! So we wouldn't want to do a wholesale replacement in this case. Old ebuilds that disappear are cleanups, but new ebuilds that disappear are not. Be sure to pay attention to whether the ebuilds that are being removed are old or new.
+
'''Use of the Dell Repository Manager to build a Linux bootable ISO image is the recommended method of updating Dell firmware. A step-by-step guide for using Dell Repository Manager can be found below:'''
  
Back to our bash example. To inspect changes in more detail to make sure they are acceptable, specify the modified ebuild directly and drop the <tt>--stat</tt> option:
+
==== Dell Repository Manager ====
 +
'''Important: It is recommended that you download the latest Dell Repository Manager which can be downloaded following instructions in [http://en.community.dell.com/support-forums/servers/f/177/p/19433362/20058722.aspx#20058722 this thread post]. It resolves issues creating ISOs under Windows 7.'''
  
<console>
+
Here's a complete list of steps to update Dell firmware using the Dell Repository Manager:
# ##i##git diff origin/master origin/experimental app-shells/bash/bash-4.2_p10.ebuild
+
diff --git a/app-shells/bash/bash-4.2_p10.ebuild b/app-shells/bash/bash-4.2_p10.ebuild
+
index 0c497ea..e603c15 100644
+
--- a/app-shells/bash/bash-4.2_p10.ebuild
+
+++ b/app-shells/bash/bash-4.2_p10.ebuild
+
@@ -37,7 +37,7 @@ SRC_URI="mirror://gnu/bash/${MY_P}.tar.gz $(patches)
+
+
LICENSE="GPL-3"
+
SLOT="0"
+
-KEYWORDS="~alpha ~amd64 ~arm ~hppa ~ia64 ~m68k ~mips ~ppc ~ppc64 ~s390 ~sh ~sparc ~x86 ~sparc-fbsd ~x86-fbsd"
+
+KEYWORDS="*"
+
IUSE="afs bashlogger examples mem-scramble +net nls plugins vanilla"
+
+
DEPEND=">=sys-libs/ncurses-5.2-r2
+
@@ -69,7 +69,6 @@ src_unpack() {
+
        cd lib/readline
+
        [[ ${READLINE_PLEVEL} -gt 0 ]] && epatch $(patches -s ${READLINE_PLEVEL} readline ${READLINE_VER})
+
        cd ../..
+
-     
+
        epatch "${FILESDIR}"/${PN}-4.1-document-system-bashrc.patch
+
}
+
+
@@ -104,7 +103,7 @@ src_compile() {
+
        myconf="${myconf} --with-curses"
+
+
        myconf="${myconf} --without-lispdir" #335896
+
-     
+
+
+
        use plugins && append-ldflags -Wl,-rpath,/usr/$(get_libdir)/bash
+
        econf \
+
                $(use_with afs) \
+
</console>
+
  
OK, these look like changes we want to merge into the master branch. Actually, we want to basically 'adopt' all these bash changes into master -- a wholesale import so that <tt>app-shells/bash</tt> in master looks exactly like that in experimental. To do this, we want to wipe out what is currently in the master branch related to <tt>app-shells/bash</tt>, and replace it entirely with the exact contents of <tt>app-shells/bash</tt> in the experimental branch.
+
# Download Dell Repository Manager from http://ftp.dell.com/FOLDER00313115M/1/Dell_Repository_Manager_1.4.113.msi and install on a Windows system.
 +
# Launch the program.
 +
# In the main window, choose to automatically import ftp.dell.com, and click "Import Repository": <br/>[[image:dellrepoman.PNG]]
 +
# Welcome: The Create/Load Repository dialog will open. Select "Create New Repository" and click "Next".
 +
# Name and Description: Type in a name of your choice, such as "Dell R710", and click "Next".
 +
# Select Repository: Select "(Server) ftp.dell.com" and click "Next".
 +
# Select Form Factor: Select the type(s) of equipment you want to build a driver disk for and click "Next".
 +
# Select OS: Select "Linux". Click "Next".
 +
# Select Models: Choose the specific model of equipment ("PowerEdge R710", for example.) Click "Next".
 +
# Select Bundle(s): Choose to "ONLY include most recent and custom bundle(s)". Click "Next".
 +
# Additional Components: Select "Yes". Click "Next".
 +
# Summary: click "Finish".
 +
# "Please wait" will appear for a few minutes, and then the dialog will disappear.
 +
# The "Bundles" tab will now be active with your bundle visible.
 +
# Select your bundle by clicking the square check-box to the left of it.
 +
# Click "Export" in the lower right corner of the main window, and click "Next" on the Welcome screen.
 +
# Export Destination: Select "Deployment Media (Linux only) Export to ISO/Script format for deployment." Click "Next".
 +
# At this point, you may be prompted to install a plugin. Install the plugin and click "Next".
 +
# Select an output folder for the ISO, click "OK", and then "Next".
 +
# Select Custom Script: Select "No" and click "Next".
 +
# Click "Finish".
 +
# Your ISO will take 5-10 minutes to build. The program will let you know when it's done.
 +
# Burn ISO to CD-R/DVD-R.
 +
# Insert burnt disc into server, reboot server, press F11 for boot menu and choose to boot from CD.
 +
# The disc will boot. Select the first menu option to launch the firmware update process.
 +
# The process will take 20-30 minutes to complete. Press Alt-F2 for a console if you get bored.
 +
# When the firmware update process is complete, a message will appear on the screen. Hit Enter to reboot.
  
This can be done as follows:
+
The disc can now be used to update other similar systems in your datacenter.
  
<console>
+
==== iDRAC6 ====
# ##i##git rm -rf app-shells/bash
+
# ##i##git checkout origin/experimental -- app-shells/bash
+
</console>
+
  
Now, let's review the changes git made. These are not yet committed:
+
iDRAC is the Dell Integrated Remote Access Controller, which is typically accessed via the dedicated management interface using a Web browswer.
<console>
+
# ##i##git diff --cached --stat
+
app-shells/bash/bash-3.1_p17.ebuild  |  150 -------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-3.2_p51.ebuild  |  199 ---------------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-4.0_p37.ebuild  |  193 --------------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-4.0_p38.ebuild  |  193 --------------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-4.1_p10.ebuild  |  191 -------------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-4.1_p7-r1.ebuild |  189 -------------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-4.1_p9-r1.ebuild |  189 -------------------------------
+
app-shells/bash/bash-4.2_p10.ebuild  |    5 +-
+
8 files changed, 2 insertions(+), 1307 deletions(-)
+
</console>
+
  
Looks good. These changes are already staged for commit -- notice the <tt>--cached</tt> option above. If you don't use <tt>--cached</tt>, you won't see any changes, because they're already cached for commit. Let's commit them:
+
Sometimes, the iDRAC firmware will not be successfully updated via the firmware CD-R created using the steps in the section above. This was experienced on our servers when attempting to update from iDRAC firmware 1.54 to 1.70. To work around this issue, you can log in directly to the iDRAC via a Web browser and update the iDRAC's firmware (just the iDRAC firmware itself, not the firmware of other system components) via its user interface.
  
<console>
+
To do this, follow these steps:
# ##i##git commit -m "bash updates from experimental"
+
# ##i##git push origin master
+
</console>
+
  
If we made any local changes to existing files that had not yet been added, and wanted to include those with the commit, we could use the <tt>-a</tt> option with <tt>git commit</tt>, above. Once the commit has been made, you should no longer see anything related to <tt>app-shells/bash</tt> listed when doing a diff of the branches.
+
# Go to http://support.dell.com, and download the latest Dell iDRAC6 firmware. You will want to download the Windows executable format file, ie. <tt>iDRAC6_1.70_A02_FW_IMG.exe</tt>.
 +
# Execute this file on a Windows machine. It is a self-extracting archive and will prompt you for a location to store the firmware. Choose a location and a file named <tt>firmimg.d6</tt> will be extracted. This is the iDRAC firmware you will upload.
 +
# Log in to the iDRAC using a Web browser. If updating from 1.54, use Google Chrome instead of Internet Explorer 9 to avoid issues.
 +
# Select "Remote Access" (or in newer versions, "iDRAC Settings") from the menu on the left, and the "Update" tab at the top of the page.
 +
# On this page, click the "Choose File" button and select the <tt>firmimg.d6</tt> file extracted earlier.
 +
# Click "Upload". Uploading the firmware will take a minute or two.
 +
# Once the firmware image is uploaded, you will be able to click a button to update the firmware. You will be presented with a status page similar to this:<br/>[[Image:Idrac6update.PNG]]
 +
# Once the iDRAC firmware is 100% complete, you can reload the iDRAC Web page and log in to the new version of iDRAC.
 +
# Note that because iDRAC is independent from the underlying hardware, your Linux system will typically not power cycle during this process, so it will still be available.
  
[[Category:Development]]
+
=== Kernel Compatibility ===
[[Category:Tutorial]]
+
 
 +
The following table documents kernel compatibility with the Dell PowerEdge R710 server, and is likely to apply to other PowerEdge 11G servers based on Intel Xeon 5500/5600 series processors.
 +
 
 +
{{fancynote|Funtoo Linux kernel testing is performed on Dell PowerEdge R710 servers equipped with Intel 5500 series processors.}}
 +
 
 +
All kernels listed below were built by setting the <tt>binary</tt> USE variable and emerging, which causes full kernel sources as well as a binary kernel and initrd (built using <tt>genkernel</tt>) to be installed. Note that for the <tt>openvz-rhel5-stable</tt> kernel, udev must be downgraded to 146-r3 in order for the system to function properly after reboot. This can be accomplished by adding <tt>>=sys-fs/udev-147</tt> to <tt>/etc/portage/package.mask</tt> and running <tt>emerge udev</tt> prior to booting your new kernel.
 +
 
 +
{| {{table}}
 +
!Kernel
 +
!Version
 +
!Minimum Dell BIOS
 +
!Req'd USE flags
 +
!Stability
 +
!Req'd drivers
 +
!Req'd udev
 +
|-
 +
|openvz-rhel5-stable
 +
|2.6.18.028.089.1
 +
|3.0.0<ref group="kernel" name="bios">Without an up-to-date BIOS, you may experience system instability or a system clock that jumps forward (and back) 5 minutes for no apparent reason. Upgrading to at least Dell BIOS 3.0.0 should update Intel CPU microcode sufficiently to correct these issues.</ref>
 +
|<tt>binary</tt>
 +
|'''Excellent'''
 +
|Broadcom <tt>bnx2</tt> driver module bundled with kernel appears to be OK
 +
|=sys-fs/udev-146*
 +
|-
 +
|openvz-rhel5-stable
 +
|2.6.18.028.091.1
 +
|3.0.0<ref group="kernel" name="bios"/>
 +
|<tt>binary</tt>
 +
|'''Excellent'''
 +
|Broadcom <tt>bnx2</tt> driver module bundled with kernel appears to be OK
 +
|=sys-fs/udev-146*
 +
|-
 +
|ubuntu-server
 +
|2.6.32.32.62
 +
|3.0.0<ref group="kernel" name="bios"/>
 +
|<tt>binary</tt>
 +
|'''Excellent'''
 +
|<tt>emerge broadcom-netxtreme2</tt> for reliable BCM5709+ support (integrated NIC)
 +
|N/A <ref group="kernel" name="udevany"/>
 +
|-
 +
|openvz-rhel6-stable
 +
|2.6.32.014.1
 +
|3.0.0<ref group="kernel" name="bios"/>
 +
|<tt>binary</tt>
 +
|''Buggy, do not use''
 +
|<tt>emerge broadcom-netxtreme2</tt> for reliable BCM5709+ support (integrated NIC)
 +
|N/A <ref group="kernel" name="udevany">Any standard Funtoo Linux udev version is fine.</ref>
 +
|-
 +
|openvz-rhel6-stable
 +
|2.6.32.015.1
 +
|3.0.0<ref group="kernel" name="bios"/>
 +
|<tt>binary</tt>
 +
|''Buggy, do not use''
 +
|<tt>emerge broadcom-netxtreme2</tt> for reliable BCM5709+ support (integrated NIC)
 +
|N/A <ref group="kernel"  name="udevany"/>
 +
|-
 +
|openvz-rhel6-stable
 +
|2.6.32.016.1
 +
|3.0.0<ref group="kernel" name="bios"/>
 +
|<tt>binary</tt>
 +
|''Buggy, do not use''
 +
|<tt>emerge broadcom-netxtreme2</tt> for reliable BCM5709+ support (integrated NIC)
 +
|N/A <ref group="kernel" name="udevany"/>
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
<references group="kernel"/>
 +
 
 +
== Server Best Practices ==
 +
 
 +
This section contains a list of recommended programs, utilities and best practices for production servers.
 +
 
 +
=== Accurate System Time (NTP) ===
 +
 
 +
My favorite and recommended NTP client/server is <tt>net-misc/chrony</tt>. It is recommended for production servers:
 +
 
 +
<pre>
 +
# emerge chrony
 +
# rc-update add chronyd default
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
Use something like the following for your <tt>/etc/chrony/chrony.conf</tt>:
 +
 
 +
<pre>
 +
server time.apple.com
 +
maxupdateskew 100
 +
driftfile /etc/chrony/chrony.drift
 +
keyfile /etc/chrony/chrony.keys
 +
commandkey 1
 +
dumponexit
 +
dumpdir /var/log/chrony
 +
initstepslew 10 time.apple.com
 +
logdir /var/log/chrony
 +
log measurements statistics tracking
 +
logchange 0.5
 +
mailonchange me@emailprovider.com 0.5
 +
rtcfile /etc/chrony/chrony.rtc
 +
rtconutc
 +
sched_priority 1
 +
lock_all
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
Chronyd can then be started immediately by running <tt>rc</tt> to start all new services:
 +
 
 +
<pre>
 +
# rc
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
You should notice a marked improvement in your system clock's accuracy. If your system time was off by a significant amount, <tt>chronyd</tt> will gradually correct your clock while the system runs.
 +
 
 +
=== SMART Disk Monitoring ===
 +
 
 +
Emerge <tt>smartmontools</tt> and use an <tt>/etc/smartd.conf</tt> with these settings for a PERC 6/i with 5 physical disks installed:
 +
 
 +
<pre>
 +
/dev/sda -m myemail@foo.com -d megaraid,0
 +
/dev/sda -m myemail@foo.com -d megaraid,1
 +
/dev/sda -m myemail@foo.com -d megaraid,2
 +
/dev/sda -m myemail@foo.com -d megaraid,3
 +
/dev/sda -m myemail@foo.com -d megaraid,4
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
To figure out what configuration to use for your system, use the following command:
 +
 
 +
<pre>
 +
# smartctl -d megaraid,X --all /dev/sdY
 +
</pre>
 +
 
 +
Start using X=0 and Y=a, and keep incrementing X until you discover all physical disks backing sda. Then repeat with sdb, etc. until you discover all physical disks in your system. In typical configurations, you will have <tt>megaraid,0</tt> thru <tt>megaraid,(num_physical_disks-1)</tt>.
 +
 
 +
{{fancynote|On Dell R910s with PERC H700, all physical disks are addressable through all /dev/sdY simultaneously, so there is no need to iterate through Y. ie: all of the same physical disks will be shown simultaneously for /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc etc... so there is no need to repeat the steps for sdY+1 and onwards.}}
 +
 
 +
[[Category:Hardware Compatibility]]

Latest revision as of 09:22, December 28, 2014


Funtoo Linux on Dell PowerEdge 11G Servers

This section provides valuable information regarding the use of Funtoo Linux on Dell PowerEdge 11G servers. This information has been validated on Dell PowerEdge R710 systems with Intel Xeon 5500 processors but should also apply to varying degrees to the entire Dell PowerEdge 11G family.

Please be sure to read all important compatibility notes associated with your specific Dell PowerEdge model, which can be found in the Important Compatibility Notes column in the table below:

System Form Factor Processor Integrated NIC Important Compatibility Notes
R210 1U Intel Xeon 3400 series BCM 5716 <ref group="hw" name="bcm">When using a non-RHEL-5 kernel, it's highly recommended to emerge broadcom-netxtreme2 after installing your kernel, in order to use the latest drivers from Broadcom.com rather than the in-kernel bnx2 (1GbE) or bnx2x (10GbE) drivers. This will help resolve firmware initialization and other hardware compatibility issues that may result in your network interfaces being unavailable at boot or performing sub-optimally under load. See Kernel Compatibility for more information.</ref>
R310 1U Intel Xeon 3400 series 2x1GbE (BCM 5716) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
R410 1U Intel Xeon 5500 series 2x1GbE (BCM 5716) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/><ref group="hw" name="intel5500">The Intel Xeon 5500 and 5600 series processors used in Dell PowerEdge 11G servers have known errata (bugs) related to C-states (CPU power saving states) that can and will result in unexpected and unpleasant server behavior in real-world, day-to-day operation. Intel has released CPU microcode updates in 2010 and early 2011 to address these issues. Be sure to update your BIOS to the most recent available from Dell. Dell includes Intel CPU microcode updates as part of their BIOS updates. BIOS 3.0.0 or greater is recommended.

For more information on Intel Xeon 5500 errata, see Intel's Xeon Processor 5500 Series Specification Update, April 2011.</ref>

R415 1U AMD Opteron 4100 series 2x1GbE (BCM 5716) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
R510 2U Intel Xeon 5500 series 2x1GbE (BCM 5716) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/><ref group="hw" name="intel5500"/>
R515 2U AMD Opteron 4100 series 2x1GbE (BCM 5716) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
R710 2U Intel Xeon 5500/5600 series 4x1GbE (BCM 5709c) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/><ref group="hw" name="intel5500"/>
R715 2U AMD Opteron 6100 series 4x1GbE (BCM 5709c) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
R810 2U Intel Xeon 6500/7500 series 4x1GbE (BCM 5709c) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
R815 2U AMD Opteron 6100 series 4x1GbE (BCM 5709c) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
R910 4U Intel Xeon 7500/E7 series 4x1GbE (BCM 5709c) or 2x10GbE + 2x1GbE (BCM 57771) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
T310 Tower Intel Xeon 3400 series optional BCM 5709c (PCI-E) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/>
T610 Tower Intel Xeon 5500/5600 series 2x1GbE (BCM 5709c) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/><ref group="hw" name="intel5500"/>
T710 Tower Intel Xeon 5500/5600 series 4x1GbE (BCM 5709c) <ref group="hw" name="bcm"/><ref group="hw" name="intel5500"/>

Important Hardware Notices

<references group="hw"/>

Updating Firmware

The most reliable method to update firmware is to use Dell Repository Manager. This program requires Windows but has the ability to make a bootable Linux ISO image that can update your server firmware in an efficient manner. The PowerEdge R710 also has a built-in "Unified Server Configurator" that can be used to update firmware in a pinch, but it is can take an extremely long time to download and apply server updates.

Use of the Dell Repository Manager to build a Linux bootable ISO image is the recommended method of updating Dell firmware. A step-by-step guide for using Dell Repository Manager can be found below:

Dell Repository Manager

Important: It is recommended that you download the latest Dell Repository Manager which can be downloaded following instructions in this thread post. It resolves issues creating ISOs under Windows 7.

Here's a complete list of steps to update Dell firmware using the Dell Repository Manager:

  1. Download Dell Repository Manager from http://ftp.dell.com/FOLDER00313115M/1/Dell_Repository_Manager_1.4.113.msi and install on a Windows system.
  2. Launch the program.
  3. In the main window, choose to automatically import ftp.dell.com, and click "Import Repository":
    Dellrepoman.PNG
  4. Welcome: The Create/Load Repository dialog will open. Select "Create New Repository" and click "Next".
  5. Name and Description: Type in a name of your choice, such as "Dell R710", and click "Next".
  6. Select Repository: Select "(Server) ftp.dell.com" and click "Next".
  7. Select Form Factor: Select the type(s) of equipment you want to build a driver disk for and click "Next".
  8. Select OS: Select "Linux". Click "Next".
  9. Select Models: Choose the specific model of equipment ("PowerEdge R710", for example.) Click "Next".
  10. Select Bundle(s): Choose to "ONLY include most recent and custom bundle(s)". Click "Next".
  11. Additional Components: Select "Yes". Click "Next".
  12. Summary: click "Finish".
  13. "Please wait" will appear for a few minutes, and then the dialog will disappear.
  14. The "Bundles" tab will now be active with your bundle visible.
  15. Select your bundle by clicking the square check-box to the left of it.
  16. Click "Export" in the lower right corner of the main window, and click "Next" on the Welcome screen.
  17. Export Destination: Select "Deployment Media (Linux only) Export to ISO/Script format for deployment." Click "Next".
  18. At this point, you may be prompted to install a plugin. Install the plugin and click "Next".
  19. Select an output folder for the ISO, click "OK", and then "Next".
  20. Select Custom Script: Select "No" and click "Next".
  21. Click "Finish".
  22. Your ISO will take 5-10 minutes to build. The program will let you know when it's done.
  23. Burn ISO to CD-R/DVD-R.
  24. Insert burnt disc into server, reboot server, press F11 for boot menu and choose to boot from CD.
  25. The disc will boot. Select the first menu option to launch the firmware update process.
  26. The process will take 20-30 minutes to complete. Press Alt-F2 for a console if you get bored.
  27. When the firmware update process is complete, a message will appear on the screen. Hit Enter to reboot.

The disc can now be used to update other similar systems in your datacenter.

iDRAC6

iDRAC is the Dell Integrated Remote Access Controller, which is typically accessed via the dedicated management interface using a Web browswer.

Sometimes, the iDRAC firmware will not be successfully updated via the firmware CD-R created using the steps in the section above. This was experienced on our servers when attempting to update from iDRAC firmware 1.54 to 1.70. To work around this issue, you can log in directly to the iDRAC via a Web browser and update the iDRAC's firmware (just the iDRAC firmware itself, not the firmware of other system components) via its user interface.

To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Go to http://support.dell.com, and download the latest Dell iDRAC6 firmware. You will want to download the Windows executable format file, ie. iDRAC6_1.70_A02_FW_IMG.exe.
  2. Execute this file on a Windows machine. It is a self-extracting archive and will prompt you for a location to store the firmware. Choose a location and a file named firmimg.d6 will be extracted. This is the iDRAC firmware you will upload.
  3. Log in to the iDRAC using a Web browser. If updating from 1.54, use Google Chrome instead of Internet Explorer 9 to avoid issues.
  4. Select "Remote Access" (or in newer versions, "iDRAC Settings") from the menu on the left, and the "Update" tab at the top of the page.
  5. On this page, click the "Choose File" button and select the firmimg.d6 file extracted earlier.
  6. Click "Upload". Uploading the firmware will take a minute or two.
  7. Once the firmware image is uploaded, you will be able to click a button to update the firmware. You will be presented with a status page similar to this:
    Idrac6update.PNG
  8. Once the iDRAC firmware is 100% complete, you can reload the iDRAC Web page and log in to the new version of iDRAC.
  9. Note that because iDRAC is independent from the underlying hardware, your Linux system will typically not power cycle during this process, so it will still be available.

Kernel Compatibility

The following table documents kernel compatibility with the Dell PowerEdge R710 server, and is likely to apply to other PowerEdge 11G servers based on Intel Xeon 5500/5600 series processors.

Note

Funtoo Linux kernel testing is performed on Dell PowerEdge R710 servers equipped with Intel 5500 series processors.

All kernels listed below were built by setting the binary USE variable and emerging, which causes full kernel sources as well as a binary kernel and initrd (built using genkernel) to be installed. Note that for the openvz-rhel5-stable kernel, udev must be downgraded to 146-r3 in order for the system to function properly after reboot. This can be accomplished by adding >=sys-fs/udev-147 to /etc/portage/package.mask and running emerge udev prior to booting your new kernel.

Kernel Version Minimum Dell BIOS Req'd USE flags Stability Req'd drivers Req'd udev
openvz-rhel5-stable 2.6.18.028.089.1 3.0.0<ref group="kernel" name="bios">Without an up-to-date BIOS, you may experience system instability or a system clock that jumps forward (and back) 5 minutes for no apparent reason. Upgrading to at least Dell BIOS 3.0.0 should update Intel CPU microcode sufficiently to correct these issues.</ref> binary Excellent Broadcom bnx2 driver module bundled with kernel appears to be OK =sys-fs/udev-146*
openvz-rhel5-stable 2.6.18.028.091.1 3.0.0<ref group="kernel" name="bios"/> binary Excellent Broadcom bnx2 driver module bundled with kernel appears to be OK =sys-fs/udev-146*
ubuntu-server 2.6.32.32.62 3.0.0<ref group="kernel" name="bios"/> binary Excellent emerge broadcom-netxtreme2 for reliable BCM5709+ support (integrated NIC) N/A <ref group="kernel" name="udevany"/>
openvz-rhel6-stable 2.6.32.014.1 3.0.0<ref group="kernel" name="bios"/> binary Buggy, do not use emerge broadcom-netxtreme2 for reliable BCM5709+ support (integrated NIC) N/A <ref group="kernel" name="udevany">Any standard Funtoo Linux udev version is fine.</ref>
openvz-rhel6-stable 2.6.32.015.1 3.0.0<ref group="kernel" name="bios"/> binary Buggy, do not use emerge broadcom-netxtreme2 for reliable BCM5709+ support (integrated NIC) N/A <ref group="kernel" name="udevany"/>
openvz-rhel6-stable 2.6.32.016.1 3.0.0<ref group="kernel" name="bios"/> binary Buggy, do not use emerge broadcom-netxtreme2 for reliable BCM5709+ support (integrated NIC) N/A <ref group="kernel" name="udevany"/>

<references group="kernel"/>

Server Best Practices

This section contains a list of recommended programs, utilities and best practices for production servers.

Accurate System Time (NTP)

My favorite and recommended NTP client/server is net-misc/chrony. It is recommended for production servers:

# emerge chrony
# rc-update add chronyd default

Use something like the following for your /etc/chrony/chrony.conf:

server time.apple.com
maxupdateskew 100
driftfile /etc/chrony/chrony.drift
keyfile /etc/chrony/chrony.keys
commandkey 1
dumponexit
dumpdir /var/log/chrony
initstepslew 10 time.apple.com
logdir /var/log/chrony
log measurements statistics tracking
logchange 0.5
mailonchange me@emailprovider.com 0.5
rtcfile /etc/chrony/chrony.rtc
rtconutc
sched_priority 1
lock_all

Chronyd can then be started immediately by running rc to start all new services:

# rc

You should notice a marked improvement in your system clock's accuracy. If your system time was off by a significant amount, chronyd will gradually correct your clock while the system runs.

SMART Disk Monitoring

Emerge smartmontools and use an /etc/smartd.conf with these settings for a PERC 6/i with 5 physical disks installed:

/dev/sda -m myemail@foo.com -d megaraid,0
/dev/sda -m myemail@foo.com -d megaraid,1
/dev/sda -m myemail@foo.com -d megaraid,2
/dev/sda -m myemail@foo.com -d megaraid,3
/dev/sda -m myemail@foo.com -d megaraid,4

To figure out what configuration to use for your system, use the following command:

# smartctl -d megaraid,X --all /dev/sdY 

Start using X=0 and Y=a, and keep incrementing X until you discover all physical disks backing sda. Then repeat with sdb, etc. until you discover all physical disks in your system. In typical configurations, you will have megaraid,0 thru megaraid,(num_physical_disks-1).

Note

On Dell R910s with PERC H700, all physical disks are addressable through all /dev/sdY simultaneously, so there is no need to iterate through Y. ie: all of the same physical disks will be shown simultaneously for /dev/sda, /dev/sdb, /dev/sdc etc... so there is no need to repeat the steps for sdY+1 and onwards.