Flash SES Firmware

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This allows you to flash firmware on SES compliant enclosures.  The -flashses and -flashses7 commands use different low-level SCSI command codes then the -flash command.



smartmon-ux -flashses [-confirm] FirmwareImageFile Device_list

- or -

smartmon-ux -flashses7 [-confirm] FirmwareImageFile Device_list


The -flashses command performs a non-disruptive firmware update.  This can be done while the enclosure is on-line, and the disk drives are servicing I/Os with live data.  Engineers call this a mode E update. The enclosure will continue to use the old firmware until it is power-cycled. The new firmware will just stay dormant and the enclosure will continue to run with the older firmware.  Unfortunately, not all enclosures (and firmware revisions) support this method.  LSI enclosures, for example, only support the -flashses option once the enclosure is running a certain firmware revision.


We recommend trying the -flashses option first.  The program will tell you if your enclosure rejected the update.  If the update is rejected, then use the -flashses7 command.


The -flashses7 command uses the mode 7 update method.  The firmware is sent to the enclosure, then the enclosure automatically reboots with the new firmware.  If you have mounted disks in the enclosure, then I/O's may or may not be disrupted during the enclosure firmware update. You need to contact your enclosure vendor to determine if there is a risk of losing I/Os during an enclosure firmware update.


Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get the firmware file?

Contact your hardware vendor. Firmware is intellectual property of your vendor. We are not allowed, due to contractual limitations, to send firmware to anybody. You should also contact your vendor and find out if the enclosure and firmware you are currently running supports the Mode E method of updating firmware.  If so, use the -flashses command instead of the -flashses7 command.  If your vendor support rep doesn't know, or won't tell you, then just try the -flashses command first. It won't hurt anything if the command is rejected.


What are the Risks?

Disk I/Os may be interrupted if you have to use the -flashses7 command.


If you flash the wrong firmware image, then unpredictable things will happen. Make sure you have the right firmware file.  Read the release notes for the firmware update to determine if new firmware will do more harm than good.


Will SANtools help me figure out what firmware I need, or where to get it?

No. We have no idea what firmware image you need. If you have to ask this question, we feel that you should not be changing firmware in the first place.


Anything else I need to know?

SES enclosures typically have more than one processor (CPU device).  You need to make sure you flash all SES processors.