Tuesday, May 25, 2010

QLogic disabled BIOS in a blade can cause problems

Today I was called for help concerning a weird problem with blades that "didn't work" on the Virtual Connect FC. I'm no longer a sysadmin and shouldn't know anything but since I've worked with blades for three years, I must have become some kind of hot property at my new workplace. :)

In this case, the WWNs of the blades never showed up in Brocade's fabric manager, even though the configuration of the VC domain seemed correct with all profiles set correctly. I double checked everything -- most of the configuration in the VC-FC was correct, except a few missing things but nothing spectacular.

These blades had no OS installed yet, so the QLogic HBA driver couldn't be brought up to initialize the HBAs... thus the fabrics could never detect them. That should be expected to be "normal", but not so: how are you supposed to boot on SAN if you can't even install the OS in the first place?

Turns out that the QLogic BIOS was disabled on all the blades. Calling-up the BIOS configuration with CTRL-Q, and enabling it for all SAN-connected blades, fixed the problem.


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