[Beowulf] Re: recommendation on crash cart for a cluster room:fullcluster KVM is not an option I suppose?

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Fri Oct 9 13:36:54 PDT 2009

> Is BIOS firmware-flashing  routine for you guys? Is it easy or
> error-prone. Are there any such "paperweight servers" lurking in your
> racks and server-rooms? Or is this a bugaboo of the ancient dark-ages?

I don't believe I've ever bricked a server, though I don't flash any more 
than I have too.  my experience is that even interrupted bios flashes
seem to be re-flashable.  I'm guessing that they isolate the main bios
from the code that performs the flash (which perhaps they never update).
my organization has > 2500 nodes and most have been flashed a time or two;
I think we've had a couple failed flashes that worked on second try.
we might have actually bricked a machine or two over 4 years: call it 
2 bricks in 5k flashes...

(all this flashing is of non-UPS nodes, done with PXE-booted floppy images.)

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