Recently we had the chance to review a new Gigabyte MD70-HB0. That motherboard is excellent in that it provides a very well integrated platform. During the review, we noted that Gigabyte has come a long way in its server platforms. It now offers a Avocent KVM solution using the ASPEED AST2400 series BMC. One feature in the latest iteration of the remote management platform is the ability to remotely upgrade BIOS on one server or several at the same time.
We used the same configuration we utilized for the MD70-HB0 review:
- CPU: 2x Intel Xeon E5-2690 V3
- Motherboard: Gigabyte MD70-HB0
- Memory: 8x SK. Hynix 16GB DDR4 2133MHz ECC RDIMMs
- SSD: 2x Samsung 840 Pro 256GB 4x Crucial M500 240GB
- Operating Systems: Ubuntu 14.04 LTS
We did not use any of the fancy SAS drives for the test as they were not needed for this.
Updating the BIOS using the WebGUI
For this, one can log into the default Gigabyte management WebGUI. To make things easier, you can use admin/ password as the username and password when the board is in default settings.
N.B. before we get too far in this guide, the BIOS update process will reboot the machine.
After you are in, the screen you will want to navigate to is MergePoint EMS Properties -> Update.
On that screen one can update the BMC firmware, the BIOS or both.
The next step, if it has not been done beforehand, is to get the latest BIOS. One can head over to the Gigabyte site to grab the latest BIOS. Sometimes support may also send a BIOS update for a specific application.
Once it is downloaded, you will need to extract the ZIP file. After it is extracted, you can go to the management interface, click on browse. You will need to find the RBU file, which is usually in the RBU folder and in this case named image.RBU.
Once you click upload, and let the system update, it will reboot the system.
That is all there is to performing this update. Overall, this is a premium feature that Gigabyte provides with its server motherboards. Many other vendors charge additional license fees for access to this.
It should also be noted that there is a way to update BIOS across multiple systems using ipmitool and a tftp server hosting the image file. That is significantly less user friendly than this method, but the functionality does exist in the latest Gigabyte IPMI implementation.