Applying HP NMI Sourcing Drivers for VMware ESXi 4.1

Bulletins from HP have been released that clearly state that data loss can occur without the NMI Sourcing Drivers installed in ESX hosts. Jason Boche has blogged highlights of this recently. Below are instructions for installation of the drivers via http. I used an apache server with the NMI bundle in web root and performed the installation via a vMA appliance using `vihostupdate`.

Apache host: ‘santa’
ESX host: esx205
Current NMI bundle: hp-nmi-bundle-1.0.02

I have used short hostnames (inconsistently) instead of FQDN and have also taken what must be a one line command and escaped carriage returns with “” to run the command on multiple lines, both for sake of better screen shots.

0) Put the server in maintenance mode

1) Scan for updates not installed on the ESXi host. Command, all one line: `vihostupdate –server esx206 –list –bundle http://santa/esx/hp-nmi-bundle-1.0.02/hp-nmi-bundle-1.0.02.zip`

Command Output

2) Optionally, list all bulletins contained within the bundle. In this case there is only one bulletin as displayed under the Bulletin ID field. Command `vihostupdate –server esx206 –list –bundle http://santa/esx/hp-nmi-bundle-1.0.02/hp-nmi-bundle-1.0.02.zip`

Command Output

3) Install the desired bulletins, specified on the command line as an argument to the bundle. In this case there is only one bulletin, not providing the bulletin argument will install all available bulletins not already installed on the system. In other words, specifying this was unnecessary. Command: `vihostupdate –server esx206 –install –bundle http://santa/esx/hp-nmi-bundle-1.0.02/hp-nmi-bundle-1.0.02.zip hp-nmi-driver-1.0.02`

4) Just for giggles, run a query to see if the bundle is reporting as being installed. Command `vihostupdate –server esx205 –query`.


5) After successful patch installation the ESX server will report that a reboot is needed in the vCenter client.

9 thoughts on “Applying HP NMI Sourcing Drivers for VMware ESXi 4.1

  1. According to the HP site, the patch is for ESX 4.1 & ESXi 4.1.

    Here’s the page for the DL 380 G7
    http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/SoftwareDescription.jsp?lang=en&cc=us&prodTypeId=15351&prodSeriesId=4091412&prodNameId=4091432&swEnvOID=4091&swLang=13&mode=2&taskId=135&swItem=MTX-1147c0f77e624775a1eb0b4d80

    Notice the description tag:
    VMware introduced the capability to register for NMI events in ESX/ESXi 4.1 kernel.

    HP is providing the HP NMI Driver (hpnmi) that will work with ESX/ESXi 4.1 kernel to log NMI info to HP Integrated Management Log (IML). Also ESX 4.1 kernel halts the server with PSOD – “Panic requested by 3rd party NMI handlers” to capture a kernel crash dump on panic after an NMI event is received.

    If ESX/ESXi 4.1 does not have the HP NMI driver installed and in the event of a hardware fault, HP ProLiant systems may not shutdown due to the NMI event. The NMI event will be logged in the kernel logs and the system will continue execution.

    Thanks,
    Jase

  2. Here’s a little more background on this driver. As part of VMware ESX 4.1 there is a newly enabled NMI processing capability. An NMI signal is sent when a catastrophic error has been detected by the hardware. The NMI driver will capture the information about the NMI and write the pertinent information to the IML.

    HP is providing the HP NMI Driver (hpnmi) that will work with ESX/ESXi 4.1 kernel to log NMI info to HP Integrated Management Log (IML). Also ESX 4.1 kernel halts the server with PSOD – “Panic requested by 3rd party NMI handlers” to capture a kernel crash dump on panic after an NMI event is received.

    If ESX/ESXi 4.1 does not have the HP NMI driver installed and in the event of a hardware fault, HP ProLiant systems may not shutdown due to the NMI event. The NMI event will be logged in the kernel logs and the system will continue execution.

    The driver can be found at: http://bit.ly/HP_NMI

    Both HP and VMware highly recommend the use of this driver.

  3. I recently had an NMI event that triggered a PSOD on an ESXi 4.1 Host. I can’t seem to find any information in the IML logs to investigate further (if I’m looking in the right place).

    1. Does anyone have examples of what “information about the NMI and write the pertinent information to the IML” looks like.

    2. In HP Inisght Manager I have the Hosts selected and choosing Tasks & Logs…View HP Systems Insight Manager Audit Log….is this the right place?

  4. I installed this same hp-nmi-driver in 4.1 but it breaks the online server bios update with the below error, this happens for all HP hardwares:

    [root@xxxx tmp]# ./CP008662.scexe
    Online ROM Flash Engine Version: Linux-3.2.1-0
    Name: HP ProLiant DL580 G3 (P38)
    Software Version: 08/02/2007

    The software is installed and up to date.
    The installation does not need to continue,
    however, you may still install the software.

    Do you want to install this version (y/n) ?y

    Flash in progress do not interrupt or your system may become unusable.
    Working.pcilib: proc_write: write failed: Invalid argument

    But after removing hp-nmi-driver it works fine:
    [root@xxxxxx tmp]# ./CP008662.scexe
    Online ROM Flash Engine Version: Linux-3.2.1-0
    Name: HP ProLiant DL580 G3 (P38)
    Software Version: 08/02/2007
    The software is installed and up to date.
    The installation does not need to continue,
    however, you may still install the software.
    Do you want to install this version (y/n) ?y
    Flash in progress do not interrupt or your system may become unusable.
    Working…..

  5. Selva, is your intent really to apply a BIOS ROM for DL580 G3 series from 2007? Considering a DL580 G3 as it’s not on the HCL for ESX 4.1, could it be possible this error is more one of compatibility issue between the ROM and your hardware rather than the NMI drivers breaking BIOS update?

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