Document ID: 116349
Updated: Sep 06, 2013
Contributed by Michael Ciesla, Cisco TAC Engineer.
This document describes how to install device drivers on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) for common operating systems.
Cisco recommends that you have knowledge of these topics:
- Cisco UCS Manager
- Cisco Integrated Management Controller (CIMC)
- Virtual Machine-ware (VMware), Windows Server, or Linux Operating Systems (OS)
The information in this document is based on these hardware platforms:
- UCS B Series
- UCS C Series
The information in this document was created from the devices in a specific lab environment. All of the devices used in this document started with a cleared (default) configuration. If your network is live, make sure that you understand the potential impact of any command.
A device driver is software that is the interface between the OS and the hardware. The device driver translates general OS commands into specialized commands for a particular device, which allows the OS to communicate with hardware devices.
Devices that Require a Driver
Here is a list of hardware devices that require device drivers:
- Ethernet Network Interface Card (ENIC)
- Fibre Channel Network Interface Card (FNIC)
- Redundant Array of Indepent Disks (RAID) Controller
- Motherboard Chipset
- Video Card
- Trusted Platform Module (TPM)
Drivers Versus Firmware
Device drivers are different from firmware. Device driver software is installed on the OS, whereas firmware is lower-level code that is installed on hardware devices. Firmware is stored in non-volatile memory, such as ROM, Erasable Programmable ROM (EPROM), or flash memory.
Driver Dependence on Firmware
Device drivers have a strong dependence on the device firmware. Device drivers must be compatible with the firmware level of a hardware device, so that they properly communicate with each other; driver and firmware functionality must match for correct operation to take place.
When Drivers Must be Installed and Updated
Device drivers come pre-installed with operating systems (such as Cisco OEM VMware ESXi images), or they can be manually installed post-OS setup.
Device drivers generally need to be updated after these procedures:
- UCS firmware upgrades
- Major OS upgrades/patches
Driver Versions Required
The UCS Hardware and Software Interoperability Matrix outlines the driver versions that are required for a particular OS, device, and firmware combination. Follow these links for the Matrix Utility Tool and the Matrix PDFs:
- UCS Hardware and Software Interoperability Matrix Utility Tool
- UCS Hardware and Software Interoperability Matrix PDFs
This example shows that an ENIC driver version of 188.8.131.52 is required for a B200 M3 with a Virtual Interface Card (VIC) 1240 that runs ESXi 5.1 U1, on UCS Release 2.1.1.
Download the Driver Bundle
Complete these steps in order to download the driver bundle:
- In a web browser, navigate to http://www.cisco.com.
- Under Support, click Download Software.
- Click Unified Computing and Servers.
- Choose your server. Cisco UCS drivers are available for both Cisco UCS B-Series Blade servers and Cisco UCS C-Series Rack-Mount.
- Click Unified Computing System (UCS) Drivers.
- Select the bundle you want to download, and click Download Now.
Identify Server Hardware
Before you select the correct driver, you must identify what hardware devices are installed on the server. This section describes how to find the devices located on the UCS Manager and in the CIMC.
UCS B Series
This example shows how to find the server inventory in UCS Manager. Server 1/1 has two adapter models installed: the VIC 1240 and 1280.
UCS C Series
This example shows how to find the server hardware devices in the CIMC. The server has a LSI 9266-8i RAID controller installed.
Identify the UCS Firmware Release
Before the correct driver version is selected, the UCS release must be identifed. This section describes how to identify the current UCS release installed on the servers.
UCS B Series
In this example, the UCS B Series runs UCS Release 2.1(1a).
UCS C Series
In this example, the UCS C Series runs UCS Release 1.4(6d).
This section describes how to check driver versions and how to install drivers on common OSs.
Use these commands in order to check the current driver versions and VMware build:
|ethtool -i vmnicX||Displays the Ethernet driver used by the specified vmnic|
|vmkload_mod -s driver_name||Displays the driver version for a specified driver|
|vmkload_mod -s fnic||Displays the host bus adapter (HBA) driver version for the Cisco VIC|
|vmkload_mod -s megaraid_sas||Displays the LSI MegaRAID driver version|
|vmware -vl||Displays the VMware build and patch level|
|esxcfg-nics -l||Lists the host vmnics and network interface card (NIC) models|
|esxcfg-scsidev -a||Lists the hosts HBAs and the associated driver name|
These examples show that vmnic2 uses a Cisco VIC and a driver version of 184.108.40.206a.
These examples show that the Qlogic Host Bus Adapter (HBA) uses driver qla2xxx Version 901.1k.1-14vmw.
Install the Driver
Complete these steps in order to install the driver:
- Extract the contents of the driver zip file, and identify the *.vib file.
- Use the Datastore Browser in order to upload the *.vib file to an ESXi host datastore.
- Enter the host into Maintenance mode.
- Install the driver.
Use this command in order to install the driver on ESXi Release 5.x:
esxcli software vib install -v /path/async-driver.vib
Use this command in order to install the driver on ESXi Release 4.x:
esxupdate --bundle=offline-bundle.zip update
Finish the Installation
After you install the driver with one of the previously mentioned commands, exit Maintenance mode and reboot the host. For more information on how to install drivers, reference the Related Information section at the end of this document.
Useful VMware CLI Commands
Here are some other useful VMware commands that you can use when you install a driver:
Check Maintenance Mode Status
vim-cmd hostsvc/hostsummary | grep -i maintenace
Check for Powered-On VMs
vim-cmd vmsvc/power.off <vm id>
Enter Maintenance Mode
Exit Maintenance Mode
Microsoft Windows Server
This section describes how to install a driver on a Microsoft Windows server.
Check Current Driver Version
In order to check the device drivers in Microsoft Windows, use the Device Manager located in the Control Panel.
Hardware devices with missing drivers are displayed in the Device Manager with a yellow question mark. These devices should be updated with the correct driver in order to prevent unexpected behavior.
Install the Driver
In order to install or update a driver in Microsoft Windows, right-click on the device, and choose Install/Update Driver in order to start the Installation Wizard.
Redhat and SuSE Linux
This section describes how to install a driver on Redhat and SuSE Linux systems.
Check Current Driver Versions and OS Release
Here is a list of commands used in order to check the current driver version and OS release:
|modinfo driver_name||Displays driver version for the specified driver|
|modinfo enic||Displays the Ethernet driver for the Cisco VIC adapter|
|modinfo fnic||Displays the FC NIC driver for the Cisco VIC adapter|
|modinfo megaraid_sas||Displays the LSI MegaRAID driver version|
|lsmod -l||Lists currently-loaded drivers in the kernel|
|cat /etc/redhat-release||Shows the Redhat release|
|cat /etc/SuSE-release||Shows the SUSE release|
This example shows that an ENIC driver version of 220.127.116.11 is installed on Redhat Enterprise Linux Release 6.2.
Install the Driver
Drivers in Redhat and SuSE Linux are installed with the Redhat Package Manager (RPM). Use this command in order to install the driver:
rpm -ihv driver-name.rpm
Driver Name Reference Table
This table shows the driver names or prefixes for common drivers.
|enic||Cisco VIC Ethernet NIC|
|fnic||Cisco VIC FC NIC|
|qle or qla||Qlogic adapter|
|lpfc||Emulex HBA (light pulse)|
|be2net||Emulex Ethernet NIC|
|igb or ixgbe||Intel NICs|
- VMware KB: Determining Network/Storage firmware and driver version in ESXi/ESX 4.x and 5.x (1027206)
- VMware KB: Installing async drivers on ESXi 5.x (2005205)
- VMware KB: Installing async drivers on ESXi 4.x (1032936)
- VMware KB: Identifying a PCI device in ESX/ESXi 4.x or ESXi 5.x and comparing it with the VMware HCL (1031534)
- Technical Support & Documentation - Cisco Systems
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Refer to Cisco Technical Tips Conventions for information on conventions used in this document.