How to do a firmware update of Integrated Management Module (IMM2) on a IBM System X Server

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Updating the Integrated Management Module (IMM2) on an IBM System X server seems to be easy. However when looking for the correct firmware download, it quickly gets confusing. Sometimes you land on the Lenovo download page for IMM2, just to finally find out that their versions don't match and verification fails, too. On the other hand you sometimes land on official IBM documentation which mentions that a ".bin" or ".exe" suffix is needed to update.

This step by step guide was made to avoid confusion the next time I have to do this.

The IMM2 firmware update was made on an older System X3650 M4 BD server.

The correct download site: Fix Central

Different versions of official and unofficial documentations point to multiple download URLs. However, as of this writing in October 2020, the correct download site for IBM server firmware is IBM Support: Fix Central.

Once the correct System X model was selected (here x3650 M4 BD), the available download categories should show up. For IMM2 it doesn't matter whether "All" or "Operating System Independent / None" was selected as operating system.

The list also contains a category "IMM2". That's what we want.

In the IMM2 category, just one download is available: The latest available release. In this case this is version 8.00 released in September 2020.

IBM Support Fix Central Download IMM2

After a click on the "Integrated Management Module 2 (IMM2) Update" link, you need to login with your IBM account.

Once logged in, select "Download using your browser (HTTPS)" as download option and click on Continue.

Finally at the end of the page, a couple of files should be listed:

IBM Support Fix Central Download IMM2 files

The relevant file here is the one with the ".uxz" suffix, the largest file (here ibm_fw_imm2_1aoo96a-8.00_anyos_noarch.uxz). Download this file.

The uxz file is bascially a zip package containing multiple files:

  • imm.mib
  • imm2_tcoo40a-4.70.upd
  • immalert.mib
  • OpenSourceNotices.html
For the curious, the uxz package can be unpacked using a program such as 7-Zip, but extracting the files is not needed for the firmware update.

Firmware Upgrade in IMM2

Log into IMM of your System X server.

IMM2 status

Navigate to Server Management -> Server Firmware. An overview of the current firmware versions should be showing up, including the IMM2 firmware version. Click on the "Update Firmware..." button.

An "in-site popup" should show up where you can select the firmware file as the first step. Select the previously downloaded uxz file.

IMM2 firmware update

After a click on the "Next >" button, the file is being uploaded.

IMM2 firmware update

Once the upload was completed, a verification happens. If the uploaded file passes the verification, a green confirmation shows up:

IMM2 firmware update

After a click on the "Next >" button, the additional options are showing up. In this step you can define what action you want to do. If you have a primary and backup IMM2 you could also update both primary and backup at the same time, but this is not recommended (you may want to fail back to a working version in case the firmware update fails).

IMM2 firmware update

Here the process is continued with the default action to just update the primary IMM2. After another click on the Next button, the IMM2 firmware is flashed:

IMM2 firmware update

At the end, a confirmation shows the end of the firmware flash process:

IMM2 firmware update

Click on the "Restart IMM" button to restart the IMM2 software and internal web server. This will take around 5-10 minutes to complete.

After the IMM2 update

After the firmware update, it took between 5-10 minutes until the IMM2 login prompt was showing up in the browser again. Once logged in, the new firmware version 8.00 can be seen under Server Management -> Server Firmware.

IMM2 firmware updated

After IMM was updated, SNMP checks did not work anymore (we are using the monitoring plugin to monitor the hardware health via IMM SNMP). SNMP needed to be enabled again.

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