Knowledge base:
NIC Firmware upgrade on the 3x00 series
Posted by Pieter Vandercammen, Last modified by Craig Godbold on 29 November 2023 01:48 PM

This article is intended for the owners of a ByteBlower 3100 or 3200 model. These systems use an off-the-shelf Intel NIC with traffic generation being handled in software. It has come to our attention that the default firmware on this NIC is not without issues. This guide explains how to upgrade.

The NIC has in particular issues handling when the other side of the fiber connection does not shutdown in a controlled way. For example when the switch restarts due to a configuration change, or due to intermittent loss of power. In response to such events NIC will continuously cycle bringing the link up and losing connection again. This can be seen as:

  • a slow blinking of the LEDS with about a cycle time of about 4s.
  • A square wave of the throughput with the same cycle period.
  • Tests that fail to properly start, only to start quickly a couple short moments later.

Before updating the NIC, it does help to reach out to We'll help you walk through the following steps:

  1. SSH into the ByteBlower server.
    The login username is "root", default password is "excentis"

  2. Temporarily put the OS back into control of the NIC
    /etc/init.d/dpdk stop

  3. Download and unpack the the new firmware in a temporary directory.
    cd /tmp
    wget --no-check-certificate
    tar xzvf 700Series_NVMUpdatePackage_v8_40_Linux.tar.gz

  4. Perform the update on the NIC

    cd 700Series/Linux_x64/

    This last line brings up a screen, quite similar to the one below. Only the x710-2 requires an update. Your ByteBlower server has two such NICs inside both require an update.

    After the update you will get a screen like below. The updater isn't perfect unfortunately, it will complain about communication with the base driver. This message can be ignored.

  5. Reboot the ByteBlower server.
    On next boot the traffic generation servises will be (re)started and normal traffic generation mode is resumed.
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