Frequently Asked Questions

  The following section contains support related FAQs.  Click on the category below to display the list of FAQs listed in the selected category. 

Backup and Recovery (6)

You should back up your entire system, including networking information. You should also back up your configuration files once configuration has been completed. The GPA 2G comes with a factory restore default image on the machine itself for the purpose of restoring the unit to the factory configuration. These backup procedures are covered below.

If you have a machine that is V1_5 or older, use the Setup menu and select “Manage Rescue Images” --> “Create Rescue Image”. This rescue image will include the current state of your software (including patches and version updates that have been previously applied to the machine).

If you have a machine that is Version 2_0 or newer, use the Setup menu and select “Manage Restore Image Sets” --> “Create Restore Image Set”

For machines that are Version 1_5 or older, if you want to use a pen drive for system rescue purposes (to either perform a factory restore or restore from a user image), you will need to acquire a rescue pen drive from Gcom. Please contact support@gcom.com.

If you have a Version 2_0 or newer machine, use the Setup interface to select “Manage USB Storage Device” --> “Create Pen Drive” --> “Create Bootable Restore Pen Drive”. This pen drive has its own Linux OS on it and is used when your machine has problems booting. This type of pen drive is not used for back up purposes. Note: “restore” and “rescue” are synonymous on the GPA 2G. Depending on the version of your machine, a particular setup menu item might use either term.

On V1_5 and older machines pen drives are also used for installing updates/patches to system software, while configuration and networking information are stored on our PPM (“Portable Personality Module”) flash card.

With Version 2_0 and later machines, the PPM is no longer used and pen drives are used for back up and recovery procedures like updating configuration files (see the following two FAQs for more information).

As of Version 2_0, the terminology “personality transfer” is no longer used with the GPA 2G. Prior to Version 2_0, “personality transfer” referred to physically moving a PPM from one machine to another in order to move all network and legacy stack configuration to a new machine. While helpful in specific fail-over situations, this process cannot be used as a method to “duplicate” the same configuration across multiple machines, since networking information needs to be unique for each machine.

On Version 2_0 and newer machines, the personality transfer function is done via USB pen drive and the Setup menus, all of which are found in “Manage USB Storage Device” --> “Import Configuration Files” sub-menu. On Version 2_0 and newer machines, this is how you back up and recover networking information and specific configuration files.

On Version 1_5 and older machines, you back up your configuration files by creating a tarball and downloading them from the machine. Using the GMC (our web interface), you click the “Management” button --> “Archives” button--> “Create” linktext --> select checkboxes next to desired configurations files --> Type in a name for your tarball --> “Archive Files” linktext --> Click on the name of your newly created tarball...and now you can save it to your local machine. Once the tarball is created, it can be used to restore the machine configuration using the procedure in the document located at: http://web.gcom.com/files/files/gpa_2g_install_tarball_config.pdf

On Version 2_0 and newer machines, you will use a pen drive to backup and restore configuration files. You can back up configuration files and networking information from the Setup interface under “Manage USB Storage Device” --> “Create Pen Drive” -> “Export Configuration Files to Pen Drive”. These exported configuration files can be retrieved later from the same Setup interface, using: “Manage USB Storage Device” --> “Import Configuration Files” (as mentioned in the answer to Question #6) which allows you to retrieve either the configuration files, the networking information, or both.

General (4)

NOTE: This procedure is for new GPA 2Gs only. If you are updating an existing system with the GPA 2G update pen drive, please refer to the section titled "Installing Updated GPA 2G Software".

To setup and install your GPA 2G you will need to perform the following steps:

  1. Connect the interface devices.

    Typically, a keyboard and monitor are connected directly to the GPA 2G.  You may also use a dumb terminal device or terminal emulation software (such as a PC with HyperTerminal) connected to COM1, located on the back panel of the device.

    If using a dumb terminal or emulation software, it should be set to 9600 baud rate, 8 bits, 1 stop bit, no parity.

  2. Connect the power cord and power on the GPA 2G.
  3. Configure the network information.

    The IP address, network mask, broadcast IP address, default gateway, and DNS servers' IP addresses should be gathered from your network System Administrator.

    By default, the GPA 2G has a firewall running which allows access to the box using only http, ssh, snmp, ssd, and ping ports. To block any of the ports listed you must click on the port that you want to close to block. The entire firewall can also be disabled.
    If you configure any DNS servers using the “Configure DNS Servers” sub-menu of the “Configure IP Networking Menu”, this will override any hostname that you set up in the main menu.

    If you configure a NTP server in the “Configure Network Time Synchronization” sub-menu of the  “Configure IP Networking Menu” the box will now override any date/time settings that you might set up in the main menu. This will occur immediately upon reboot, or gradually over time before the next reboot-- if the difference between the two settings is large. That gradual correction to NTP time may not be immediately noticeable and could be confusing.

  4. Connect the Ethernet cable to the GPA 2G.

  5. Verify network connectivity by accessing the GPA 2G's Gcom Management Console (GMC).

    This procedure is performed by navigating to the IP address of the GPA 2G, assigned in the previous step, using a web browser.  The default username is “admin” and the default password is “gcom.com”

    NOTE: When accessing the GMC for the first time, you should ensure that the software has activated the various cards in the box by clicking the “Troubleshoot” button ---> clicking the “Hardware Data” button.  

Once you have determined that want to install a more recent version of Gcom's software package, contact Gcom support (support@gcom.com). We will ask you for the current version that your machine is running. You can determine the current version by performing the following steps:

  1. Using SSH, log into the GPA 2G.
  2. Type "cat /var/sadm/pkg/GcomSPS/pkginfo" and note the content of that file-- it includes the version number of the SPS (our overall protocol suite) and the Gcom Management Console, which is the Web-based management interface, contained within the SPS.

Once you have that information, we can then specify which update (or series of updates) will work best for you. When we have the software update image ready we will place it on our FTP download site and inform you that it is ready. We do not archive the software images and software images will only be made available on the FTP site for as long as is necessary.

Once the image is ready, we will send you the link and then you can use any FTP client to access and download the image.

Once the image has been downloaded, you will need to perform the following steps to install the image: 

  1. Unzip the image to a USB pen drive. NOTE: Do not unzip it on the GPA 2G itself! 
  2. Insert the pen drive into the USB port of a GPA 2G and the upgrade will start. 
  3. Follow the directions on the screen until update is complete. 
  4. Reboot the GPA 2G system to verify that the version number on the (setup) main screen has changed.

NOTE: If you have multiple GPA 2G devices, one pen drive can update each device with this same procedure.

NOTE: Each update should take 15-30 minutes.

NOTE: The procedures in this document are regarding only the SPS. The console menu software requires a separate upgrade procedure. If you feel that you would like to upgrade that (for example, from V1_5 to V2_0), please contact Gcom support (support@gcom.com).

The GPA 2G makes a great deal of logging information available to customers and their developers. Information from log files is always useful, never more so than when troubleshooting problems or changes to configurations. However, it is important to recognize that best practices, when using the GPA 2G, involves using a limited set of logging so that you can get the maximum performance from the device on a day-to-day basis.

Best practices are to use the GPA 2G's web interface (the “Gcom Management Console” or “GMC”) and set the following parameters [Note: Any or all of these may already have defaulted to these values, depending on the version of your software.]

  1. Click the "Applications" button. It is along the top on every screen and also in the middle of the work area when you first login.
  2. Click the "Load SSD" button. It is found along the left. 
  3. Select the SSD that you intend to use. 
  4. In the “Logging Options” section, set the Log Size to any amount (don't leave it blank). We suggest “10000”, which is 10MB, as being usually sufficient. Sizes much larger than that may affect performance. 
  5. In the “Logging Options” section, set the Logging Options to “0x40”. 
  6. In the “Logging Options” section, set the Log File to “ssd.log”. 
  7. In the “Connection Name” section, select the “Log” linktext next to the “gpi.0” connection. Now “gpi.0” will appear up in the “Logging Options” section. 
  8. Making sure that “gpi.0” is selected in the drop-down menu in the “Logging Options” section, set it's Log File to “gpi.log”. 
  9. Making sure that “gpi.0” is selected in the drop-down menu in the “Logging Options” section, set it's Logging Options to “0x00” (zero). 
  10. For each connection added thereafter, we suggest that you create a unique log file name. This is done similarly to Steps #7 and #8 above.

NOTE: Logs are also part of our dump file. Please see the next section titled “Troubleshooting and Dump Analysis” for more information.

The GPA 2G makes a great deal of line tracing information available to customers and their developers. If you are troubleshooting a connection, it is very useful to be able to quickly determine if the problem lies within the GPA 2G or not. This can be done with traces, which are a standard part of our dump file.

Creating Dump files Dumps can be created in one of two ways: 

  1. From the GMC, click “Troubleshoot” button, then click “Run the Command” linktext. [Note: Make sure that the Checkbox next to “Select to exclude...” is not selected.] Or you can:
  2. Using SSH, log into the GPA 2G, type “Gcom_dump>name_of_dumpfile”

Analyzing the “trace” portion-- No Data

From within the dump file, you can see the output from various commands*. Find the section of the dump file corresponding to “Gcom_cdi -t{#}” command. Ignoring the initialization time entries at the very beginning, the following output would show no traffic is coming in:

68190150 Rcv Tkn 01->05 Timer Prod extra=0000 bfrp=0 othr=0
68200150 Rcv Tkn 01->05 Timer Prod extra=0000 bfrp=0 othr=0
68210150 Rcv Tkn 01->05 Timer Prod extra=0000 bfrp=0 othr=0
68220150 Rcv Tkn 01->05 Timer Prod extra=0000 bfrp=0 othr=0

These entries are from the end of the output. Notice that every 10 seconds (the numbers are in milliseconds) there is a “Timer Prod”. These serial chip receiver resets occur if ten seconds goes by without receiving any input. If you see a string of these, then no input is occurring.

Analyzing the “trace” portion-- Successfully Receiving Data

Pairs of lines in the Gcom_cdi -t output that look like the following are indicative of receiving data:

597736200 Rcv Bfr (6) 10 20 28 29 2a 1d 00 00 06 0e 00 00 00 00 00 00
597736200 Snd Tkn 05->06 Frm Rcvd extra=fff7 bfrp=d16a5124 othr=0

The "Rcv Bfr" entry shows the first few bytes of the incoming data with the byte count in parentheses. The following "Snd Tkn...Frm Rcvd" entry shows that the buffer is being forwarded to the protocol layers for further processing.

Analyzing the “trace” portion-- Successfully Transmitting Data

Sequences that look like the following are indicative of the successful transmitting of data:

597725000 Snd Bfr (2) 0f 37 00 00 04 00 00 00 02 0e 00 00 00 00 00 00
597725000 Rcv Tkn 03->03 Frm Xmitted extra=0000 bfrp=db4b4d24 othr=0
597725000 Snd Tkn 03->04 Frm Xmitted extra=0000 bfrp=db4b4d24 othr=0

The "Snd Bfr" shows the first few bytes being sent with the byte count in parentheses. The "Rcv Tkn...From Xmitted" indicates that the data was successfully transmitted. The "Snd Tkn...Frm Xmitted" indicates that the protocol layers are being informed of the successful transmission.

A functioning interface will have a “Gcom_cdi -t{#}” output that looks more like this:

68455000 Snd Bfr ( 2) 0f 37 00 00 04 00 00 00 02 0e 00 00 00 00 00 00
68455000 Rcv Tkn 03->03 Frm Xmitted extra=0000 bfrp=d821a124 othr=0
68455000 Snd Tkn 03->04 Frm Xmitted extra=0000 bfrp=d821a124 othr=0

Alternative way to verify 'No Traffic'

If you want to confirm this at a lower level, find the section for "ivp sca-intr-trace". If nothing is happening down in the Digi driver other than timer interrupts, the output will resemble this:

68221350 compute-IMVR: isr0=0 isr1=0 isr2=40 vector=3C
68221350 Vector: Vect=0x3C timer 0/2
68221350 compute-IMVR: isr0=0 isr1=0 isr2=40 vector=3C
68221350 Vector: Vect=0x3C timer 0/2
68221350 compute-IMVR: isr0=0 isr1=0 isr2=40 vector=3C
68221350 Vector: Vect=0x3C timer 0/2

* These commands can also be executed from the command line after you have entered the box via SSH.