Upgrading Real-Time PXIe Chassis with Minimal Downtime

Updated Mar 26, 2018

Reported In

Hardware

  • PXI Chassis

Software

  • LabVIEW Real-Time Module

Operating System

  • PharLap

Issue Details

I am upgrading the PXIe chassis of a Real-Time system and want to ensure that my system encounters as little downtime as possible.  What steps should I take to ensure the new system will be functional with minimal downtime? 

Solution

NI's recommended upgrade procedure for a PXIe chassis with a real-time controller is as follows: 
  1. Export the RT System Configuration from the Remote System in NI MAX and physically note the location of modules in the chassis as those cannot change when upgrading the chassis without reconfiguring the project.  This can be done without interrupting system operation, with more detailed instructions found here:
  1. Take an image of the RT system using either the RAD Utility or Get System Image.vi.  Store this image in a secure location - it should not be necessary, but you will need to use it if any step in this process fails. 
  2. Consult your controller's user manual and understand the DIP switch configuration.  Ensure that the "Reset IP Address" DIP switch is set to "Off" if the controller is going to remain on the same subnet.  If the test system will be physically moved to a different subnet, the IP address will need to be reset, either from the controller's BIOS or using this switch.  For an example - on the PXIe-8840 controller, this information is on page 31 of the PXIe-8840 User's Manual.  Other PXIe controllers should have similar sections. 
  3. Power the system down and have the replacement chassis nearby. 
  4. Remove the modules from the old chassis and insert them into the equivalent slots on the new chassis.  
  5. Insert the controller from the previous chassis into the new chassis.  If you removed the Ethernet cable, plug it into the same port (Eth0) that it was previously plugged into. 
  6. Power on the system.  Find the Remote System in NI MAX - it should have the same name and IP information as before.  The boards, however, may have been renamed to defaults.  Import the MAX configuration exported in Step 1 noting that the system configurations are chassis-agnostic and should import correctly with the new chassis, assuming the modules are in the equivalent slots. 
  7. At this point, you can redeploy your project to the controller and the changes should stick.  It should not be necessary to modify the chassis in your LabVIEW project.  If the deployment works, validate the system and integrate it back into your test system.  If the deployment does not work, troubleshoot as necessary and potentially try deploying the RAD Image or use Set System Image.vi to deploy the system image. 

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