How to configure an HP ProLiant DL180 G6 server to provide a console managed by IPMI Serial-over-Lan

Contents

These notes describe how to configure an HP ProLiant DL180 G6 server - located in either the Informatics Forum, AT or KB - so that its console can be managed using IPMI Serial-over-LAN via the School's conserver infrastructure.

Note: The HP ProLiant servers we have are fitted with two on-board network interface cards (NIC1 and NIC2), with an additional NIC (NIC3) installed in a PCI slot. The intention is that NIC1 is to be used for the BMC only, and that NIC2 and NIC3 are to be used as the (bonded) network connections for the machine itself.

1. BMC configuration

1.1. BIOS configuration

Turn on or restart the machine, and type F10 when appropriate to access the BIOS setup screen.

  1. Press the right arrow to get to the Advanced tab, scroll down to IPMI Configuration, and press the Enter key.

  2. Select Set LAN Configuration, and press Enter.

  3. Set the following parameters:

    BMC NIC Allocation Shared
    BMC LAN Configuration DHCP
    (Comment: BMC NIC Allocation needs to be set to Shared, rather than Dedicated, since the BMC is using the first on-board NIC, rather than its own NIC. The fact that we won't actually be using this same NIC from the running OS is irrelevant!)
  4. Take a note of the value of Current MAC address in BMC.

  5. Press ESC twice to get back to the Advanced tab.

  6. Scroll down to BIOS Serial Console Configuration, and press the Enter key.

  7. Set the following parameters:

    BIOS Serial Console Enabled
    Serial port number COM1
    Serial Port Mode 09600 8,n,1
    Redirection After BIOS Post Disabled
    Terminal Type VT100
  8. Press ESC to get back to the Advanced tab, then F10 to exit and save.

1.2. IP address / DNS / DHCP configuration

  1. Allocate an IP address for the BMC on the appropriate server management subnet, and add that address to the DNS with the corresponding hostname set to <machinename>.bmc.inf.ed.ac.uk. The subnets are as follows:

    Server room Server management subnet
    Informatics Forum 192.168.68/23
    AT 192.168.93/24
    KB 192.168.94/24

  2. Ensure that the port to which NIC1 of the host machine is connected carries the corresponding VLAN untagged. The VLAN names are as follows:

    Server room Server management VLAN name Corresponding VLAN tag
    Informatics Forum SOL 468
    AT ATSOL 493
    KB KBSOL 494

    Example: For a machine in the Informatics Forum, the entry in the relevant ports file would look like:
    port  n myserver.bmc - SOL

  3. Add the resources bmchostname and bmcmac to the LCFG profile of the machine: bmchostname should be the fully-qualified domain name chosen in step 1 above; bmcmac should be the MAC address identified in Section 1 above.

    Example:

      ...[snip]...
      /* BMC */
      dhclient.bmchostname            myserver.bmc.inf.ed.ac.uk
      dhclient.bmcmac                 00:1d:09:6a:c9:bb
      !dhclient.cluster               mADD(dhcp/forum/consoles)
      ...[snip]...
    

  4. Allow time for the profile to recompile, and for the DNS and DHCP changes to propagate. Once they have propagated, restart the machine and check that the BMC has correctly acquired its configuration by:

    1. ssh'ing to the console server appropriate for the site - either consoles, atconsoles or kbconsoles.
    2. Typing ping <machinename>.bmc.inf.ed.ac.uk. You should get a response; if you don't, sort out the problem before you proceed any further.

1.3. Reconfiguration of the BMC accounts

The accounts configured on the BMC now need to be set up appropriately.

Background

On delivery, the BMC on HP servers comes configured with two active IPMI accounts, namely:

User ID Username Password User Privilege
2 Operator Operator operator
3 admin admin administrator

(Note that both username and password are case-sensitive.)

In order that IPMI SOL consoles and power control can be used on HP servers within the framework of our existing conserver structure, it's necessary to alter the above configuration so that an IPMI user called root exists, and has the same common 20-byte password as does the equivalent user on our current Dell BMC's. In order that this account can be be used to initiate SOL sessions, it requires 'administrator' privileges.

We could add a brand new account to the BMC to arrange this, but a reasonable way to achieve the same thing is to modify the existing Operator account appropriately, (and, at the same time, to secure the password on the admin account.) This leaves us with a usable privileged account (namely admin) which will not be used by the normal conserver framework, but which might prove handy later. It also means that the user ID of the root user on the HPs will match that of the same user on the Dells (namely, 2). Whilst it isn't strictly necessary that the user ID's of the root accounts should match in this way across servers, it might avoid confusion later on.

  1. ssh to to the console server appropriate for the site - either consoles, atconsoles or kbconsoles.

  2. telnet <machinename>.bmc.inf.ed.ac.uk, then proceed as follows (noting that everything is case-sensitive):

      login: admin
      Password: admin
    
      cd map1/accounts/user2
      set username=root
      set group=administrator
      cd ..
      cd user3
      set password=<our 'usual' system password>
      exit
    

    Note: Before you type exit to leave the above session, it would be a good idea to initiate a second telnet session to <machinename>.bmc.inf.ed.ac.uk from the console server appropriate to the site in order to check that the password for the admin username (i.e. user ID 3) has indeed been set correctly to our 'usual' one!

  3. Back on your ssh session on the console server appropriate for the site (either consoles, atconsoles or kbconsoles):

    1. nsu to root
    2. Issue the command /usr/sbin/conserver-ipmisetpass <machinename>.bmc

    This command changes the password of the BMC's root account to our standard one. When it runs, you will prompted for the current default password of the root account: it is Operator.

2. Setting LCFG resources

2.1 Machine configuration

Add the following line to the profile of a machine which is to use an IPMI SOL console:

  #include <dice/options/serialconsole.h>

Note that this configuration is - unlike that for a Dell server using an IPMI SOL console - exactly the same as for a standard directly-attached serial console. That is, the baud rate and serial interface to be specified are 9600 and ttyS0 (i.e. COM1) respectively.

2.2 conserver configuration

Edit the live/console_server.h header, and add the target machine's hostname (not the hostname of its BMC) to the next available free IPMI SOL 'slot' for the relevant site.

Example:

  /********************
   *  Forum Consoles  *
   ********************/
   ...[snip]...

  /* Consoles managed via IPMI SOL */

   ...[snip]...
  conserver.consolename_srsol00s42      myserver
   ...[snip]...  

Allow time for this live header change to propagate, then test the new console by ssh 'ing to any console server and running console <machinename>.

3. Problems and workarounds

3.1 Difficulties initiating PXE via the remote console

To select a PXE install on the HPs, the key sequence when using a directly-attached keyboard is F12; the equivalent sequence when working via a remote serial console is ESC+@.

Whilst entering F12 via a directly-attached keyboard works as expected, it seems to be very tricky to get ESC+@ recognised when working via a remote serial console: the problem seems to be that the timing is very sensitive.

The best advice so far is to type the ESC+@ string immediately after the RAID controller SCAN is complete (this will be before the 'enter F12/ESC+@ for PXEboot prompt' has appeared), and then to continue typing further ESC+@ strings. With luck, one of the ESC+@'s will be recognised; if not, refer to the workaround below.

(Note that this problem also affects remote serial consoles provided by a Lantronix box.)

Workaround:

Either:

Perform the PXE install via a monitor and keyboard directly attached to the machine.

or:

At the serial console, select the BIOS screen by entering ESC+0 (the equivalent of F10 at a directly-attached keyboard) to enter the BIOS and, there, alter the boot order so that a network PXE boot is the first choice. Revert this choice at the next boot cycle in the installation process.

4. Further information

  1. Manuals for the HP ProLiant DL180 G6 Server series - in particular, the 'HP ProLiant Lights Out 100 User Guide'.

-- IanDurkacz - 14 Sep 2010

Topic revision: r22 - 03 Mar 2017 - 21:52:35 - IanDurkacz
DICE.HPIPMISOLConsoleConfiguration moved from DICE.ForumHPIPMISOLConsoleConfiguration on 04 Oct 2010 - 12:39 by IanDurkacz - put it back
 
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