HP Proliant XL270d (Gen 9)

There are two of these in a HPE Apollo d6500 4U chassis.

System Startup

When the system starts up it goes through a fairly length process of initialisation and validation. Once you reach the second, more graphical, page with the title "HPE Proliant" you get to choose from several actions:

[F9] System Utilities [F10] Intelligent Provisioning [F11] Boot Menu [F12] Network Boot

During this stage a warning will appear in yellow text noting "important information or errors" relating to the "Embedded storage: Dynamic smart array". This is not a problem and you can safely press the [F1] key to speed up the boot process.

BIOS

The BIOS configuration is accessed by pressing [F9] for "System Utilities" during the boot process.

Initially we had issues with one of the nodes throwing errors like "x64 Exception type 02 NMI detected", this was resolved by upgrading the BIOS firmware to the latest available (currently U25 2.60).

Very little needs to be changed in the BIOS configuration. The main thing is to change the serial console settings, that's done through "System Configuration" -> "BIOS/Platform Configuration (RBSU)" -> "BIOS Serial Console and EMS", the settings need to be:

Console Port
Virtual Serial Port
Baud Rate
115200
EMS Console
disabled

The EMS console is a Windows thing and should be disabled by default but it's best to check to be certain.

iLO

The iLO is the "integrated lights out" remote management tool, it's similar to the Dell iDRAC. These machines have iLO version 4.

To get the serial consoles working over IPMI I had to upgrade the iLO firmware to the latest available.

The iLO requires some configuration of the network settings, this is done through "System Configuration" -> "iLO4 ..." -> "Network Options", the settings need to be:

Network Interface
ON
DHCP Enable
OFF
IP address
192.168.93.XX
subnet
255.255.255.0
gateway
0.0.0.0

When the "Network Interface" is set to "ON" it uses the dedicated interface which is connected to the network via the shared cable on the rear of the chassis. It can also be set to use a shared interface. The two interfaces have different MAC addresses which should be recorded in the LCFG profile.

There appears to be a problem with the latest version of the firmware which means the DHCP support doesn't work correctly. Rather than spend ages investigating I just hardwired the necessary address.

Once the iLO is up and running the easiest way to configure it is through the web interface, that can be done using a web browser on your local desktop with a SOCKS proxy to the atconsoles machine.

For our local conserver system to work a root user must be added which has the correct password. Don't fiddle with the Administrator account, that seems to be required for the web interface to work properly. The password for the administrator account is on the little plastic tab which can be pulled out of the front (centre/bottom edge) of the server.

PXE boot

PXE booting is a little awkward, for some reason the UEFI PXE support does not work correctly. The simplest solution to this problem is to PXE boot in legacy mode. On the initial boot page select the [F11] "Boot Menu" action (NOT [F12] "Network Boot") and then choose the final item in the list "BIOS one-time legacy boot menu". This will cause the machine to reboot again into legacy mode, ignore any dialogues about flexboot/mellanox, eventually a list of boot options will be displayed from which you should choose "4 One time boot to network", the standard DICE PXE menu should then appear.

Before charging ahead and selecting "(I)nstall" from the LCFG installer menu wait a minute or two for the disk drivers to be ready. You should see one or two messages about "hpsa... Acknowleding event ... HP SSD smart path state change". It seems that the machine takes a couple of minutes to settle and be ready for the installer to do the partitioning and formatting.

-- StephenQuinney - 14 Sep 2018

Topic revision: r1 - 14 Sep 2018 - 11:11:18 - StephenQuinney
 
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