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Admin Mistake: Dell OMSA Not Running Properly on CentOS

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Background
The concept is that you have some Dell R610 server running CentOS 5.8 operating system and you are using Dell OMSA command line utilities to perform the hardware monitoring.

Problem
The monitoring checks are failing with “Unknown” status and if you attempt to locally execute the equivalent commands there is no response. For example:

[root@somewhere ~]# omreport chassis
Health

For further help, type the command followed by -?
[root@somewhere ~]#

Which of course is not the correct output.

Mistake
My initial thought was that it was missing the compatibility C++ standard library but this was not the case.

[root@somewhere ~]# rpm -qa|grep compat-libstdc++
compat-libstdc++-33-3.2.3-61
compat-libstdc++-296-2.96-138
compat-libstdc++-33-3.2.3-61
[root@somewhere ~]#

The problem was that “Systems Management Data Engine init script” was not configured to start on boot. Consequently, the required services were stopped after a reboot.

[root@somewhere ~]# service dataeng status
dsm_sa_datamgrd is stopped
dsm_sa_eventmgrd is stopped
dsm_sa_snmpd is stopped
[root@somewhere ~]#

Resolution
Quite simple… First start the init script.

[root@somewhere ~]# service dataeng start
Starting Systems Management Data Engine:
Starting dsm_sa_datamgrd:                                  [  OK  ]
Starting dsm_sa_eventmgrd:                                 [  OK  ]
Starting dsm_sa_snmpd:                                     [  OK  ]
[root@somewhere ~]#

And then make it start on boot…

[root@somewhere ~]# chkconfig dataeng on
[root@somewhere ~]# chkconfig --list dataeng
dataeng         0:off   1:off   2:on    3:on    4:on    5:on    6:off
[root@somewhere ~]#

Obviously, the utilities are now working properly.

[root@somewhere ~]# omreport chassis
Health

Main System Chassis

SEVERITY : COMPONENT
Ok       : Fans
Ok       : Intrusion
Ok       : Memory
Ok       : Power Supplies
Ok       : Power Management
Ok       : Processors
Ok       : Temperatures
Ok       : Voltages
Ok       : Hardware Log
Ok       : Batteries

For further help, type the command followed by -?

[root@somewhere ~]#

Written by xorl

August 6, 2012 at 15:05

How to use DELL iDRAC Virtual Media

with one comment

So, iDRAC offers a very good implementation for remote virtual media. In this quick how-to we will see how you can use them to perform remote installations.

Here I will be using a DELL PowerEdge R610 which comes with iDRAC6. First login to the web interface were you normally should have something similar to the next screen capture.



Next, go to the “Console/Media” tab were you will see something like this.



As you can see, by default the “Virtual Media” is detached. This means that you cannot use this feature. So, click on the “Configuration” tab.



And change the “Status” value from “Detached” to “Attached”. You also have the option of “Auto Attach” but personally I recommend enabling this feature only when needed. Furthermore, if you’re communicating through internet or other insecure networks, then enabling the “Virtual Media Encryption Enabled” option is useful.
Anyway, next go back to “Virtual Console and Virtual Media” menu.



And click on “Launch Virtual Console” button. This will either execute an ActiveX or Java Applet based client depending on the browser. On the console go to “Virtual Media -> Launch Virtual Media” as shown in the below screen capture.



If virtual media support is enabled, this will open a new window similar to the one you see here.



Click on “Add image…” and a dialogue box will appear to find the image file you want from your local system.



And the new image file should be visible to the virtual media panel.



Don’t forget to enable the “Mapped” check box for this virtual media to make it available to the remote host you’re working with. Okay, so lets restart the remote server using “Ctrl+Alt+Del” to avoid wasting time…



Now, during boot you will notice the BIOS options you have.




Press F11 to enter the BIOS boot manager menu and select “Virtual Media” as the boot device.



Normally, the server should boot from the remote virtual media like if it was a common media device physically attached to it.



Back to the virtual media window, you can click on the “Details” button in order to see the exact number of Bytes that are transferred from and to the virtual media.

If you happen to use the older DRAC5 interface, then there are some slight differences. Basically, in the web interface there is a separate tab for accessing the remote console.



And another one named “Media” for accessing and managing virtual media.



This means that you have to launch the virtual media and virtual console separately. Apart from this there are no major differences for mapping remote virtual media using the iDRAC management interface.

Written by xorl

July 31, 2011 at 04:09

Posted in administration, dell

Dell iDRAC Network Configuration with Linux

with 2 comments

To begin with, iDRAC is definately not my favourite lights-out management interface.

In any case, I was recently needing to have console access on a remote Dell PowerEdge R610 server (located on a different country). When I attempted to log in to its iDRAC using the documented (from the engineer that did the initial installation) IP address I got this:



Unfortunately, after a couple of minutes of searching here and there I realized that the iDRAC interface was not configured at all!

So, the obvious solution was to find a local engineer with physical access to the server in order to login using the rack’s KVM and during boot time press CTRL+E key combination…




And quickly get the iDRAC configuration screen…



However, like most enterprise class products, iDRAC provides operating system level utilities to do all the administration remotely. In Dell’s case, the tool we are looking for is called ‘racadm’ as part of Dell OpenManage Server Administration (OMSA) suite. Now, below you can see how simple is to do the network configuration of the iDRAC interface using this tool…

[root@somewhere ~]# racadm setniccfg -s XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX 255.255.255.0 XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX
Static IP configuration enabled and modified successfully
[root@somewhere ~]#

The IP addresses were intentionally masked with ‘X’. The first argument is the IP address we want for the iDRAC interface, the second is its subnet mask and the last one its default gateway IP address.

Verify that your changes actually took effect using the following command.

[root@somewhere ~]# racadm getniccfg

IPv4 settings:
NIC Enabled     = 1
IPv4 Enabled    = 1
DHCP Enabled    = 0
IP Address      = XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX 
Subnet Mask     = 255.255.255.0
Gateway         = XXX.XXX.XXX.XXX 

IPv6 settings:
IPv6 Enabled       = 0
DHCP6 Enabled      = 1
IP Address 1       = ::
Gateway            = ::
Link Local Address = ::
IP Address 2       = ::
IP Address 3       = ::
IP Address 4       = ::
IP Address 5       = ::
IP Address 6       = ::
IP Address 7       = ::
IP Address 8       = ::
IP Address 9       = ::
IP Address 10      = ::
IP Address 11      = ::
IP Address 12      = ::
IP Address 13      = ::
IP Address 14      = ::
IP Address 15      = ::

LOM Status:
NIC Selection   = Dedicated
Link Detected   = Yes
Speed           = 100Mb/s
Duplex Mode     = Full Duplex
[root@somewhere ~]#

Dell’s ‘racadm’ has options to do almost any iDRAC related configuration but in my case this was sufficient to login to its web interface and continue my work from there…



Once again this something very simple but I hope that it will help other users who faced the same problem.

Written by xorl

July 17, 2011 at 15:53

Posted in administration, dell, linux

Dell PowerEdge Firmware Update Problem on CentOS

with one comment

I was recently upgrading some old Dell PowerEdge R610 servers. Obviously, this process includes installing the latest BIOS firmware. So, here is the problem…

The system was running CentOS 6.0 x86_64 and I was using the simple manual installation as shown below…

[root@somewhere ~]# cd /tmp
[root@somewhere tmp]# chmod +x PER610_BIOS_LX_3.0.0.BIN
[root@somewhere tmp]# ./PER610_BIOS_LX_3.0.0.BIN
Dell Update Package 6.5 (BLD_131)
Copyright (c) 2003-2010 Dell, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Release Title:
Dell Server BIOS 11G, 3.0.0

Release Date:
February 03, 2011

Default Log File Name:
R296031

Supported System(s):
PowerEdge R610

Description:
PowerEdge R610, BIOS, 3.0.0

Supported Device(s):
Server BIOS 11G

Fixes / Enhancements:
* Updated the embedded 5709 UEFI driver to version 6.2.0
* Added Support for Dell Lifecycle Controller 1.5

Important Device Information:
* Do not run other applications while executing Dell Update Packages.

* The software contained in a Dell Update Package for Linux is an aggregate of third party
programs as well as Dell programs.  Use of the software is subject to designated license terms.
All Software that is designated as "under the terms of the GNU GPL" may be copied, distributed
and/or modified in accordance with the terms and conditions of the GNU General Public License,
Version 2, June 1991.  All software that is designated as "under the terms of the GNU LGPL"
(or "Lesser GPL") may be copied, distributed and/or modified in accordance with the terms and
conditions of the GNU Lesser General Public License, Version 2.1, February 1999.  Under these
GNU licenses, you are also entitled to obtain the corresponding source files by contacting Dell
at 1-800-WWW-DELL.  Please refer to the Open Manage Open Source DVD.  There may be a nominal fee
charged to you for the physical act of transferring a copy.

* If the following error occurs, "Error while loading shared libraries: libstdc++.so.5: cannot
open shared object file: No such file or directory", you must install the compatibility libraries
from the vendor OS repository or from the OS installation media. 

  [ ... omitting ... ]

Page notes with 'less', press 'q' to continue DUP exec;

However, after pressing ‘q’ to continue with the installation, it failed like this:

Collecting inventory...
....
Running validation...

BIOS

The version of this Update Package is newer than the currently installed version.
Software application name: BIOS
Package version: 3.0.0
Installed version: 1.3.6


Continue? Y/N:Y
Executing update...
WARNING: DO NOT STOP THIS PROCESS OR INSTALL OTHER DELL PRODUCTS WHILE UPDATE IS IN PROGRESS.
THESE ACTIONS MAY CAUSE YOUR SYSTEM TO BECOME UNSTABLE!
....
The update failed to complete

[root@somewhere tmp]#

After extracting the “PER610_BIOS_LX_3.0.0.BIN” shell script’s contents and running it in debug mode I saw that it was failing while attempting to read the contents of ‘/etc/redhat-release’ file which in CentOS 6.0 is just this:

[root@somewhere tmp]# cat /etc/redhat-release
CentOS Linux release 6.0 (Final)
[root@somewhere tmp]#

So, my attempt was to make it look more like the equivalent RHEL one.

[root@somewhere tmp]# cp /etc/redhat-release .
[root@somewhere tmp]# echo "Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server release 6.0 (Santiago)" > /etc/redhat-release

And just run the script again…

[root@somewhere tmp]# ./PER610_BIOS_LX_3.0.0.BIN 
Dell Update Package 6.5 (BLD_131)
Copyright (c) 2003-2010 Dell, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Release Title:
Dell Server BIOS 11G, 3.0.0

Release Date:
February 03, 2011

Default Log File Name:
R296031

Supported System(s):
PowerEdge R610

Description:
PowerEdge R610, BIOS, 3.0.0

Supported Device(s):
Server BIOS 11G


   [ ... omitting  ... ]


Running validation...

BIOS

The version of this Update Package is newer than the currently installed version.
Software application name: BIOS
Package version: 3.0.0
Installed version: 1.3.6


Continue? Y/N:Y
Executing update...
WARNING: DO NOT STOP THIS PROCESS OR INSTALL OTHER DELL PRODUCTS WHILE UPDATE IS IN PROGRESS.
THESE ACTIONS MAY CAUSE YOUR SYSTEM TO BECOME UNSTABLE!
...............................................................................................................................................................
The BIOS image file is successfully loaded. To apply the BIOS update successfuly, the OMSA data manager service is stopped. Reboot your system to complete the update. Do not shutdown, cold reboot, power cycle, or switch off your system before the BIOS update is complete.  Restart your system for the update to take effect since the update will be incomplete until you reboot the system.
Would you like to reboot your system now?
Continue? Y/N:Y

Broadcast message from root@somewhere
	(/dev/tty1) at 18:32 ...

The system is going down for reboot NOW!

And guess what?
It worked! :)

Anyway, I hope this will be useful to some people that got stuck on the same problem.

The same issue also arises with ‘update_firmware’ utility and it can be resolved using the above trick. Finally, after the installation is completed you can restore the original ‘/etc/redhat-release’ file.

Written by xorl

July 13, 2011 at 23:03

Posted in administration, dell, linux

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