first time with a 64bit CPU ... kernel config ...

Marc G. Fournier scrappy at
Thu Jan 12 08:36:58 PST 2006

On Thu, 12 Jan 2006, Danny Braniss wrote:

>> have them?  I bought an HP this time ... its built into it :)  This is the
>> ultimate in remote administration .. I have an ssh interface I can login
>> to, I type 'remcons' and voila ... its like I'm sitting in front of the
>> computer, straight from POST thru to the install screens on my FreeBSD CD
>> ... no having to waste space for a portmaster for 'serial console', or
>> deal with remote power bars ... can even power cycle the machine through
>> the same interface ...
> how does it compare with IPMI? (HP is involved).

You'll have to tell me that ... my experience(s) with IPMI on our first 
couple of Intel servers weren't the best ... seemed alot more work then i 
was getting out of it, *but*, I didn't spend alot of time on it either ...

Here's my experience with iLO so far, and note that I didn't opt for the 
'Advanced', which has even more features ...

First, the server is an HP DL360 G4P ... comes standard with 2G of RAM, 
3.4G Xeon processor, HP Smart Array 600 RAID controller and slots for 4 
SAS drives ... all in a 1U box.  I picked up 4x72G SAS drives, and an 
additional 4G of RAM (holds 6 sticks) ... oh, and it comes with redundant 
power supplies ...

The SAS drives come 'plug-n-play' ... I slide the 'spacers' out of the 
slots, and slide the drives in ... no mounting onto rails or anything 
required ...

The only things I had to do with the server: seat the 4 extra RAM, seat 
the hard drives and, when it gets in, put in teh second CPU ...

There are three ethernet ports on the back ... two for 'regular IP', and a 
third that is for iLO ... apparently, you can piggy back iLO on one of the 
other ethernet ports, but one of the nice things with the seperate iLO, 
IMHO, is that if, for some reason, the ethernet gets saturated, you still 
have your backdoor into the server ... takes up one more port on the 
switch though, so its a trade off ...

Once I took the machine out of the box, I plugged both power supplies into 
the wall, plugged in an ethernet cable into the iLO port and went over to 
my desktop ... note that there is no monitor plugged into the server, or 
keyboard, at any point in *any* of this ...

Now, iLO has a few ways of getting into it ... it configures itself, by 
default, using DHCP (you can change it to a static IP once you get in the 
first time, or, if you want to do the monitor/keyboard schtick, you can 
get into iLO while it is booting and set it there) ... once you've 
determined the IP, you go to your web browser, type in the IP and you are 
presented with a login screen (initial password comes with the server) ...

And then you are presented with soooo much information ... errors while 
booting, etc ... its all there through the web interface ...

You have the ability to setup multiple accounts within iLO ... want to 
give Joe Operator the ability to power cycle te machine, you set him up 
with an account taht has access to only the Virtual Power Switch ... want 
to let your Administrator have access to the Remote Console, you set him 
up with an account that just has that ability ...

Web is one way ... SSH is another way ... now, for SSH, I'm not 100% 
certain of everything that you can do, since I haven't fiddled to much 
in there ... for me, its the ability to power cycle and use the remote 
console through SSH that appeal to me.  Remote Console through the Web 
interface uses a Java client, and I found that the refreshes were to slow 
for me to get into, say, the RAID controller to configure the drives.

So, right from the start, not having to load any software onto this thing, 
and jus having to plug in the power and the iLO ethernet, I'm able to 
power up/down the server, and view the 'console' ...

As an aside, my experience with IPMI (in its defence, not recent, so it 
may have gotten better) was that you *had* to setup a monitor/keyboard, 
and boot from a CD to configure IPMI in the first place ... and that it 
didn't provide any remote console or remote power switch capabilities ... 
but, we also didn't investigate too deeply in that area, so it might be 
something that did exist ...

Where this box is going into a remote location, though, the Remote 
KVM/Power stuff is fantastic, since its no more "so, what do you see on 
the screen?", or "can you power cycle for me?" ... and yes, you can buy 
seperate hardware for this sort of stuff, but having it integrated with 
the server itself saves space *and* power ...

One of big bonus, IMHO ... the hardware handles the Remote KVM completely 
... I don't have to setup a Serial Console through FreeBSD ... the last 
server I sent down was Intel based, and had the ability to 'redirect the 
console' ... the problem right now is somehow I've got the serial speed 
for the POST stuff out of sync with FreeBSD ... I have another down 
there that I got the techs to enable the serial ports in the BIOs so taht 
I could setup a serial console, but forgot that Port A and Port B are 
"reversed" on the Intel boards, so have to get that fixed up ... iLO "just 
works", no techie fiddling involved ...

I just got the box, the OS is already installed and I'm just starting to 
play with the "HP Server Insight Manager" that is *supposed* to allow for 
monitoring of multiple HP servers ... alas, that part is Windows based, so 
we'll see if its worth running, but, so far, I've been suitably impressed 

Now if only HP supported FreeBSD :(  That would make it that much sweeter 

Marc G. Fournier           Hub.Org Networking Services (
Email: scrappy at           Yahoo!: yscrappy              ICQ: 7615664

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