IPMI and Dell ERA/O

Bob Bishop rb at gid.co.uk
Fri Aug 29 09:04:06 UTC 2008


On 29 Aug 2008, at 08:44, Jeremy Chadwick wrote:
> [...]That said, the feature you're referring to (IPMI piggybacking  
> on top of
> an existing NIC on the mainboard) is called "ASF" from a NIC driver
> perspective.

In implementations I've looked at, the interfaces really are distinct  
hardware but they use a common phy. It's just about transparent to  

> The NIC driver for the OS *must* have full awareness of
> said piggybacking, and if it doesn't, a couple different things can
> happen:
> a) NIC simply does not work
> b) NIC works, but behaves oddly -- usually this is tracked down to
>   the local network seeing the MAC address continually change for
>   the IP address associated with the machine

That might just be be misconfiguration: the IPMI interface should have  
an IP address distinct from (any address of) the 'proper' interface.

> c) NIC works, but IPMI and other features do not work
> There are a couple different drivers for FreeBSD which have ASF
> knowledge; bge(4) does, and I believe em(4) does (I could be wrong
> here).

em(4) does indeed work, we are using it on a couple of dozen boxes.

> bge(4) has a loader.conf tunable that tells the driver to
> understand ASF or not.
> In general, it's horrible, and I feel sorry for driver authors  
> having to
> deal with it.

The only problem I have seen on em is that by default the driver  
resets the phy during boot which confuses IPMI; if a SOL console  
session is active, the driver is signalled not to do the reset.

> -- 
> | Jeremy Chadwick                                jdc at parodius.com |
> | Parodius Networking                       http://www.parodius.com/ |
> | UNIX Systems Administrator                  Mountain View, CA, USA |
> | Making life hard for others since 1977.              PGP: 4BD6C0CB |
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Bob Bishop
rb at gid.co.uk

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