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Re: linux blades, serial access

John Cagle jcagle@gmail.com
Mon, 16 Aug 2004 15:22:14 -0700 (PDT)

On Sat, 14 Aug 2004 11:17:42 -0400 (EDT), Michael Dolan
<mtdolan@twinight.org> wrote:
> The group managing the blade setup claims that the only way to access the
> 'console' is through a web browser/java applet. This is quite cumbersome,
> slow, and requires a GUI environment.  And worse yet, cant integrate into
> conserver :) Is there not a serial-like console access available to access
> the individual consoles of each blade?
> Maybe what I'm looking for is a the telnet / ssh environment to access the
> blade chassis controller?
> At present, we are using HP's blade centers.

All of the ProLiant BL p-Class blades (BL20p, BL20pG2, BL30p) have iLO
(Integrated Lights Out) embedded management processors.  iLO provides
a full remote graphical (and text) remote console as well as remote
virtual media (USB floppy/cd-rom emulation).  iLO also supports a
"virtual serial port".  For more information on iLO's capabilities
(which are quite numerous) please refer to this web page:


iLO supports both Telnet and SSH sessions for remote text consoles and
remote virtual serial consoles (which works a lot better for logging).
 I've successfully configured conserver to front-end both types of
connections.  A key thing to remember is that iLO is very
security-conscious and Telnet is disabled by default (since it is
unencrypted).  You'll need to access the web page and enable it.  If
you have a *lot* of blades, you can use an XML script to change iLO's
configuration (which is a lot easier than going to each blade).

The 1.60 version of iLO firmware also includes a command line
interface that is accessible from Telnet or SSH.  The CLI provides
commands for controlling power, rebooting, turning the blue LED on or
off, etc.

I have some config files for conserver that use expect to automate the
login to iLO (for both remote video console sessions as well as remote
virtual serial console sessions).  I'll be happy to send them to you
if you're interested.  Better yet, maybe someone could put them on the
conserver website?