[GLLUG] Power control over IP

Marco van Beek mvanbeek at supporting-role.co.uk
Tue Jun 1 09:56:50 UTC 2021

As many others have already said. the ideal is if this is part of the 
baseboard management tool of the servers. Although both DELL and HP call 
it by their own names (and often charge extra for additional features)  
the generic term is IPMI, or Intelligent Platform Management Interface 

However, you do have to buy servers that support this, but it gives you 
a lot of control, and is a lot cheaper that a compilation of a networked 
KVM and a networked PDU. In most cases it is brought out as a separate 
Ethernet port on the back of the server, which means you can run it on a 
completely separate network should you wish for security purposes.

IPMI systems usually includes the ability to boot of remote media, like 
the CD-ROM of your own computer, so you can analyse (and often fix) 
corrupt boot drives without leaving home. As long as you have power to 
the server (and the switch the IPMI is plugged in to, of course), you 
have the ability to start fixing it.

These days when I buy a new server, we never even plug a screen or 
keyboard in to it. We just do enough of the install over the KVM 
interface that comes with the IPMI system, and then carry on with SSH as 
an when the server is booted.

Even without a license the HP "integrated Lights Out" system will still 
allow basic troubleshooting until the OS boots. I haven't played with 
Dell's system, but I am sure someone on the list can confirm. We use 
SuperMicro servers and if you get a motherboard with IPMI, they come 
fully featured.

So I suggest looking on the back of the servers you already have and see 
if there are any unexplained Ethernet ports, usually located in a 
different place to the main Etherports the OS uses. As some else said, 
maybe you already have some servers with the functionality you need.



On 29/05/2021 16:19, stuart taylor via GLLUG wrote:
> Hi all,
> During the past 15 months I have managed to change various things involving our systems, for the better I think. We have also gained various part time volunteer admins, who are very good, mostly better than I am. One of them showed me how he could power down his servers remotely over IP, and restart them again. This looks very useful as we are spending less time at the building and mostly working from home. I have previously managed to obtain a cabinet, for our servers, change the lock for a padlock based system and restrict the key holders to a few people. This means switching servers on, or off, is better controlled, but also makes it more difficult for the admins to reboot when they are at home. Can anyone point me towards a suitable 'power supply over IP' solution? Are there any drawbacks to using these?
> Stuart

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