[GLLUG] Power control over IP

John Hearns hearnsj at gmail.com
Tue Jun 1 12:08:30 UTC 2021

Marco,  you have summarised things very well here.

As an addition, you do not have to look at the rear of the server to figure
out if the server has IPMI.
Install the ipmitool package on your server (whatever the package name is)
Start the ipmi system service
The modules loaded should be ipmi_msghandler ipmi_si ipmi_devintf

Then run  'ipmitool bmc info'   and see if there is indeed a BMC installed

As you say though - you do need either to connect a physical cable to the
dedicated BMC port or configure piggyback (bridged) mode to use the
motherboard ethernet socket.
Sorry if any of the above information is slightly off - I Am remembering
these rather than testing on a live server.

On Tue, 1 Jun 2021 at 10:57, Marco van Beek via GLLUG <
gllug at mailman.lug.org.uk> wrote:

> 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
> (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/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.
> Regards,
> Marco
> 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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> GLLUG at mailman.lug.org.uk
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