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Community Manager
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Unreliabile of Serial Over LAN (SOL) on SR1630HGP BMC 1.19

Hello,

I've been experimenting with the SOL facility of the BMC (version 1.19) on my SR1630HGP servers. My main goal is to have side-band access for being able to occasionally upgrade the operating system from single user mode.

Now, I correctly see all messages from BIOS startup to login prompt. I can also login and control the shell for a while. However, pretty deterministically at every session, if I get some "traffic" on the console after a while (actually after just a few hundred lines) I lose it: nothing is printed anymore on screen and the system receives nothing from keyboard.

One example of "traffic" is "make installworld" (prints one line for each installed binary on the system). Another simple test case is "find / -print". This happens irrespective of the console speed. I tried 115200 as well as 9600, same behavior.

When I try attaching a serial cable, the console behaves fine. Also, if I start "find / -print" from serial cable, then attach from the BMC, the console also gets frozen after a short while. So this definitely seems a BMC problem.

Is this a known behavior? Any advice for further investigation?

Essentially, with the current behavior I cannot count on the SOL facility for side band management, as any activity can be "lost" in the middle of operations.

thanks

michele

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8 Replies
Highlighted
13 Views

I would recommend to update with the latest firmware..

BIOS 42

 

BMC 119

 

FRUSDR 17d
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Employee
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What's your OS version, and what's the console configuration in your OS?

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Community Manager
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The system is upgraded to the "Latest"-tagged firmware release from downloadcenter.intel.com (BMC 119).

The OS is FreeBSD 8.1 . The console configuration reflects the BMC configuration:

uart0: <16550 or compatible> port 0x3f8-0x3ff irq 4 flags 0x10 on acpi0

uart0: [FILTER]

uart0: console (9600,n,8,1)

I do see everything correctly and can interact for a while, but since the console gets loaded I will lose it (not see anything, not send anything) within 1-3 minutes.
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Employee
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One more clarify:

"When I try attaching a serial cable, the console behaves fine. Also, if I start "find / -print" from serial cable, then attach from the BMC, the console also gets frozen after a short while. "

How exactly did you "attach from the BMC"?

Since you're having issue with SOL, maybe you can just use SSH once OS boots up as a workaround.

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In case of RHEL OS, below is the step i followed and the console redirection was successfull.

Edit vim /boot/grub/menu.lst

# Add the line "Console=ttyS0, 57600"

# Edit /etc/inittab and add "S0:2345:respawn:/sbin/agetty -L -h ttyS0 57600 vt100 "

BTW, do you see any issues with BIOS screen console redirection?

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Community Manager
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I attach as per User Guide:

1) from a (windows, sigh!) machine, I open a terminal (cmd.exe)

2) telnet localhost 623

3) enter authentication data ...

4) run "console"

I use ssh for everyday administration, but sometimes SOL access is invaluable. For example, if a system upgrade goes bad, or if you need to perform some recovery operation when the system is not fully functional (eg HD damages).

kama: my configuration matches yours (except I stick to 9600bps, but had the same with 115200). BTW, I can also get the whole boot process on SOL (from "grub" on in Linux terms). Again, I do get the terminal, it just stops working after minutes under load.

As a side problem, since the deployment I realized that BMC cannot work when you use both NICs in the OS with Ethernet trunking. So ultimately I'm basically just supposed to give up the functionality as a whole

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In my case, i used IPMITOOL to activate the SOL. below is the syntax for the same.

Ipmitool –H <</span>BMC Ip address> - U "<</span>user name>"–P "<</span>password>"–I lanplus sol activate

to get SOLinfo

ipmitool –H <</span>BMC Ip address> - U "<</span>user name>"–P "<</span>password>"–I lanplus sol info

BTW, To my understanding BMC shares the NIC port with OS.[Besides BMC has its own MAC address]. So there shouldnt be any problem to provisioning the server with BMC OOB session.

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Community Manager
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Stands back from the keyboard in amazmeent! Thanks!

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