ESL Blog: Supermicro Servers use IPMI
Never heard of IPMI? Me neither. When we were installing our brandnew Supermicro Servers in our Datacenter (pictures here), we were wondering which Lights out management is used. Having a look at the BIOS, we quickly discovered IPMI options.
So what is IPMI in detail. IPMI gives you full remote control over your server, even if its powered off. You can toggle power states, see System Information, inspect server health conditions and most interesting: you have full remote KVM over IP including Virtual Media. This means you don’t have to spent additional money on buying hardware KVM over IP Solutions like Avocent. Its already on board!
So you think, whats the deal about it? All major Vendors have this on board, such as IBMs RSA or HP Ilo. You are right but often this is again additional spendings for the hardware board or licenses to activate options like Remote KVM or Virtual Media. Supermicro Servers IPMI functions have all this included.
Despite additional fees, in fact we really were confident with IBMs RSA when administrating our blade center. But there were many small bugs that made operations daily work annoying. Like theres that keyboard error which lets you type every keypress twice when using remote keyboard, or sometimes you wont even get a remote picture. After three month of intense use of Supermicros IPMI there was not one adminstration issue. Its very responsive, reliable and stable.
Thanks to IPMI supporting WBEM you can let automatic scripts power cycle your server for instance.
In our case we developed a Nagios Script which automatically reboots a server when it fails to come up. So to powercycle a supermicro server over the cli, you first install wbemcli for debian ,e.g. and then execute:
Some Pictures of the IPMI Java Applet:
pennY, Friday, 07/01/11 16:18
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