Intelligent Platform Management Interface or IPMI is a standard which allows remote management for Servers. IPMI makes use of Baseboard Management Card (BMC), BMC is a piece of hardware which is Always ON and will work regardless of the server being powered ON or OFF.
BMC operates independently of the Operating System installed on the server. Moreover it allows server administrators to manage a server remotely in the absence of an operating system. Server Administrators can use IPMI commands and find out different health information of a server (e.g.: fans, power supply, Temperature etc). IPMI commands can also be used to remotely Power ON or OFF the server when needed.
In this article, I will explain how to use some basic IPMI commands to remotely manage your server. IPMI Serial Over LAN (SOL) helps you remotely manage servers using IPMI. HP Integrated Lights-out or ILO does support IPMI version 2. Hence you can use IPMI Serial Over LAN (SOL) with your ILO.
Which Tool I need to use?
Yes, if you are new to IPMI world, this will be the first question you would ask. You can use any of the tools available on internet. One of the popular is IPMIutil. I am using the IPMIutil.exe (windows version) and I will be running all the IPMI commands from my Windows 7 based Notebook computer. If you use Linux, then you may use another tool called ipmitool. This tool is available for free download from here.
Let us see how to download and install the IPMIutil on your computer.
Go to this link and download IPMIutil from there. Once the website loads, you may go ahead and download the IPMIutil for Windows (32 bit or 64 bit).
Download the file to your laptop/computer. The file is in .ZIP format. Once you have downloaded the files, extract it to a folder of your choice. Here, I chose to extract all files to C:\IMPI folder.
To access the iLO BMC, you need to launch IPMIutil which you have just extracted to the C:\IPMI folder. Double clicking IPMIutill.exe will not work. You need to launch the utility from Command prompt. To launch Command prompt, please follow below said steps.
Click Start, Run, and type CMD. Command Prompt window will open. Once you open Command-Promt, run following commands to change Prompt to C:\IPMI folder.
If you are new to Windows Command Prompt, then below pasted screenshot would help you
Now you can start typing each IPMI commands and see the results.
How to run the IPMI Commands:
IPMIutil comes with documentation and you can find commands at the same link from where you have downloaded the utility. As we are using IPMI over LAN, we need to have the IP address, user name and password of iLO. The command syntax which you need to follow is provided below:
Let us consider that IP address of iLO is 184.108.40.206, User Name of iLO is siraj and Password of iLO is Password. For example, let us run the the IPMI command: FRU. FRU command is used to show chassis, board, and product inventory data of your server.
Please look at the output shown below. You could find Server Model Number, Serial number etc.
Another very useful command is the RESET command which we can use to Power ON/OFF the server remotely. This command instructs server BMC to hard reset or power down the server. For your better understanding, have a look at the command.
The command reset -d is used to Power OFF a server. Once you run this command, you will find the following screen.
To Powr ON a server, you can use the reset -u command. Have a look at the syntax:
As you can see your HP server is Powering up
Let us try the health command now. This command check and report the basic health of the IPMI BMC.
As you can see there is n0 Drive faults and there is no FAN faults. So the command prompt will look like this:
There are 100s of IPMI commands available to you which you can try. My intention of writing this article is not to teach all IPMI commands but to give a very basic idea about how it works. I hope this article may help you and if you find any mistakes or wrong information, please leave a comment so that I can make my articles better. Thank you for reading :D
Please understand that I am very new to this IPMI world. I am writing this article just to share my experience with you. If you find any wrong information is shared, please do report at the comments section. My intention is just to help people
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