Paul [Hearts] eLOM

For the past week or so I've been on one of those "get this done" projects from my boss. Its tough to "get this done" when you are commuting though (or when the lab is the same temperature and wind speed as the top of Loveland Pass). My project involves 5 Sun Fire x4150s (and will involve another set of servers next week).

I did have to go into the office for a few days to pull memory in and out of them, do some DVD swapping on the machines, check cables, and (of course) get the 8 x 73GB 15K SAS drives swapped in (all of my machines need the same drives and speed).

During the setup, Terry Hill allocated IP addresses for the service processor eLOM (embedded Lights Out Manager) and configured the IP addresses within the BIOS. Keep in mind when you look at the back of a Sun system with eLOM, you see the standard ethernet ports (typically 4 on this size box), but you also see an additional port that's offset from the others and labeled "Service Processor". It is next to the Serial Console port. You can see it here, on the left side of the back of the system.

(The x4150 eLOM documentation has more details about configuring eLOM).

Once the network is configured, you type in the web address of your x4150 service processor (http://myx4150.xxx.com) and up pops the eLOM Web User Interface. You can do this from anywhere (even home :-)

Now that I'm in the eLOM, I can do all sorts of things. I primarily use the Web interface. With it I can do all of the power resets I need to do (including having it come straight up to BIOS). I can also launch a console through the magic of Java. When you press the button to get a console redirection, a tiny Java Web Start application comes down to your machine and connects back to the server. With it I can do all sorts of cool things like handle BIOS, take console options on my Operating Systems (I use Solaris, OpenSolaris, RHEL and Windows on my machines), and so on... I am also able to monitor event logs and ensure the components are operating as I expect (heck, I can even flash LEDs to say Hi to all of those frozen lab folks who haven't set up their eLOM).

My biggest complaint with eLOM isn't even with eLOM, its with Mac OS X. I have to tell you, I am not happy with their Java support at all. The eLOM console redirection doesn't work (strange Apple-only Java problem). I went to java.sun.com to get a Mac OSX updated JVM...no luck, have to go to Apple. Go to Apple, they are hung up on Java 1.5. I found the Java Platform Standard Edition 6 Press Announcement, its been out since December 2006.

I found a Java Platform Standard Edition 6 Developer Release at Apple but it only runs on Leopard and I haven't upgraded (and I'm not). So, I'm stuck with the Mac...can't use it in our labs to support my systems. I know people love their Macs but some days it reminds me a little too much of OS/2. Great promise with a lack of application support.

I bounced to another platform (with its own Java 1.5 that actually works), the JVMs on my Solaris machines work fine as well as on my Windows laptop and home systems.

In the end...lovin' the eLOM!

Comments:

With the JVM thing, I found that if you tried Firefox \*and\* Safari, one would work - I thought they'd use the same JVM, but maybe not?

Posted by Dick Davies on April 25, 2008 at 09:07 AM MDT #

I had that thought early on...I tried both Safari and Firefox (the latest Beta), neither worked for me :-( I'd be curious if you are on Leopard...I wonder if one of the tools uses the Java Standard Edition 6 that is part of the developer's connection at Apple and possibly that is what fixed the problem?

Posted by Paul Monday on April 25, 2008 at 09:51 AM MDT #

I've been fighting the eLOM for a couple of weeks. It does do a lot of things,
none of them seem to be particularly useful.

I want the console on the console. I guess they want to call that ttyb. Following the
procedure in the eLOM Administrator Guide and the Sun Fire X4150 Server Operating System Installation Guide fails. I still need to boot from CD to do a jump start
from my server. And worst of all, the eLOM insists on telling you want key you just hit, in the middle of the curses setup of the install.

The mouse won't track right on the lab's sb150 with Sol 10 and the 1.6 java.
I can't get it to go through the firewall to the lab to my U20 with Opensolaris.

I don't need graphics, I need a command line.

Posted by Paul Root on May 01, 2008 at 12:07 AM MDT #

Funny you should mention those things. There does seem to be some strangeness with the x4150. I've been quite happy with the eLOM Java App (though the mouse tracking is getting annoying and I hop to ssh as quickly as I can), but another person that works on the system needs the command line, like you. I'm not sure what OS you are jumpstarting it to.

Morey forwarded these threads to me to try to fix the problem with the console and Jumpstarting the x4150:
http://opensolaris.org/jive/thread.jspa?messageID=220417
http://www.mydatabasesupport.com/forums/solaris/384712-how-jumpstart-x4150.html (this link didn't come up for me this morning...I'll try again later but wanted to post it for you if it does come up)
http://forum.java.sun.com/thread.jspa?threadID=5272446&tstart=0

I hope one of those can help you (and me) this morning.

Paul

Posted by Paul Monday on May 01, 2008 at 12:23 AM MDT #

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