Hardware Managment Pack's CLI Tools

When I speak to customers regarding the configuration, setup, or recovery of new and existing systems, one of the most popular toolsets we provide for them is contained in the Hardware Management Pack (HMP). I've blogged briefly on the Hardware Management Pack before and now we are up to release 2.1 thought it would be a good opportunity to revisit it and talk a little more in-depth about the CLI tools.

The CLI tools run across all Oracle's supported Operating Systems on our SunFire x86 platforms: Solaris, Linux, and Windows Server 2008. In addition fwupdate also runs on Solaris SPARC. The tools can logical be divided into 2 groups: Configurators and the Updater.

The Configurators

As their name implies the configurators do exactly that, configuration. They allow users to list, set, dump, and restore the configuration of the major firmware components on Oracle's Sun Fire x86 Servers:

  • biosconfig
  • raidconfig
  • ilomconfig

All these tools work from the host OS and function in a similar way with common verbs and syntax that enables administrators to quickly master them and greatly simplify the automation and configuration of Sun Fire servers. The names are, hopefully, self explanatory. All tools are script friendly by design and support -q --quiet and -y --yes flags.

Each tool also supports the reading and writing of XML based configuration files which are reusable across systems. The XML input/output is a very powerful feature. This now gives the administrator the ability to create Golden Master configurations, perhaps optimized by platform type and workload and also to dump out, backup, and restore known good configurations.

It also enables the administrator to create a family of bite sized XML configuration files which are then passed in sequential calls to the tools allowing them to tune a system "to taste". For example one file could set the IP address of the service processor, the second file the boot order, and the third file the state of hyper-threading. So basically the administrator can build a library of these and can dynamically combine to set up each system optimally.

All this is clearly documented in the comprehensive documentation, however let's just take a quick look at how we might change the service processors network address using biosconfig:

First we check the IP addressing mode for the SP

# biosconfig -get_ilom_network_config <BIOSCONFIG>
<SP_NETWORK_CONFIG>
<DISCOVERY>dhcp</DISCOVERY>
</SP_NETWORK_CONFIG>
</BIOSCONFIG

However rather than dhcp we'd prefer to set this statically so we now load bisoconfig with an XML file containing the configuration contained in foo.xml (use -set_ilom_network_config flag ).

# biosconfig -set_ilom_network_config foo.xml
# cat foo.xml
<BIOSCONFIG>
<SP_NETWORK_CONFIG>
<DISCOVERY>static</DISCOVERY>
<IP>10.60.43.249</IP>
<NETMASK>255.255.252.0</NETMASK>
<GATEWAY>10.60.40.1</GATEWAY>
</SP_NETWORK_CONFIG>
</BIOSCONFIG>

Typically to create these files the administrator would dump the relevant section, or the entire configuration, into XML and then create the templates to read back from this source.

We ourselves use these tools within Oracle's own products such as Oracle Hardware Installation Assistant.

The Updater

In addition to the configuration tools we also have a new firmware updating tools, fwupdate. This is a firmware updater that addresses the firmware updating of the following components:
  • Disk drives (spinning media and Flash drives)
  • HBA and embedded storage controllers, SAS1 and SAS2
  • LSI SAS expander devices, SAS1 and SAS2
The preferred way to use fwupdate is automatically when it uses an XML metadata file for the platform and drivers. In addition should this tool supports a manual mode. Again this is also clearly documented in the Oracle Server CLI Tools and IPMItool User'sGuide available in the documentation set.
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System Management topics with a primarily focus on managing Sun systems, storage, software and of course operating systems.

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