SCVMM 2012 – Out of Band Management (OOB)

As I wrote earlier in my blog on Deep Storage Integration in VMM 2012, Microsoft decided to embrace standards as much as possible in SCVMM 2012. This is also the case in the area of Out of Band Management (OOB). Microsoft supports several standards based options:

  • Systems Management Architecture for Server Hardware (SMASH), a DMTF standard which works via WS-MAN (with the exception of the Command-Line Protocol CLP)
  • Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI)
  • Data Center Management Interface (DCMI)

OOB is of course intended to take control of the bare metal machine using some kind of baseboard management controller (BMC). In the HP world we know OOB very well by the name of Insight Lights Out (iLO2 and iLO3). Dell has a BMC called DRAC which stands for Dell Remote Access Controller. IBM has a Remote Supervisor Adapter or RSA. OOB can serve several purposes. One is power state control (query status, power on and power off) but also to collect information about the server hardware (SMBIOS GUID, Manufacturer, Model, AssetTag, Serial Number) or to collect system hardware logs. The ultimate goal is to leave the bare metal untouched, yet under your total control.

We can think of several scenarios:

  • Bare Metal Deployment
  • Dynamic Optimization
  • Power Optimization

The Out of Band Management interface in SCVMM 2012 is fully extensible and offers custom OOB Configuration Providers. Here is an example of such a provider in Powershell.

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To discover bare metal servers, all you have to know is the range of IP addresses or the subnet of the baseboard management controllers in those servers. If you fire off a discovery to a bunch of HP ProLiant servers you must select a Run As account and select an OOB management protocol.

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If you open the pull-down list for OOB Protocols you won’t find HP iLO so try one of the others. SMASH will return no information, so we can be sure that HP iLO2 is non-SMASH compliant.

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All you have to know is the subnet or IP range of the iLO’s

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If you try out IPMI and DCMI  with iLO2 they will render only the SMBios GUID which uniquely identifies the bare metal server. HP iLO3 however does support SMASH as well as IPMI and DCMI.

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If you really want to get all the details you can add the custom OOB Provider for HP iLO. In the current version you will have to follow a procedure to add this non-standard OOB provider.

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In my next blog Adding HP iLO as an OOB Management Protocol in SCVMM 2012, I will explain what software to download and what steps to take to fully integrate HP iLO in SCVMM 2012.

Update April 17, 2011 One plausible reason why iLO2 does not answer to SMASH is that SMASH is not supported in the beta of SCVMM 2012

4 Comments

  1. April 15, 2011    

    Interested to hear how you expect this to work in environments whereby the iLO port is typically plugged into a separate management network and would not be accessible by the SCVMM server.

    • April 15, 2011    

      Hi Luke,

      Of course this will only work if the SCVMM 2012 server has access to the iLO’s, not only for deployment reasons for also for daily operations and the new power optimization feature (PO). One approach is to allow only the System Center management server(s) to access your dedicated management network. Because for bare metal deployment you need access to a Windows Deployment Server (PXE) you could setup a special VLAN for deployment purposes including PXE, iLO Access and the NIC in your server that will be used to boot from PXE and further configuration.

      Regards, Hans

  2. May 19, 2011    

    Hi Hans, great post!
    I do not think SMASH over ws-man is supported in ILO2. If your computer sheet describes support for SMASH, you should carefully check if that is SMASH over wsman it seems like SMASH CLP is what is provided most of the time even if this detail is actually missing. One can easily write a powershell/vb/j script to test SMASH over wsman availability on the BMC.

    For the missing information in the IPMI discovery, you may want to check with HP if there is any firmware upgrade for your BMC, I have seen that information even for older models.

    One question 172.25.2.46 is not discovered in the IPMI case is this expected or there is a bug? You do not mention anything about it and the machines seem to be similar enough.

    Regards,
    Gabriel

    • adminHans's Gravatar adminHans
      May 19, 2011    

      Thanks a lot Gabriel,

      I understood that the CLP part was not yet supported in the beta. You might have seen my next post describing how iLO2 OOB provider is added via Powershell script.
      .46 might have been offline for some reason and they are different blades (G5 and 2 x G6) so that might explain it if they had different firmwares.

      Regards,
      Hans

1 Trackback

  1. SCVMM 2012 – Setting Up Run As Accounts & Profiles | Hyper-v.nu on April 14, 2011 at 12:07
  2. small business it on October 30, 2011 at 14:19

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