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How to manage HP Proliant  server efficiently and remotely?

Posted on 2011-02-12
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Just wondering how to manage the HP Proliant server efficiently and remotely?  I installed the ProLiant Support Pack, I have the ability to configure raid, check system status, setup alerts.... on HP site, i also see there are other software I can use Insight Remote Support  and iLO advanced.... that really confused me.... what's the difference and what they are used for? Currently i can access the server remotely by using RDP.  
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Question by:okamon
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Alan Hardisty earned 400 total points
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iLO gives you the ability to control the server remotely, even if the server is powered down.

You can power the server on remotely, access the BIOS / RBSU screens and configure the server just as if you were standing in front of the server itself, yet you are no-where near it.

iLO is an amazing tool and is incredibly useful.  Only the other night I powered off one of my own servers and then switched it back on, all from the comfort of my sofa!

Insight Remote Support is essentially remote monitoring of the server:

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/servers/management/insight-remote-support/overview.html
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by:Alan Hardisty
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For iLO - to access advanced tools like the Remote Console Screen, you will need to purchase a license for it and you might find some great deals on eBay (as I did).
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by:okamon
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Thank you alanhardisty. I took look at the site, but still not sure what does it do. What's the difference between the alerts that I setup in the ProLiant Support Pack? Is there something that is so special besides remote access and alerts?? As I already setup rdp to the server also i setup the alert to notify me any parts fail.

and for iLo, is the remote console screen is just like rdp? and as you said it's not free, so other that that it's free?? what are the free features we get?
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by:alreadyinuse
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Licensed advanced ILO is like being physically in front of the server. You can power it down remotely or power it on for instance. You connect the ILO physical network adapter to your network and assign it a password and ip address to logon to. You do this using a web browser and http:// to either the ip address you assigned the ILO adapter or using the DNS name if you create an A record for the ILO ip address you assigned.

Once you login to the ILO on the server using http you can open a remote console, which for practical purposes is similiar to looking as a directly attached monitor. There are some statisics available such as the state of the server. Powered on or off etc.

If you are logged in to the ILO adapter and reboot the server you can watch it power down and also see it post etc on powering up. You can logon similar to RDP but the remote console is always available. It is almost like being physically at the computer for remote management.
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by:okamon
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Thank you. i just plugged in the network cable to the iLO port and  setup through web browser. But I found that in standard version, I don't see any features that are useful as with the HP tools which I installed from the smartstart cd it already provide me all the server health status and diag tools...... is there any useful features in the standard version? as I can see now the only useful one is I can power the server up... other than that I don't see any useful features...
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by:okamon
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update: i just found that the standard one can support pre-OS text/graphic mode. So I opened the remote console in iLO2 website and then rebooted the server, I can see it booting, but it seems I cannot use keyboard.....? is this normal?
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by:alreadyinuse
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I am not sure in standard mode, do you see ILO commands to send the server control alt delete so you can login?
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by:okamon
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Actully, it works.. i think because i am using MAC bootcamp and I need to hold the function key and press it. So now I can see the server bootup process and configure bios or whatever, but only up to the point before windows load. is there anything else I can do with iLO standard?

And do you know what's the port needs to be open if I want to access it externally?
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by:Alan Hardisty
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The ports are customisable but the default ones are displayed on Page 34 of the iLO guide:

http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bc/docs/support/SupportManual/c00553302/c00553302.pdf
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by:okamon
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Thank you. do you know if Insight Remote Support is free or not?
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by:Alan Hardisty
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According to this page, it is included with your HP Warranty:

http://h18000.www1.hp.com/products/servers/management/insight-remote-support/index.html

"Included at no additional cost as part of your HP warranty, HP Care Pack Service, or HP contractual support agreement, HP Insight Remote Support Standard helps you do more with less."

I've not personally used it so can't confirm - but will be seeing what it can offer and how free it is tomorrow : )
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by:okamon
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oh great! please keep me update! and how do you access your server from internet currently? do you just use rdp or vpn?
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by:alreadyinuse
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VPN, i think that is probably the most secure method.
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by:Alan Hardisty
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I currently use various methods.  We use Netsupport Manager to connect remotely and control the server from any location and iLO from fixed locations that are hard-coded to allow complete access to power on/off the server and remote console if required.

Will keep you posted.
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by:okamon
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Hi alanhardisty, just curious how do you monitor your server health condition? Do you use the one in HP management agent? and how do you access iLO from external? do you open a port on your firewall?
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by:Alan Hardisty
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Sorry - been out of the office for a couple of days.

How do I monitor the health of the server - I check it/them daily when I am changing the backup tapes and check to see if there are any odd lights on the server!

I'll investigate the HP option once I get back from holiday (leaving on Friday for a week).
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by:Glavius
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Hi Okamon,

Going to jump in since there's been no reply for a while

How do I monitor the health of the server
Try using HP Onboard Administrator, this provides information about hardware and firmware status. It'll also warn you when something breaks.
see http://proliant.blogspot.com/2006/11/ilo-management-tips-tricks.html

Also for remote automated monitoring on Windows try this
 Start -> Programs -> HP Management Agents -> Event Notifier Config

You'll need HP Management Agents installed.

Getting to iLO from outside your network
To access iLO from outside you'll need some way into your network. If you have the ability you can just VPN into your network and work like you're local. You can also setup port forwarding to forward to your iLO. Also if you can give your iLO a public ip address you can just hit it from outside the network with no problems. I can't really give too many specifics without knowing more about your internal network
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by:okamon
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Thanks Glavius.
- is the HP Onboard Administrator different from HP management homepage?
 
- For the Event Notifier, how can i make sure it will send out email when something failed? In Event Notifier Config, I know I have to fill out smtp server, recipient email,etc. And as you said the HP Management Agents is requied, plus the smnp service. But I think there is some other configuration I need to look into right?
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by:Glavius
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Hello, here's the manual on system management homepage


"Onboard Administrator" is actually only on encolsoures/blades. Here's an overview.

On a proliant server Onboard administrator is your iLO... Cant tell from your post which kind of iLO (integrated lights out = iLO) you'd have but the functionality varies between versions.

System Management Homepage is littearly a piece of software that runs ontop of the O/S and gathers information reports. Onboard Administrator and iLO are a physical piece of hardware that runs independant of the O/S.

More on System Management Homepage: HP SMH (system management homepage) aggregates and displays data from Web Agents and other HP Web-enabled System Management Software that includes HP Insight Diagnostics, the Array Configuration Utility, and the HP Software Version Control Agents. Basically its an overview of the status of your server that can be easily retrieved.



Notifier
I think you want HP SIM as it's typically used to report server health.

SNMP Traps

Event Handling

SMTP

I think that covers it?
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by:okamon
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I know Ilo and SMH are different, one is software on top of OS and ilo is os independent. My question is I see both of them provide similar server health information, so what is the point to use one over the other?

And HP SIM is too much for me as i only have 1 server, my question is without SIM, just by using the event notifier, am I able to get alert when something goes wrong. I have made some configuration, but I think there is something still missing in my previous post.
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by:Glen Knight
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This question has been classified as abandoned and is being closed as part of the Cleanup Program. See my comment at the end of the question for more details.
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