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On previous model blades that contained a BMC, I was able to communicate from our external management station via pass-through commands to the BMC to do things such as power blades on/off, set VPD parameters, reboot the BMC, etc.

Now on the HS22, a bunch of things happen differently. For example, we can no longer use the same pass-through commands to write VPD information pages and have them persist across reboots of the IMM - it looks as though those VPD pages are populated from information contained in the IMM.

How do we use the Advanced Settings Utility from an external host to communicate with HS22 IMMs? Alternatively, what TCP Command Mode commands do we need to send to the AMM to communicate with the IMM?

For our purposes, we specifically cannot communicate with the IMM from the blade itself.

Specific example: When I send a pass-thru IPMI command via the AMM to the blade BMC to write information (such as MTM, Serial) into VPD page 0x10, it persists on blades with a BMC (HS21 for example). I can send the same IPMI command to write data to the VPD page on the HS22, however it does not persist across reboots of the IMM.

What IPMI commands do I need to send to the IMM? What IPMI commands are asu sending when it sets the MTM & Serial?

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This has to be about the most technical question I've ever seen asked here. Perhaps it's something for an IBM technician to answer? –  Mark Henderson Sep 9 '09 at 20:45
    
Heh, I've tried going that route to no avail. Figured I may as well take a stab at it here :) –  MikeyB Sep 10 '09 at 4:54
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2 Answers

As of ASU (Advanced Settings Utility) version 82k/9.50, out-of-band communication to blade IMMs is supported.

Here is an excerpt from pages 83-84 of the ASU user manual (http://download.boulder.ibm.com/ibmdl/pub/systems/support/system_x_pdf/ibm_util_asu_asu82k_anyos_noarch.pdf):


OOB Configuration for blades on AMM

ASU supports the configuration of blade settings through the out-of-band (OOB) mode. This section describes how to use it to configure blades on AMM.

The OOB configuration is designed to configure settings of blades on AMM. Before you use this function, ensure that the following requirements are met:

  • The remote blades on AMM are connected to your network environment.
  • The blade is an IMM-based server.
  • Add the --slot argument to force ASU to connect with the remote AMM. If not, ASU will try to establish a connection with the provided IP address in an IMM out-of-band mode by default. And the --slot argument also can identify the blade's IMM node bay.
  • Add the --host, --user and --password connectivity options because it is on out-of-band mode.

    --host provides the IP address of the remote AMM where the blade is.

    --user and --password authenticate to the AMM.

Command Examples:

To show a remote blade UEFI setting: asu show uefi --host x.x.x.x --user xxx --password xxx --slot x

To set a remote blade setting: asu set SETTING_NAME xxx --host x.x.x.x --user xxx --password --slot x --port 6090

In the examples, --host x.x.x.x is the IP address of the remote AMM, --user xxx and --password xxx are used to authenticate the connection, --slot x refers to the IMM node bay of the blade, and --port provides the port number for AMM chassis interface; the default is 6090.

The commands supported by OOB configuration for blades on AMM are listed below.

Command           Description

show              Display IMM server setting
set               Update IMM server setting
showdefault       Display IMM default server setting
showvalues        Display IMM values server setting
showgroups        Display IMM setting for server groups
batch             Execute several ASU commands simultaneously
createuuid        Generate a UUID value and set it
comparedefault    Compare the default value with the current value
delete            Delete an instance of a setting
help              Show description for selected settings
loaddefault       Load the default value
replicate         Replicate settings saved in a settings file
restore           Restore settings saved in a settings file
save              Save all or some settings to a settings file
setenc            Apply an encrypted value to a setting
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Well, the procedure below should do what you want:

Issue the following command to view the current settings for the machine 
type and model:
asu show SYSTEM_PROD_DATA.SysInfoProdName
Issue the appropriate ASU command to set the machine type and model:
asu set SYSTEM_PROD_DATA.SysInfoProdName 7870-mmm

Where 7870 is the machine type for HS 22, and mmm is the model, e.g. D2G

Issue the following command to verify that you set the machine type 
and model number correctly:
asu show SYSTEM_PROD_DATA.SysInfoProdName
Issue the following command to view the current setting of the serial number:
asu show SYSTEM_PROD_DATA.SysInfoSerialNum
Issue the following ASU command on the SONAS node to set the serial number:
asu set SYSTEM_PROD_DATA.SysInfoSerialNum xxxxx
The variable xxxxx in the command stands for the serial number.
Issue the following command to verify that you set the serial number correctly:
asu show SYSTEM_PROD_DATA.SysInfoSerialNum

I didn't have a chance to verify it, so YMMV.

This however, must work. It's the official guide to updating VPD on HS22 using ASU (with botched HTML escaping). If it doesn't work, then open a ticket with support.

Edit: amendment and elaboration

The procedures above directly answer your question: "How do we use the Advanced Settings Utility from an external host to communicate with HS22 IMMs?" and specifically your example of setting VPD. They also meet your criteria of not requiring to communicate with IMM from the blade itself (you can access IMM over a network).

They also, albeit indirectly, answer your final questions: "What IPMI commands do I need to send to the IMM? What IPMI commands are asu sending when it sets the MTM & Serial?"

If you try these procedures and verify, that any of them does work correctly, you can dump the network traffic and see what is being sent. This isn't a very user-friendly approach, but if you want things done, it will work.

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You can't actually communicate with the IMM of a blade over the network from outside the chassis. –  MikeyB Nov 15 '11 at 19:00
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