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I have an HPE DL380e G8 server running Proxmox and I can't connect to iLO 4 neither from the web page nor from SSH when trying to connect from the same server (or when connecting from outside the network using a VPN tunnel hosted on the same machine).

I can connect to these without any problems from any other computer on the network but if I, for example, log in to a Proxmox VM and do ssh user@ilo-ip, I get this error:

ssh: connect to host ilo-ip port 22: No route to host

I can't even ping it:

PING ilo-ip (ilo-ip) 56(84) bytes of data.
From vm-ip icmp_seq=1 Destination Host Unreachable
...
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iLO is like an additional little computer inside your server, it's called a Baseboard Management Controller (BMC for short).

iLO network connection can use a dedicated port (only BMC itself, nothing else) or be shared with the one of the server NICs.

If it's dedicated, you need an external switch to connect those interfaces.

If it's shared, the simple circuit just ensures there are no collisions, and nothing else. It is not nearly as advanced as, say, mini Ethernet switch. So there is nothing which could pass packets directly between iLO and NIC. If you connected that shared port to ordinary switch, it won't reflect packets back to the same port from which those originated, so it would be not possible to communicate either.

If the switch could configure a port to be a reflective relay port, it would be possible, because it then will reflect the packets back, but don't do this even if your switch supports that. This port mode is for very different purpose, and in this case you certainly have enough resources to dedicate some switch to connect iLO interfaces of your servers.

Better ask yourself, why do you need to communicate between the server and iLO over the Ethernet in the first place? They are already connected internally (IPMI SMBus interface). In Linux, you can use ipmiutil to access local IPMI BMC over SMBus, just ensure you've loaded the ipmi_devintf driver (module).

In general, if you don't have serious reasons to use shared mode (like that you install the server on the colocation where you pay per port), never use it. Always use the dedicated iLO port whenever possible.

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Try connecting directly from something like a laptop to the iLO port, if that doesn't work then try fully powering off the entire server - removing both power cables for 10 seconds or so. If that doesn't work then as the server boots go into the iLO setup screen and check all the IP and port settings, even reset them, reboot and try setting them again. If none of that works I'd suggest the iLO would be dead, which is a shame as those machines went end of support this August.

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  • I've disabled the dedicated iLO port to use the shared ones, so I can connect the server using one ethernet cable. Can this be a problem?
    – alex3025
    Nov 15 '21 at 17:51
  • It's not ideal really as the whole point of out of band management is for it to be...well....out of band :) - but I see the attraction certainly.
    – Chopper3
    Nov 16 '21 at 10:09
  • You did exactly the opposite of how it ought to be used. Nov 16 '21 at 11:55
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You just answered your own question. The iLO port is a hardware separated port that allows access regardless of server state. In other words you have to reenable the iLO port and connect there.

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  • Even if the server is powered on and working fine?
    – alex3025
    Nov 15 '21 at 18:33
  • iLO port can't be shared and must be a unique connection. Nov 15 '21 at 21:01
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    @NutterButter this is wrong, iLO port could be shared. But if it's shared, the access via the NIC which is shared is not possible. Nov 16 '21 at 11:54
  • The DL380e G8 has four network ports (plus dedicated iLO). If you really want to communicate from the server with its own iLO, you can either connect the dedicated iLO port to the network too or put a short Ethernet cable between an unused network port and the iLO port (I never tried the second one, but it should work, assuming matching settings on both the network port and the iLO port; They are Gigabit ports, so it shouldn't matter whether you use a straight or a crossed cable).
    – Stephan
    Nov 16 '21 at 19:14
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Connections from a host to Shared ILO do not work. If you need direct access from within the host OS, use the physical ILO port.

Despite this, the HP ILO tools will work from the OS... e.g. you can use hponcfg to retrieve and set ILO configuration.

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