Serial over LAN

Case van Rij case.vanrij at
Thu May 20 23:06:30 CDT 2010


I'll admit to being terribly confused by dell serial console over LAN
as well but once configured correctly it can give you full console
access over IPMI, from POST, BIOS to bootloader and OS.

I have this configured on 45 R410s with iDRAC Express and have tried
it in the past on 50 R210s and a handful of 1950s and I have to say,
even once configured it's actually rather frustrating to use and it's
no substitute for a cyclades-like serial console server.

I initially tried to use this with the ethernet port on my regular
switch (even though the ethernet port was dedicated to PXE and IPMI,
all normal traffic is using an add-on 10G card) and the management
port would simply stop responding to network traffic on a daily basis.
I've since moved the ethernet to an isolated switch and it's
marginally better, but the serial-over-LAN is still so unresponsive
that remote management automation frequently times out while trying to
manage the server).

The configuration I ended up with, which works for me, but may not be perfect,

/admin1-> racadm getconfig -g cfgIpmiSol

/admin1-> racadm getconfig -g cfgSerial

/admin1-> racadm getconfig -g cfgIpmiSerial

/admin1-> racadm getconfig -g cfgIpmiLan

# omreport chassis remoteaccess
Attribute : Enable IPMI Over LAN
Value     : Yes
Attribute : SOL Enabled
Value     : Yes

# omreport chassis biossetup
Attribute : Dual NIC
Setting   : Enabled with 1st NIC PXE and 2nd NIC None

Serial Communications
Attribute : Serial Communications
Setting   : On with Console Redirection via COM2

Attribute : Console Redirection After Boot
Setting   : Enabled

Attribute : External Serial Connector
Setting   : Not Connected

Attribute : Console Redirection Failsafe BAUD Rate
Setting   : 115200

Attribute : Serial Address Select
Setting   : Serial Device1=COM1, Serial Device2=COM2

yymv on the 1950s, I don't have one in front of me to check at the moment.


On Thu, May 20, 2010 at 9:14 AM, Marc Moreau <jebnor at> wrote:
> Hello list,
> I'm looking to setup Serial over Lan on my cluster of PowerEdge 1950's.
> Does anyone have this setup?
> I'm kind of confused on how all the redirection works.  From posts that I
> have read, we redirect console to a serial port, then tell the BMC to
> forward the serial console to the LAN.  But my BIOS has a 'Direct Connect'
> mode.  My IPMI doesn't have any of the Serial redirect.  I fear that I am
> confusing IPMI and BMC somewhere too.  Could some take a stab at explaining
> this please.
> One further question. If I do get this setup, does it give me 'full console
> access' over serial. In other words, do I get the BIOS POST, or does the
> serial console only come up after post?  I am aware that I need to setup my
> OS (Centos) to spawn a serial tty, and this I have done before, just not
> over baseboard LAN.
> Pointers to docs accepted at par. :)
> -- Marc
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