Hardware Management

Basic Operation

The Beacon Light

Most of modern enterprise level server machines have LEDs installed on their front panel and/or rear panel, which are called beacon lights. When this light has been turned on, the system administrator can use this light to indicate one physical machine out of a bunch of enclosures in a server frame. It makes life easier.

With xCAT, the end user can turn the beacon light on or off with the commands show below.

rbeacon cn1 on
rbeacon cn1 off

Please notice, the current state of the beacon light can not be inquery remotely. As a workaround, one can always use the rbeacon command to turn all the beacon lights in one frame off, and then turn a particular beancon light on.

rbeacon a_group_of_cn off
rbeacon cn5 on

Remote Power Control

The next important thing is to control the power of a remote physical machine. For this purpose, rpower command is involved.

rpower cn1 on
rpower cn1 off

In order to reboot a remote physical machine, run

rpower cn1 boot

Or do a hardware reset, run

rpower cn1 reset

Get the current rpower state of a machine, please refer to the example below.

# rpower cn1 state
cn1: Running

Remote Console

Most enterprise level servers do not have video adapters installed with the machine. Meaning, the end user can not connect a monitor to the machine and get display output. In most cases, the console can be viewed using the serial port or LAN port, through Serial-over-LAN. Serial cable or network cable are used to get a command line interface of the machine. From there, the end user can get the basic machine booting information, firmware settings interface, local command line console, etc.

In order to get the command line console remotely. xCAT provides the rcons command.

  1. Make sure the conserver is configured by running makeconservercf.

  2. Check if the conserver is up and running

    ps ax | grep conserver
  3. If conserver is not running, start

    [sysvinit] service conserver start
    [systemd] systemctl start conserver.service

or restart, if changes to the configuration were made

[sysvinit] service conserver restart
[systemd] systemctl restart conserver.service
  1. After that, you can get the command line console for a specific machine with the rcons command

    rcons cn1

Advanced operation

Remote Hardware Inventory

When you have a lot of physical machines in one place, the most important thing is identify which is which. Mapping the model type and/or serial number of a machine with its host name. Command rinv is involved in such a situation. With this command, most of the important information to distinct one machine from all the others can be obtained remotely.

To get all the hardware information, which including the model type, serial number, firmware version, detail configuration, et al.

rinv cn1 all

As an example, in order to get only the information of firmware version, the follwing command can be used.

rinv cn1 firm

Remote Hardware Vitals

Collect runtime information from running physical machine is also a big requirement for real life system administrators. This kind of information includes, temperature of CPU, internal voltage of paricular socket, wattage with workload, speed of cooling fan, et al.

In order to get such information, please use rvitals command. Please also notice, this kind of information various among different model types of the machine. Thus, please check the actual output of the rvitals command against your machine, to verify which kinds of information can be get. The information may change due to the firmware updating of the machine.

rvitals cn1 all

As an example, get only the temperature information of a particular machine.

rvitals cn1 temp

Firmware Updating

For OpenPOWER machines, use the rflash command to update firmware.

Check firmware version of the node and the HPM file:

rflash cn1 -c /firmware/8335_810.1543.20151021b_update.hpm

Update node firmware to the version of the HPM file

rflash cn1 /firmware/8335_810.1543.20151021b_update.hpm

Configures Nodes’ Service Processors

Here comes the command, rspconfig. It is used to configure the service processor of a physical machine. On a OpenPower system, the service processor is the BMC, Baseboard Management Controller. Various variables can be set through the command. But, please also notice, the actual configuration may change among different machine-model types.


To turn on SNMP alerts for cn5:

rspconfig cn5 alert=on