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Server deployment through serial interface with iDRAC 7 on 12th Generation of PowerEdge Servers

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Server deployment through serial interface with iDRAC 7 on 12th Generation of PowerEdge Servers

This blog post has been written by Sanjeev Singh and Elie Jreij from the iDRAC team

Some of you may want to configure the iDRAC and other system components through the system serial interface. This blog explains how to do just that ...

With the iDRAC7 firmware version 1.30.30 or later  and BIOS 1.4.x or later installed, you can accomplish full deployment of your server through the serial interface (DB9 connector) on the server. Before you start please make sure External Serial Connector in BIOS is set to Serial Device 2. You can do this by going into F2 -> System BIOS -> Serial Communication -> External Serial Connector and set it to Serial Device 2. Here are the steps to configure through serial interface :

  1. Connect AC power to the server. Note, the server doesn’t need to be powered on until you’ve completed the system configuration.
  2. Wait for iDRAC to initialize (this may take up to 2 minutes).
  3. Connect the management station to the serial connector on the server (example shown below).
  4. Launch your terminal application and configure its baud rate to 57600, N,8,1  with no flow control.
  5. Send  the "<Esc>” key followed by the “(“ key. The hexadecimal values for these keys are: 0x1b and 0x28 respectively. The management station should now be connected to the iDRAC and the iDRAC login prompt should be displayed in the terminal window..

At  this time, you can log in to the iDRAC as an administrator. To avoid having to log in each time and to prevent the log-in session from timing out, you may want to disable authentication. To do this, enter the following command:

racadm config -g cfgserial -o cfgserialconsolenoauth 1

To re-enable authentication, enter the same command, replacing the trailing “1” with a “0”.

 Once logged in, you may configure BIOS, iDRAC, NIC and other settings. This configuration can be done from the serial interface by using RACADM commands. For complete information on RACADM commands, see the RACADM Command Line Reference Guide here.

Here are a few sample commands to get you started:

BIOS configuration / status:

racadm get BIOS

racadm set bios.satasettings.SataPortB off

racadm set BIOS.SysSecurity.SysPassword "dell" 

iDRAC configuration / status:

racadm getconfig -g cfgSerial

racadm racresetcfg

racadm serveraction powercycle

racadm getsel


 NIC configuration / status:

racadm getniccfg

racadm config -g cfgLanNetworking  -o cfgNicEnable 1 [or 0]

racadm config -g cfgLanNetworking  -o cfgNicIPv4Enable 1 [or 0]

racadm config -g cfgLanNetworking  -o cfgNicUseDhcp  0 [or 1] 

You might also want to update the firmware for BIOS, NIC, iDRAC, and / or the Power Edge Raid Controller (PERC) through the serial interface.

Here is a sample command to update the iDRAC7 firmware from a TFTP server: 

racadm fwupdate –g –u –a [TFTP IP Address] 

When you’re done making the desired configuration changes, power-up the server and the configuration  changes and firmware updates will be applied by the Lifecycle Controller. If the server is already on, you’ll need to reboot to apply the settings.

Stay Tuned: PERC configuration will be supported in a future iDRAC firmware release.


 Additional Information

More information on iDRAC

 

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  • just tried this out of the box with a new R720 running iDRAC firmware 1.30.30 and it does not work

  • Thanks for reaching out. It is possible that your External Serial Connector on the BIOS is not  set to Serial Device 2 . We have edited the blog to include this step. Please let us know if this worked for you.