Gain Access to the Metrics that Matter with Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager and Dell

The DELL PowerEdge C C1100 (aka DELL DCS CS24-TY) is based on the Intel 5500 (Tylersburg) chipset with support for dual-socket Intel processors.   This 1U (1.7”) system was designed by DELL for HPC, Web 2.0, Gaming and Cloud Builder environments.  Here are the 4 test servers that I have in my lab environment:

c1100-4-servers.jpg

The small 1U form factor gives dual-socket Xeon platform the capability of using 144GB (8GBx18 DIMM slots) of local RAM for high memory intensive workloads, and the granularity needed for power and thermal monitoring via Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager Technology.  As for local storage options, you can opt for 4 3.5” or 10 2.5” drives – and yes, they support SSDs in the 2.5” form factor!

Support for the following Operating Systems and Hypervisors are available:

  • Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 5 (x86 or x64)
  • Red Hat® Enterprise Linux® 6 (x86 or x64)
  • Novell™ SUSE™ Linux ES 11
  • ESX 4.x
  • Microsoft Windows® 2008 R2

For the best experience using Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager technologies– it’s important to have the latest BIOS and BMC Firmware loaded on your server, and across your server grid.  The updates for BIOS and BMC firmware come in 3 different packages; based on Linux, Windows or a bootable flash device.

Out of the box, the DELL PowerEdge C1100 is setup to deliver power and thermal readings.  Here is the process for you to setup the platform to get to the data.  If you’ve setup BMC’s before – it’s very simple!

Press ‘F2’ to get into the BIOS on startup – you can see the BIOS and BMC version on the initial screen:

c1100-bios-info-clip.jpg

Next you can traverse to the Server Tab – and you’ll see  “Set BMC LAN Configuration”

set-BMC-lan-C1100.JPG

Out of the box, your BMC should pick up a DHCP address if you have it on a DHCP enabled subnet – the default setup will be Dedicated and DHCP is Disabled – meaning you’ll have a dedicated management drop for the server and will have to assign an IP when installing the server – in our scenario we have it setup as Shared-NIC and DHCP is Enabled.

c1100-bmc-nic-setup.JPG

Once you’ve setup the IP address – you can get more info via the Web User-Interface. The Web-UI for the BMC is relatively simple and this is where you can give a logical name to your management interface.

Simply open your browser interface and type in the IP address; in our case http://10.19.253.4 this will open a login window to your management interface, so login with the default username/password setup in your documentation.  Out of the box; our setup was root/root.

root-bmc-login.JPG

Once you’re logged into the BMC, you can go to the Configuration - Network tab where you can put in a logical name for your server’s management IP address – this simplifies things a bit for future usage.

c1100-setup_BMC-name.JPG

Now you save the changes and you’re ready to start using a console to monitor and manage power usage on your DELL PowerEdge C1100 server.  Basic BMC manageability is included - simple ipmitool command line usage can be used.   To talk to the Manageability Engine - the bridged IPMI commands are found in the Intel Intelligent Power Node Manager 1.5 API

For a much simpler implementation, you can also use the Intel Data Center Manager SDK to get a quick and easy visual representation of the system’s power and thermal (inlet air temperature) data.

Once you setup the DCM SDK, once you have setup your system – here’s all the data you need:

C1100-DCM-Entry.JPG

Once entered, the system will be monitored and polled on a regular basis. Our scenario below shows a 30-second refresh over a 1-hour time window.

c1100-dcm-snapshot.JPG

Your end-result is a great graphical representation of the metrics shown in the screen capture below; average power, maximum power, minimum power, average inlet temperature, and maximum inlet temperature.  While this is hardly an exhaustive list of the metrics captured, it gives you a quick graphical representation to the data.

Stay tuned for more DELL Poweredge-C Server blogs!

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Todd Christ

About Todd Christ

Todd Christ is an Enterprise Solutions Architect at Intel Corporation. He is a dynamic, highly accomplished computer science professional with a deep history of leveraging novel technologies to develop solutions to chronic business challenges. Todd worked in several roles in Information Technology prior to his career shift to the Intel Datacenter Group where he currently promotes Software Defined Infrastructure models, solutions and technologies. Todd is a strong proponent of Hybrid Cloud strategies for Enterprise and Government markets. He has broad knowledge and success in engineering and development environments; he excels at qualifying, integrating, and testing diverse systems. Todd is a skilled trainer and project leader; able to direct multiple tasks effectively and readily master innovative software and tools.