Configuring and using the BMC on an IBM eServer 326.

The IBM eServer 326 comes with a fairly minimalistic Baseboard Management Controller (BMC). That is understandable when you look at the form factor (1U) of the eServer 326 as well as the pricetag it had when it was introduced. IBM tried to give the eServer 326 some RAS features without impacting the price. Kudos for that!

It does also however, mean that it is hard to use and configure. A couple of points

  • The BMC piggybacks/shares the first NIC with the system (LAN 1)
  • You have to start the server once before the BMC gets activated. It is not truely a seperate entity of its own
  • When you enter the system BIOS you see a BMC menu option. Clicking that however will not allow you to configure the LAN settings of the BMC, hence this blog post.
  • At times the BMC is unreachable due to the fact that the NIC is a shared NIC.

When you boot the disk/iso, it will normally go through an upgrade cycle before you end up in the lancfg tool. If you only want to configure the BMC, you can break the upgrade during startup (ctrl-c) and start lancfg yourself.

content of the lancfg disk

Inside lancfg you can configure the ip settings of th BMC ….

lancfg – ip settings

… as well as the SNMP settings

snmp settings of the BMC

You can also setup privileges to be used when accessing the BMC. The default BMC username and password for the IBM eServer 326 is USERID/PASSW0RD (with a zero)

After you have installed the tool, you can use it under linux as follows:

edison% ./usr/bin/smbridge -ip sysinfo
DeviceID=       0
DeviceRevision= 1
FirmwareVersion=        1.25
IpmiVersion=    1.5
ManufacturerID= 2
ProductID=      34888
Status= OK
SDRVersion=     1.5
Guid=   171c049f-4ea8-b387-119d-321e09d85fe8


edison% ./usr/bin/smbridge -ip power
Status= on

edison% ./usr/bin/smbridge -ip power reset
Error(power,0xa3):Insufficient privilege level.
edison% ./usr/bin/smbridge -ip -u USERID -p PASSW0RD power reset

edison% ./usr/bin/smbridge -ip -u USERID -p PASSW0RD power off

edison% ./usr/bin/smbridge -ip -u USERID -p PASSW0RD power on

edison% ./usr/bin/smbridge -ip -u USERID -p PASSW0RD power cycle

And that is about it. Not enterprise RAS features, but enough to reset a hung machine and stuff like that. Given that the eServer 326 was marketed as a cheap calculation node in a calculation farm, the BMC features fits the bill perfectly, even though it would have been nice with some remote console features as well….

One Response to “Configuring and using the BMC on an IBM eServer 326.”

  1. i just can’t thank you enough for this post.

    so i will just say:

    thank! you!



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