How To Monitor And Manage IPMI Management Console

This guide provides an overview on how to monitor and manage IPMI Management Console with Verax NMS. The Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) is a standardized computer system interface used by system administrators to manage a computer system and monitor its operation.

The guide is divided into following parts:

  1. Adding IPMI Management Console  to the list of monitored applications.
  2. Configuring availability sensors and performance counters for IPMI Console.
  3. System's IPMI Management Console overview.
  4. Setting up alarms and notification policies.

Tools used in this guide:


Adding IPMI Management Console to device inventory

In order to include IPMI Management Console to be monitored by Verax NMS, add an application instance to the device actually running this instance.

Note: Verax NMS allows for creating multiple instances for applications of the same type on a single device.

 In order to add an IPMI Management Console to the device running its instance, perform the following steps:

  1. Log into the Verax NMS and select Home from the main menu.
  2. Select a device running the IPMI Management Console instance  from the left-side aspects view.
  3. In Summary tab select Manage applications from the actions section.

manage applications

  1. A pop-up dialog is displayed.
  2. Select Add application option from the context menu and click Go. A dialog window is displayed. 

add IPMI

  1. Choose IPMI Management Console from Application types.

System will ask to enter the following application-specific parameters:

  • Instance name - You can enter any name describing the monitored application instance.
  • Host - In most cases, the host address is an IP address of the device the application instance is assigned to.
  • User - Username used to connect to the server.
  • Password - Password used to connect to the server.
  • BMC Key – the server-specific key used only if the server is configured to use two-key authentication. Otherwise, BMC key field should be left empty.
  • Privilege level – the level of privileges associated with the user or lower. In most cases privilege level is User.

Note: application-specific parameters depend on the selected application type.

  1.  Provide the necessary information and click Save changes.
  2. The system will ask if you want to add a default set of sensors and counters for IPMI Management Console. Since, sensors and performance will be added manually – click No.
  3. The newly added IPMI Management Console is now visible in the aspect tree within the host’s node in Managed Applications category.

IPMI - aspect tree

System provides IPMI Management Console application pluggable module to extend core built-in functionalities and allows monitoring servers via IPMI protocol in various aspects like:

  • Advanced views: General, Hardware info (data read from FRU – Field Replaceable Unit),
  • Analog sensors, Discrete sensors and System event log
  • IPMI sensor checking if device's chosen sensor is responding
  • IPMI counter monitoring value of device's chosen analog sensor's reading
  • System Event Log collector, polling devices event log and raising equivalent events in NMS


Adding sensors for IPMI Management Console

Sensors are active monitors periodically querying the device services for which they are configured and waiting for their responses. If a query is returned with an expected response, the queried service is considered "available." If a response is not received (timed out), or if the response is not as expected, the queried service is considered "unavailable".

The system includes a number of pre-configured sensors. The following types of sensors for IPMI Management Console application type are available by default:

  • IPMI Sensor  - checks the response time of the chosen analog or discrete IPMI sensor.
  • IPMI System Log Collector – polls the IPMI system event log checking for new events that occurred and raises equivalent events in NMS.

In order to add a sensor, perform the following steps:

  1. Select device from the aspect tree in Home view (IPMI Management Console in this case).
  2. Select Monitors tab and switch to sensor list by clicking Sensor list link in the upper-right corner of the tab field. The sensor list is displayed.
  3. Select Add from the global action menu and click Go. The wizard dialog is displayed.

add sensor

  1. Select the sensor you want to add and click Next.
  2. A dialog shows up with all sensor parameters to be provided. Specify the sensor parameters and click Finish.
  3. Once the sensors have been added, they are visible on the sensor list (Monitors tab).


Adding performance counters to IPMI Management Console

Performance counters measure system activity and performance (metrics). The application retrieves their current values in predefined intervals. The aim of probing and collecting data is to analyze and convert the data into a performance graph/chart. The user can define a counter manually or load it from a template. Counter templates provide defined probing parameters for specified devices in order to improve and quicken counter creation.

Each counter template is characterized by the following information:

  • Name and description - unique identifier and optional description,
  • Device type - type of a device,
  • Protocol type - protocol used,
  • Probing interval -  pauses between probing.

In order to add IPMI Management Console performance counters, perform the following steps:

  1. Select device from aspect tree in Home view.
  2. Select Monitors tab and switch to the counter list by clicking Counter list link in the upper-right corner of the tab field. A counter list is displayed.
  3. Select Add from the global action menu and click Go.

counter list

add counter

  1. Select the counter you want to create and click Next.
  2. Once the data has been loaded, the edit window shows up with all counter attributes to be provided.
  3. Specify the rest of counter parameters and click Finish.
  4. The new counter has been created and is now visible on the counter list.


System's IPMI Console features

Verax NMS IPMI Management Console supports IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) devices compliant with IPMI 2.0 over UDP and the following views are provided:

  • General view - the overall information about IPMI Management Console (address of the host running the application instance, privilege level, user and password, BMC Key) as well as graphs presenting Analog sensor statuses, Discrete sensor statuses and SEL entries statuses.
  • Hardware information (FRU) view - all the properties stored in the FRU (Field Replaceable Unit) inventory, such as serial numbers, part numbers, vendor information and others. The list of properties is dependent on the type of managed hardware and its configuration.
  • Analog sensors view - analog sensors for the device (temperature, fan speeds, voltage and others) along with the detailed information concerning each sensor (status, name, type etc).
  • Discrete sensors view - discrete sensors for the device. Acceptable values are defined in the IPMI standard, including information which values indicate abnormal conditions.
  • System log event view - IPMI event log including information such as date and time of event occurrence, sensor associated with the event, event assertion/deassertion etc.


Creating custom processing rules for IPMI Management Console

In this tutorial I'll present how to assign basic event processing rules, such as: alarm generating, event dropping/forwarding and severity assigning.

To assign an event processing rule, perform the following steps:

  1. After selecting the desired host go to Events tab.
  2. Select events, choose Assign processing rules and click Go.
  3. A dialog window is displayed (see figure below).

processing rules

  1. Select rule category and click Add new rule.
  2. The newly created event processing rule is now visible and active (there's no need to log out).


Well done :)

If you performed all the actions described in this guide, you are now able to monitor IPMI Management Console application.

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