Type
  • Problem
Description
  • A problem with the IPMI driver prevents the proper monitoring of the environment on IBM xSeries servers.
Additional Keywords
  • xSeries

Related Topics

Knowledge Base

Hardware Monitoring: No Environmental Information Available on IBM xSeries Servers

KB1008 - Sep 17, 2009

Description

On IBM xSeries servers, all parameters are successfully collected by Hardware Sentry KM or BMC Performance Manager Express for Hardware except for the environmental information (Temperatures, Voltages, Fans, etc.)

Symptoms

The IBM Director Connector is activated, CPU, Memory information is collected, but no environmental information.
When trying to install IBM director, an error saying the IPMI stack is not working or installed appears.

Solution

Some IBM xSeries servers use the IPMI standard for their internal instrumentation. The motherboard and/or the RSA card features a BMC chip (Baseboard Management Controller) which can be accessed either internally or over the network through the IPMI protocol (if the BMC chip has been configured accordingly).

IPMI only provides environment monitoring (temperatures, voltages, fans, etc.) and does not expose any information regarding the disk controllers, physical and logical disks.

Hardware Sentry KM and BMC Performance Manager Express for Hardware do not use IPMI directly to monitor IBM xSeries servers. They rely on the IBM Director Agent, which in turn relies on the IPMI technology for some of its operations (like sensing temperatures etc.)

How to recognize an IPMI-based from a non-IPMI server?

Mainly, most recent IBM xSeries servers all use IPMI as their main instrumentation.
The easiest way to ensure that a server uses IPMI or not is to check on IBM’s support Web site whether the “Download Drivers” section for the specified model does or does not list the IPMI drivers.

If the server is instrumented with IPMI, you need to check that the IPMI driver has been correctly installed and working.

For IPMI-based systems running Windows

Install the following drivers:   

  • IBM OSA IPMI driver
  • IBM Mapping layer for OSA IPMI

These can be found in the “OSA IPMI” drivers section of each individual server on IBM’s support Web site.

For IPMI-based systems running Linux

The OSA IPMI drivers need to be installed only on the following versions of Linux:

  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.6 and earlier
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.2 and earlier
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9.2 and earlier
  • SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 and earlier
  • VMware ESX Server 2.5.3 (32-bit) and earlier

On these versions of Linux install the following drivers:

  • IBM OSA IPMI driver
  • IBM Mapping layer for OSA IPMI

These can be found in the “OSA IPMI” drivers section of each individual server on IBM’s support Web site.
Other (more recent) distributions of Linux include the OpenIPMI driver and thus do not require the installation of the OSA IPMI driver.