Sunday, December 15, 2013

Redirect DELL PowerEdge server serial port to iDRAC

Let's assume you use COM2 serial port for console access into your operating system. This is usually used on linux, freebsd or other *nix like systems. Administrator then can use serial terminal to work with OS. However it is useful only for local access. What if you want to access terminal console remotely? If you have DELL PowerEdge server with iDRAC 7 you can redirect serial communication to your iDRAC. You probably know you can ssh into iDRAC for remote server operations. When you are in the iDRAC you can use command "connect" which will connect you to your serial terminal.

To get it working a few steps have to be taken on Power Edge server.

1/ Configure iDRAC
  • Go to Network & Serial
  • Set IPMI’s Baud Rate for example 9.6 kbps (Serial Port Baud Rate)
  • Apply Settings

2/ During boot enter the Server’s BIOS
  • Go to “Serial Communication”
  • Switch from “Off” to “On without Redirection”
  • Switch Port Configuration from “Serial Device1=COM1;Serial Device2=COM2” to “Serial Device1=COM2;Serial Device2=COM1”
  • Save Settings and Reboot Controller

After these steps the Server’s serial console is available via iDRAC:

Login to iDRAC using SSH and type “connect” at the prompt. After that the SSH session shows the serial console as if directly connected to the system’s serial port.

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