Onboard Administrator overview

Managing a c-Class enclosure involves multiple functions:

  • Detecting component insertion and removal
  • Identifying components including required connectivity
  • Managing power and cooling
  • Controlling components including remote control and remote consoles

Detecting component insertion and removal

Onboard Administrator provides component control in c-Class enclosures. Component management begins after the component is detected and identified. The Onboard Administrator detects components in BladeSystem c-Class enclosures through presence signals on each bay. When you insert a component into a bay, the Onboard Administrator immediately recognizes and identifies the component. If you remove a component from a bay, the Onboard Administrator deletes the information about that component.

Identifying components

To identify a component, Onboard Administrator reads a FRU EEPROM that contains specific factory information about the component such as product name, part number, and serial number. All FRU EEPROMs in c-Class enclosures are powered up, even if the component is turned off. Therefore, Onboard Administrator can identify the component before granting power. For devices such as fans, power supplies, and Insight Display, Onboard Administrator directly reads the FRU EEPROMs. Onboard Administrator accesses server blade FRU EEPROMs through iLO management processors.

  • The server blades contain several FRU EEPROMs: one on the server board, which contains server information and embedded NIC information, and one on each installed mezzanine option cards. Server blade control options include auto login to the iLO web interface and remote server consoles, virtual power control, and boot order control.
  • Server blade control options also include extensive server hardware information including BIOS and iLO firmware versions, server name, NIC and option card port IDs, and port mapping.
  • Onboard Administrator provides easy-to-understand port mapping information for each server blade and interconnect module in the enclosure.

The NIC and mezzanine option FRU information informs Onboard Administrator of the type of interconnects each server requires. Before power is provided to a server blade, Onboard Administrator compares this information with the FRU EEPROMs on installed interconnect modules to check for electronic keying errors. For interconnect modules, Onboard Administrator provides virtual power control, dedicated serial consoles, and management Ethernet connections.

While Onboard Administrator is identifying components, the progress appears in steps on the Insight Display. During step 11 discovers the identity of all installed components. Step 11 takes less than a minute for ProLiant server blades using the enclosure management Ethernet network, but might take several minutes in the case of the Integrity blades as they use an i2c bus between Onboard Administrator and the server for communications. The number of installed mezzanine cards on each server increases the time in this step as each card is identified and verified.

Managing power and cooling

The most important Onboard Administrator tasks are power control and thermal management. Onboard Administrator can remotely control the power state of all components in BladeSystem c-Class enclosures. For components in device bays in the front of each enclosure, Onboard Administrator communicates with iLO to control servers, and with a microcontroller to control options such as storage blades. A separate microcontroller controls power to the interconnect modules.

After components are powered, the Onboard Administrator begins thermal management with Thermal Logic. The Thermal Logic feature in BladeSystem c-Class minimizes power consumption by the enclosure fan subsystem by reading temperature sensors across the entire enclosure. Then, Thermal Logic changes fan speed in different zones in the enclosure to minimize power consumption and maximize cooling efficiency.

Controlling components

Onboard Administrator uses embedded management interfaces to provide detailed information and health status for all bays in the enclosure including presence detection signals in each bay, i2c, serial, USB, and Ethernet controllers. Onboard Administrator also offers information on firmware versions for most components in the enclosure and can be used to update those components.

Onboard Administrator overview