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Manual Chapter: BIG-IP® Network and System Management Guide: 2 - Lights-Out Management
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2

Lights-Out Management


Introducing lights-out management

A lights-out management system is available with the latest F5 Networks platforms. The lights-out management system provides the ability to remotely manage certain aspects of the operation of the hardware unit and the BIG-IP traffic management operating system in the event the traffic management software becomes incapacitated.

The lights-out management system consists of the following elements.

  • Switch card control processor (SCCP)
    The hardware that provides the hardware control over the whole unit.
  • Host console shell (hostconsh)
    The shell that provides access to the command menu.
  • Command menu
    The menu that contains the options for lights-out management.
  • Traffic management operating system
    The software that you configure to manage the traffic for your site.
  • Out-of-band management commands
    The commands that provide the ability to control various aspects of the system with a series of keystrokes.

The command menu operates independently of the traffic management operating system through the management port, the serial port console, and remotely through the traffic management ports.

  • You can use the command menu to reset the unit, even if the BIG-IP traffic management system has locked up.
  • You can remotely set a unit to netboot for a software re-install from an ISO image.
  • You can get console access to the BIG-IP traffic management system itself, so you can configure the traffic management system from the command line interface.

The lights-out management system and the BIG-IP traffic management system function independently within the hardware unit. Figure 2.1 shows the relationship between the lights-out management system and the traffic management system.

The lights-out management system is accessible through the management interface (number 1 in Figure 2.1 ) and the console port (number 2 in Figure 2.1 ). This functionality is independent of the traffic management system (number 3 in Figure 2.1 ).

 

 

Figure 2.1 The lights-out management system and the traffic management system.

Accessing the command menu

You can access the command menu through the host console shell (hostconsh) using the front panel serial console, or remotely through SSH. The following section describes how to access the command menu both through the serial console and with an SSH client to the management interface.

Options for accessing the command menu

There are two methods you can use to access the command menu. You can access the menu from the serial console, or from an SSH client to the management interface.

To access the command menu from the serial console

  1. From the serial console connected to the CONSOLE port, type the following key sequence.
  2. Esc (
  3. The command menu opens.
    For details about each option on the command menu, see Using the command menu .

To access the command menu using SSH

Before you can access the command menu using SSH, you must also have an IP address configured for remote lights-out management. For more information, see Setting up remote lights-out SSH access .

  1. Open the SSH client on a management workstation connected to the MGMT port on the BIG-IP system.
  2. Type the following command, where <IP addr> is the IP address you configured for the lights-out system.
  3. ssh console@<ip addr>
  4. The host console shell opens.
  5. To open the command menu, type the following key sequence.
  6. Esc (

    For details about each option on the command menu, see Using the command menu .

Setting up remote lights-out SSH access

You can use the command menu to set up remote SSH access to the BIG-IP system. To set up remote access, run the SCCP network configuration utility to configure an IP address, netmask, and gateway for the lights-out system. You can only connect remotely with the SSH client through the management network connected to the management port (MGMT).

To configure remote SSH lights-out access

  1. Log into the BIG-IP system through the serial console.
  2. Type the following key sequence.
  3. Esc (
  4. After the command menu opens, type N.
    This starts the network configuration utility for the SCCP.
  5. Add an IP address, netmask, and gateway on the management network.

Using out-of-band management commands

The host console shell implements a subset of the Microsoft® standard out-of-band management protocol. These commands provide the ability to use a series of key strokes to manage the host processor. Table 2.1 lists the key-stroke options that are available.

Table 2.1 Out-of-band management key combinations
Keystroke combination
Result
Esc + R + Esc + r + Esc + R
You can use this sequence during pass-through mode to reboot the platform. We do not recommend using this method to reboot the platform.
Esc (
Brings up the command menu.

 

Using the command menu

The command menu provides the lights-out management options for the system (Figure 2.2 ).

 

Figure 2.2 A console view of the host processor console command menu
1 --- Connect to Host subsystem console
2 --- Select Host subsystem boot mode: boot from local drive
3 --- Select Host subsystem boot mode: netboot from SCCP
4 --- Select Host subsystem boot mode: netboot from external server
5 --- Reboot Host subsystem (sends reboot command)
6 --- Halt   Host subsystem (sends halt command)
7 --- Reset  Host subsystem (issues hardware reset--USE WITH CARE!)
8 --- Reboot SCCP subsystem (issues hardware reset--USE WITH CARE!)
9 --- Halt   SCCP subsystem (issues hardware shutdown--USE WITH CARE!)
B --- SCCP baud rate configurator
L --- SCCP login
N --- SCCP network configurator

 

Each of these options is described in Table 2.2 . Note that some of these commands are not intended for use by end users. Table 2.2 also specifies which commands are not recommended for use by users.

Table 2.2 Command menu options
Option
Description
1
Exits the command menu and returns to terminal emulation mode.
2
Configures the BIG-IP traffic management system to boot from the local hard drive or CompactFlash card.
3
Configures the host subsystem to netboot from the host subsystem processor. This option is only for factory testing.
4
Configures the SCCP to netboot the host processor from an external server attached to the management network interface. This option provides the ability to start the PXE installation process remotely.
5
Reboots the host subsystem. In this case, the BIG-IP traffic management operating system (TMOSTM) is rebooted.
6
Halts the host subsystem. In this case, the BIG-IP traffic management operating system (TMOSTM) is halted.
7
Resets the host subsystem. In this case, the system is reset with a hardware reset.
8
Reboots the switch card control processor (SCCP). This resets the entire unit.
9
Halts the switch card control processor (SCCP). This shuts down the entire unit.
B
Runs the switch card control processor (SCCP) baud rate configuration utility. This utility provides the ability to configure the SCCP serial speed and parameters. This option is only available through the front panel serial console.
L
Presents a login prompt for the switch card control processor (SCCP) subsystem. This subsystem cannot be configured by end users. This option is only available through the front panel serial console.
N
Runs the switch card control processor (SCCP) network configuration utility. This utility provides the ability to reconfigure the IP address, netmask, and default gateway used by the SCCP. If you change these settings, your session is disconnected. This option is only available through the front panel serial console.

 

Important

We do not recommend using the reset option, option 7, under normal circumstances. It does not allow for graceful shutdown of the BIG-IP system.



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