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Sun Fire V1280/Netra 1280 Server Considerations for Improving RAS

This article provides recommendations and highlights important aspects in the configuration, administration, and servicing of the Sun Fire V1280 and Netra 1280 servers. This article is ideal for an advanced system administrator looking to address RAS issues.
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This article provides recommendations and highlights important aspects in the configuration, administration, and servicing of the Sun Fire™ V1280 and Netra™ 1280 servers. The recommendations focus on enhancing system administration and improving the overall system reliability, availability, and serviceability (RAS) of the servers. For simplicity, we refer to the AC (Sun Fire V1280) and DC (Netra 1280) servers as the 1280 server, except where there are differences to be noted.

This article is intended for advanced system administrators and service personnel. You must have a strong background knowledge of the installation, configuration, and administration of Sun Fire servers.

The following topics are discussed in this article:

  • Network parameters

  • Critical OpenBoot™ PROM configuration parameters

  • Date and time

  • Host watchdog, rocker switch, and secure mode settings

  • Password management

  • Firmware upgrades

  • Error logging

  • Error analysis

  • LED status and alarms

  • Environment monitoring and control

  • Console navigation

  • Power failure and recovery behavior

  • Precautions for using the System Configuration Card (SCC)

  • System controller configuration backups

  • Power connections for redundancy and grounding

  • Rackmounting and improving serviceability

Although many of the recommendations apply to a majority of RAS circumstances, the recommendations do not apply to every circumstance.

Network Parameters

You can access the system controller (SC) on the 1280 server through the built-in RJ-45 serial port or the 10/100 Ethernet port on the IB_SSC FRU module. The serial port should be set to 9600 bps, 8 bits, no parity, and 1 stop bit (9600-8-N-1). The server can be administered through just the serial port, but you can set up the 10/100BASE-T Ethernet port as the primary interface to the SC. The serial port can be accessed using a network terminal server or the serial port on a Midframe Service Processor (MSP). The MSP is a secure gateway into the private SC network. For more information about securing the MSP, refer to "Securing the Sun Fire Midframe System Controller" (Sun BluePrints, 2001).

The serial port is particularly useful during the initial setup of the SC because it is the only connection that allows the SC power-on self-test (POST) output to be viewed. There is a second serial port (SSC1 Serial B) that is reserved, so it cannot be used. After you set up the SC, serial port access should continue to be available on demand in case of network outages or firmware updates.

Although an Ethernet port is not required, access is more effective when using the Ethernet port, and it is recommended when you upgrade the system firmware from the Lights-Out-Management (LOM) software prompt on the SC. When you configure the Ethernet port, you must determine whether static or DHCP addresses should be used. A 100BASE-T link is strongly recommended for the Ethernet connection, while maintaining access to the SC through the serial port. In addition, it is recommended that a separate, secure subnet be used for the Ethernet connection.

In a secured topology, use static IP addresses. Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) is an option; however, if you use DHCP, it is recommended that the DHCP server provide services only for the private SC network. It should not provide services for any other network segment. When you configure DHCP, the IP addresses will be saved in the NVRAM. They will not be saved in the SCC. For information on how to back up the system configuration information stored in the NVRAM, see "System Controller Configuration Backups" on page 24.

The following example shows the typical network configuration of the 1280 server:

lom> setupnetwork
Network Configuration
Is the system controller on a network? [no]: yes
Use DHCP or static network settings? [DHCP]: static
Hostname []: hostname
IP Address []: 129.xxx.xxx.xxx
Netmask []:
Gateway []: domain_name.com
Primary DNS Server []: 129.xxx.xxx.xxx
Secondary DNS Server []: 129.xxx.xxx.xxx
Rebooting the SC is required for changes in network settings
to take effect.

After the Ethernet port has been configured and rebooted, it should be the primary access path to the LOM software and/or the SC.

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