PowerEdge Server life cycle controllers: Lifecycle Controller

Source: Internet
Author: User

Dell launches the Life cycle Controller (LC, lifecycle Controller) from the 11th generation server. Life cycle Controllers (LC) efficiently manage deployment, configuration, Update, diagnostics, and maintenance over the entire lifecycle of the server through the control chips and flash memory deployed on the motherboard, in conjunction with the BMC and Idrac cards. The 12th generation server focuses on strengthening the management function, one of the notable is to update the life cycle controller to the second generation of LC2, and with the Idrac 7 organic combination, integrated on the motherboard, improve performance, add functionality.

So what can LC do about it? Let's have a look.

    1. The management interface of the LC is called the Embedded Server Management tool (USC), which simply needs to be accessed by pressing F10 at startup , very simple without any boot media.
    2. In USC, you can initialize configuration for commonly used components such as Idrac and PERC cards. All operations to initialize the server can be done without entering the operating system .
    3. LC stores firmware and drivers for parts in flash memory, so when you deploy an operating system using USC, you do not need to load any additional drivers, and you can install the common operating system directly . The deployment of the server has been shortened from manual work of several hours or even all day to a few 10 minutes of automatic work.
    4. updating the firmware is no longer a complex thing, just download the system's firmware CD and simply click on the upgrade operation in USC to complete it. Administrators can also choose to roll the firmware back to the previous version.
    5. The LC contains hardware diagnostic software for the system, which can be used for hardware diagnostics in USC.
    6. When the hardware is replaced, the LC can automatically detect changes in firmware and configuration during hardware replacement of the spare parts, prompting the user to choose whether to restore the firmware and configuration of the spare parts to the original version. The administrator also backs up the motherboard BIOS and settings to Idrac's Vflash SD card or exports it to a USB device in USC, which can be quickly restored if the motherboard needs to be replaced.

With the various deployment and configuration features provided by the LC, you can significantly reduce your administrator's working time. You can also restore the system to normal operation faster in the event of a failure. In addition, LC can run scripts using the standard Wsman interface, using scripts to implement unified deployment, update, and maintenance of a large number of servers.

Use of Lifecycle Controller 2

Press F10 at system startup to access Lifecycle Controller's management interface USC (Unified Server Configurator):

From what we can see, the main options in the LC2 management interface are:

    • Platform Update: Firmware updates
    • Hardware configuration of Hardware Configuration:prec, Idrac and other equipment
    • OS Deployment: Deploying the operating system
    • Platform Restore: Backup and restore system configuration, firmware refresh, rollback after replacement of spare parts
    • Hardware Diagnostic: Hardware fault diagnosis
    • Other logs, settings such as LC, and switching to other configuration interfaces, such as BIOS configuration, etc.

Let's take a look at it in one item:

Platform Update: Firmware updates

Select Platform Update to enter the firmware update interface

Here, we can choose from the FTP server, local CD/DVD/USB disk, or network share to obtain the new firmware. The simplest way is to download the latest Suu (server Update Utility) CD to the Dell Services website, which contains the latest firmware for all version servers.

Hardware configuration of Hardware Configuration:prec, Idrac and other equipment

With the configuration Wizard, you can initialize a perc (RAID card), IDRAC, front panel security, Vflash SD card, and other hardware without an operating system. You can also view a list of hardware listings in the HW inventory.

The type of RAID can be configured in the PERC card configuration. You can also reconfigure your existing raid.

OS Deployment: Deploying the operating system

The use of LC allows you to install the main operating system directly. You only need to provide the CD or image of the OS via CD/DVD or Idrac remote virtual media, and all the OS and driver installation will be done automatically . It can be done with just a few clicks of the mouse.

Platform Restore: Backup and restore system configuration, firmware refresh, rollback after replacement of spare parts

The Platform Restore feature is very powerful. We can back up the BIOS and settings of the motherboard to Idrac's Vflash SD card via Backup server profile, or export it to a USB device or network share via the exported Server profile. If you replace the motherboard, you can quickly restore the settings via the Import Server profile.

LC can automatically detect changes in firmware and configuration during hardware replacement of spare parts, prompting the user to choose whether to restore the firmware and configuration of the spare parts to the original version. This action can be set in the part replacement configuration.

Hardware Diagnostic: Hardware fault diagnosis

All understand, nothing to say, direct

Other, such as the LC log, settings (such as LC Network configuration at import/export), and switch to other configuration interface (such as BIOS configuration, etc.), we are not introduced here.

In summary, life Cycle controller LC can help users achieve faster, more efficient, and more secure deployment, configuration, and updates. Complex operations such as setting up raid, updating firmware, installing the operating system, firmware/configuration recovery, and so on are all simply pressed F10 and unified in a simple graphical interface such as USC (Unified Server Configurator).


Attached: rapid deployment of the operating system using LC

here, a simple version of the screenshot is introduced, more content is attached to a video demonstration .

Everyone has the installation experience: Install the system to the newly purchased server, insert the system CD, boot, next. Ouch, only to find that the system CD-ROM does not have an array card driver with the new server, the installation cannot continue. This difficult it veteran, CD startup time, press F6 manually load it, where is the driver? Hey, now buy the server actually did not match the floppy drive, how to do?

In fact, Dell in the server research and development, long ago for everyone to consider all these difficulties, Dell Lifecycle Controller has integrated the server supported operating system related drivers, we recommend that you use lifecycle Controller to simplify the installation of the server operating system.

Installing system steps using the Dell PowerEdge server Lifecyclecontroller

1. When booting, press the F10 of the keyboard to enter USC, which is the management interface of the life cycle controller.

2. Insert the operating system CD (or the virtual disc mapped in Idrac) and select OS Deployment in USC, which is the deployment of the operating system,

3. The system prompts you to configure disk raid. If you have configured RAID, select Go Directly to OS Deployment. Otherwise select Configure RAID first

4. Select the PERC card that needs to be configured for raid

5. Configure the type of RAID, the physical disk used, and the size of the created logical disk

6. When the RAID configuration is complete, the system will be prompted: After updating the RAID configuration, the original data on the hard disk will be lost. Select Yes to confirm.

7. Select the type of operating system you want to deploy (all operating systems supported by the server are listed here)

8. The system will automatically start loading the appropriate driver and prompt to confirm boot boot mode, using BIOS or UEFI.

9. The system will begin to automatically copy data from the operating system CD and press Finish when the copy is complete.

10. The system automatically restarts, installs the operating system and the driver. All you need to do is wait for the installation to finish automatically.

The above steps can also be done remotely via Idrac's remote console and virtual media.

See the Featured Demo video


Reference: Http://zh.community.dell.com/techcenter/w/techcenter_wiki/190.poweredgelifecycle-controller

http://v.youku.com/v_show/id_XNDA3OTA5OTg0.html ( install operating system with IDRAC and life cycle controller )

PowerEdge Server life cycle controllers: Lifecycle Controller

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