Ibm Remote Supervisor Adapter

in Ibm
RSA features

Remote control of hardware and operating systems

Web-based management with standard Web browsers (no other software is required)

Scriptable command-line interface and text-based serial console redirect

System-independent graphical console redirection

Remote diskette and CD-ROM drive support

Adapter Versions

Advanced Systems Management Adapter (ASMA)

This is a full-length ISA or PCI adapter. The ISA version is very rare, and was only ever supported in one or two servers. This adapter can be accessed either in-band through a device driver, or out-band over serial or 10Mbit Ethernet.

In addition, this adapter supports chaining of IBM Servers with Advanced Systems Management Processors (ASMP) using RJ45 patch cables (RS485 signal), to reduce the number of adapters required. A total of 12 systems can be controlled this way using a single adapter.

The PCI version is supported under Linux through the ibmasm driver.

Supported servers:

IBM Netfinity 4500R

IBM Netfinity 5000, 5100, 5500, 5500 M10, 5500 M20, 5600

IBM Netfinity 6000R

IBM Netfinity 7000 M10, 7100, 7600

IBM Netfinity 8500R

IBM eServer xSeries 230, 240, 250

IBM eServer xSeries 330 (8654), 340, 350, 370

Remote Supervisor Adapter (RSA)

This is a half-length PCI adapter, which can be accessed either in-band through a device driver, or out-band over serial or Ethernet.

In addition, this adapter supports chaining of IBM Servers with Integrated Systems Management Processors (ISMP) using RJ45 patch cables (RS485 signal), to reduce the number of adapters required.

The adapter is supported under Linux through the ibmasm driver.

This is the first version to support remote KVM over Ethernet. But when chaining is used, only the server with the adapter installed supports the remote KVM function.

Supported servers:

IBM eServer xSeries 205, 225 (8647), 232, 255

IBM eServer xSeries 305, 330, 335, 342, 345, 360

IBM eServer xSeries 440, 445, 450, 455

Remote Supervisor Adapter II (RSA-II)

This is a half-length PCI adapter, which can be accessed either in-band through a device driver, or out-band over serial or Ethernet.

In addition, this adapter supports chaining of IBM Servers with Integrated Systems Management Processors (ISMP) using RJ45 patch cables (RS485 signal), to reduce the number of adapters required.

This adapter (when properly cabled) can be accessed for in-band management through a USB driver.

This adapter has its own ATI video chip, and will cause the onboard video chip to get disabled. The reason for this was to resolve some of the problems with capturing the video for the remote KVM function that the original RSA experienced. Just like the original RSA, in the event of chaining the remote KVM function is only supported on the server with the adapter installed.

Supported servers:

IBM eServer 326, 326m

IBM eServer xSeries 206, 225 (8649), 226, 235, 255

IBM eServer xSeries 305, 306, 306m, 335, 345, 365

IBM eServer xSeries 445

Cable

The RSA-II requires a 20-pin cable (called an FRU 02R1661 cable for x345) to attach to the motherboard of the server. Without this cable the remote video facilities will still work, and if the external USB cable is connected, the remote keyboard and mouse will work -- but nothing else (including power control) will function properly. Moreover, some servers will pause for 30-120 seconds after power-on if the RSA-II is installed but the cable is missing.

Different cables are required for different servers, and as of April 2008 it appears that the cards themselves are far more plentiful on the used market than certain cables -- often the cables sell for more than the cards themselves!

Older servers use what is known as the "planar cable". Newer servers use the cable shown in the image to the right:

One type of IBM Remote Supervisor Adapter II internal cable (73P9312)

Remote Supervisor Adapter II Slimline (RSA-II Slimline)

This is a special version of the RSA-II that does not need a PCI slot. Instead it is plugged into a dedicated slot on the systemboard, like a mini-pci adapter. This version also does not have a video controller anymore like the RSA-II.

Out-band management is provided by a dedicated Ethernet port on the server, which is not connected if the RSA-II Slimline is not installed. In-Band management is provided by the same USB driver as the RSA-II.

Supported servers:

IBM eServer xSeries 236, 260

IBM eServer xSeries 336, 346, 366

IBM eServer xSeries 460, MXE-460

IBM System x 3200, 3250, 3350, 3400, 3500, 3550, 3650, 3655, 3755, 3800, 3850, 3950

Peculiarities

Java 1.6 Incompatibility Bug

The RSA remote control is now broken IBM has issued a fix that only works some of the time (see here & ). Most users are advised to use Java JRE 1.60 U07 or earlier also works around IBM's bug, which is impossible if the user does not have administrative access to the client machine. IBM has been unresponsive.

Passwords Sent in the Clear

SSL is disabled by default, meaning that administrator passwords are sent in the clear.

Invisible to Traceroute

The network stack used by the RSAII does not respond to UDP packets sent to a closed port; therefore, it appears to be "invisible" to traceroutes based on UDP (the default for non-Windows systems).

Reliability Problems

A defect in the design of the RSA can cause it to go into a state in which the remote video capabilities are disabled. Unfortunately, once in this state the only way to correct the situation is to physically remove power from the RSA and the server; no amount of remote restarting will correct the problem. Because the point of the RSA is to eliminate the need for this sort of physical intervention to clear errors, this flaw calls into question the usefulness of the device.

This flaw is documented on IBM's website at

Requires UDP

The remote control feature of the service processor requires that it be possible to exchange packets on UDP port 2000 between the adapter and the client.

No Video through NAT

The adapter does not cope well with modern NATs. The symptoms generally experienced are a lack of video when attempting to access remote control. If in doubt, ensure that the client (web browser) has its own public internet IP and is not behind any sort of NAT.

No Video when using a Cisco router or switch with Network Address Translation (NAT)

Problem: When using a Cisco router or switch with Network Address Translation (NAT) enabled, connection to the Remote Supervisor Adapter (RSA) II web UI is operational. When starting the remote control session, the user receives a blank screen.

Solution:

The remote console port should be changed from 2000 to 5090 or any other value.

Log in to the RSA II web UI page. In the RSA II web UI, go to Port Assignments in the left panel. Go to remote console and change the value to 5090. Save and restart the ASM. Port 2000 is being used by Cisco Skinny Client Control Protocol (SCCP). Since the default value for RSA II console port (remote video) is 2000, it needs be changed to another value such as 5090.

From http://www-947.ibm.com/systems/support/supportsite.wss/docdisplay?lndocid=MIGR-5074618&brandind=5000008

Related

BladeCenter Management Module (BCMM)

This is the first management module of the IBM BladeCenter.

Its function is very similar to that of the RSA-II

The BCMM provides an external 10/100Mbit Ethernet connection (used for out-of-band management) and shared VGA, PS/2 Keyboard and PS/2 Mouse ports. Internally the VGA and PS/2 ports are switchable between blades. The PS/2 ports are internally seen to the blades as USB.

This has since been phased out and replaced by the BCAMM. It is no longer supported by IBM.

BladeCenter Advanced Management Module (BCAMM)

This is the a hardware refresh of the management module for the IBM BladeCenter. The PS/2 ports for keyboard and mouse were replaced with two USB ports. The BCAMM is currently under active development and its firmware offers more capabilities than the original BCMM.

Advanced Systems Management Processor (ASMP)

This is an integrated Service Processor on select IBM Intel-based servers. It was succeeded by the ISMP. Out-of-band management is possible using a serial port (shared with the OS), or by adding the Advanced Systems Management Adapter (ASMA).

These servers have ASMP functionality:

IBM Netfinity 4500R

IBM Netfinity 5000, 5100, 5500, 5600

IBM Netfinity 6000R

IBM Netfinity 7100, 7600

IBM xSeries 130 (8654), 135 (8654), 150

IBM xSeries 230, 240, 250

IBM xSeries 330, 340, 350

Integrated Systems Management Processor (ISMP)

This is an integrated Service Processor on select IBM Intel-based servers. It was succeeded by the BMC. Out-of-band management is possible by adding the RSA or RSA-II.

These servers have ISMP functionality:

IBM xSeries 232, 235, 236, 255

IBM xSeries 335, 342, 345

Baseboard Management Controller (BMC)

On the latest IBM Intel-based servers a BMC is standard, and optionally the RSA-II Slimline can be added.

Default Password

The default login is "admin" or "USERID" and the default password is "PASSW0RD" (note the zero rather than an "O").

References

^ No graphics displayed with remote login to IBM RSA Web interface remote control option - Servers

Remote graphics session shows blank screen - IBM Remote Supervisor Adapter II

IBM Remote supervisor adapter User's Guide

IBM RSA-II and RSA-II Slimline User's Guide

IBM RSA-II - Overview

IBM Service Processors support matrix

How to use the IBM RSA keyboard/video remote control without a browser

Categories: Out-of-band management | IBM computers
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This article was published on 2011/01/12