How to Reload OS from KVM or IPMI

How to Reload OS from KVM or IPMI

1 Introduction

This tutorial will show you how to reload OS for dedicated server remotely from KVM device or IPMI. Three things you will need for a successful OS reloading are 1) Hostname, 2) OS version, 3) IP address of server IPMI or KVM device, 4) Server IP address, and 5) password of ‘administrator’. Those information can be found in the ‘C:\DBM_Docs\Server_Docs\DBM_Servers_All.xlsx’. With KVM or IPMI, both of them simulate local connection to physical machine.

2 OS Installation File

All the OS installation files (.iso) are stored on the Terminal Server ( User must log in Terminal Server to start OS reloading to remote server. All the .iso files are in the D:\DBM_Software_System folder. In the Windows folder, it stores all the installation files for various versions of Windows Server OS.

3 IPMI/KVM Web Interface

3.1 Server IPMI Web interface

Most of the motherboards of our servers are IPMI equipped. It can be accessed by web browser using the IPMI IP.
Here is the login credential we always use,
Username: ADMIN
Password: IPMI4********M
With the login credential, you will be able to log in the IPMI as administrative role. The most useful feature of IPMI is power control. With this function, user is able to turn on/off, shut down, reboot, even reset the remote server.

3.2 KVM Web Interface

Connecting to remote server from KVM is very similar to IPMI. Unlike IPMI which is embedded to the motherboard, KVM device connects remote server via direct USB connection. KVM device provides web interface that users are able to simulate local connection to the server. Power control is not provided by KVM device. It requires remote hand to forcedly power on/off and to reset the server. If there is a request for reloading OS on specific server, the first thing for a support staff to do is to submit a ticket to data center to request KVM device connection to the server. When the data center reported successful KVM device connection, you may start to log in the KVM device as shown below,
Here is the login credential we always use,
Username: sysadmin
Password: Data********
When logged in, by clicking ‘KVM Console’ an interactive screen which simulates local connection will pop out. You can then start server OS reloading.

4 Local Access and Installation Media Attachment

With KVM and IPMI, the remote server can be accessed by web interface. On IPMI, you are able to connect the server by clicking anywhere inside the ‘Remote Console Preview’ window as shown below or go through ‘Remote Control’ à ‘Console Redirection’ à ‘Launch Console’. There are also quick keys beneth the ‘Remote Console Preview’ window that allowing power on/off the server. KVM console can be opened the same way as IPMI but is not capable of power control.
As mentioned earlier, users should use the IPMI or KVM web interface from Terminal Server. The installation media for all versions of OS’s are stored there. Users must locate the installation media to be used for OS reloading as described in Step 2. The installation media can be loaded via IPMI or KVM console. For example, from IPMI console, click ‘Virtual Media’ then choose ‘Virtual Storage’ to open virtual storage window. By following the numbered steps shown in the graph below, it enables users to load installation media to the server. This step will activate a virtual DVD/CD device on the server.
When the installation media is loaded, you will need to reboot the server via power control (IPMI) or via remote hand (KVM). User should go to BIOS page by pressing ‘DEL’ and change bootup order in order to boot up the server from the activated virtual DVD/CD device. You are now good to go for re-installing OS on the server.
You will then see the Windows Server installation screen shown as the figure above. Click ‘Next’ and then follow the steps listed in Section to
Note: Most of our dedicated servers are equipped with disk array. During the installation progress, Windows might not be able to find the proper driver for the disk array in the step of assigning space. This is a common issue for old versions of Windows Servers. You will have to find the proper driver in order for the Windows to locate disk drive. The solution is to load ‘D:\DBM_Software_System\Windows\WIN2008_R2_SP1_X64_WITH_DRIVERS.iso’ in this step.

5 Finishing up

There are several things to be down when the Windows Server is installed. Here is the list of things to be done,

5.1Initial Server Settings

  • Enable RDP
  • Change time zone: U.S. Central Time
  • Choose Windows update method (Notify but do not update)
  • Disable administrator password expiration
  • Disable administrator password complexity policy
  • Change administrator password
  • Turn off “Restrict each user to a single session” in Administrative Tools > Remote Desktop Service > Remote Desktop Session Host Configuration (Windows Server 2008)
  •  Open command prompt and write gpedit.msc and open it. Go to computer configuration -> Administrative Templates -> Windows Components ->Remote Desktop services -> Remote Desktop Session Host -> Connections. Disable “Restrict Remote Desktop Services user to a single remote.....” (Windows Server 2012)
  • Set Windows primary IP

5.2 Software and device driver installation

Some software and device drivers will need to be installed according to motherboard specifications and the model type of disk array card.

5.2.1 Disk Array controllers

We are using three type of disk array controller,
  • 3Ware (LSI): mainly 9650SE-2LP
  • Adaptec: 2405, and above
  • Intel Rapid Storage Technology (IRST) and Intel Rapid Storage Technology enterprise (IRSTe)
You can find the drivers on Terminal Server.

5.2.2 Motherboard Specific Drivers and Software

It is important to have the model number of the motherboard in hand. Search the best drivers on Terminal Server that meet the motherboard specifications. If you can not find the best driver on Terminal Server, go to SuperMicro FTP site for it.

5.3 Post Configuration

  • Set IPMI IP if the motherboard is IPMI equipped
  • Activate Windows Server (see Section 2.12.5)
  • Run Windows Update
  • Change server network BIOS name (see future server user’s requirement)
  • Reboot the server
  • Deliver the server to future user

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