A interesting quirk of an issue with this one; when generating a CSR to secure the iDRAC (version 8) interface on a Dell T430 server it appears that you can’t use an apostrophe in any of the fields else you are presented with a empty/blank csr.txt file (see right).
The work around is simple if a little annoying (especially when CSRs generated with other tools allow apostrophes) in that you remove the apostrophe from all of fields in the request. I’d imagine this is the same for other special characters as well.
In this post I will be covering the basic configuration of iDRAC as well as getting ready for the installation of Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2.
In this server configuration I have plugged a network cable into port 1 of the on-board NIC which will (initially) be used to host iDRAC, the management connection for the OS as well as shared with the first virtual switch. At the time of writing there was a limited number of free network ports on the server room switch – a later post will show a fully configured setup.
First up booting into iDRAC…
Next is configuring the iDRAC interface and setting a password to limit access; not that with iDRAC Express the port used by iDRAC can also be shared with the Operating System; with DRAC Enterprise you get a dedicated management card which has its own NIC.
Finally iDRAC is particularly useful with a quick and easy setup of your RAID array as well as streamlining the installation of Windows Server by presenting the installer with a complete set of drivers at install time (saving a significant amount of time later on by removing the need to hunt down and install the drivers yourself!).
In the next post I’ll be going through the steps to install Windows Hyper-V Server 2012 R2.
Time for a new series of posts! In this series I will be looking at the end to end deployment of a pair of Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 hosts along with supporting services including networking and backup. This kind of deployment is an excellent option for anyone who is looking to run Virtualisation but without the cost of VMWare or a SAN (Storage Area Network). In this first post I’ll outline the goals of this project along with the hardware I’ll be using.
- To configure iDRAC 8 Express for out of band management
- To install Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2
- To configure network settings and enable remote management
A few points to note…
- Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2012 R2 is completely free! (allowing you to access the latest Hyper-V technology regardless of your licencing level)
- You must still have a valid licence for any guest operating systems (in this case I am using two Server 2008 R2 Datacentre licences as there will be no VMs using anything higher than Server 2008 R2)
- Datacentre licencing allows you to run an unlimited number of VMs on that host at that OS level or lower (subject to extra licencing concerns over additional CPU sockets)
- Hyper-V Server is effectively a super cut down version of Windows Server Core – there are no different drivers and the management tools are just the same
- You can find out more about Hyper-V Server on TechNet here – https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/hh833684.aspx
Dell T430 Hosts
Purchased specifically for this project these two hosts have been configured identically with the aim of N+1 redundancy in the environment.
- 1x Intel Xeon E5-2620 v3 2.4Ghz 6 core CPU
- 6x8GB DDR3 2133mhz RAM (48GB total)
- Dell PERC H730 RAID Controller 1GB Cache
- 6x600GB 10K SAS Drives
- Dual Hot Plug Power Supplies
- 3 Dual Port 1Gbit NICs
- iDRAC8 Express
These Dell servers really have a lot going for them – as well as being UEFI enabled they come with iDRAC (for out of band management and simple OS installs) as well as plenty of RAM slots, pull out tags on the front with the service tag number, USB 3.0 and hot plug power supplies. Finally I’m really quite impressed with how quiet they run – although they will be housed in a dedicated air conditioned server room I could certainly see one of these as being ok in a well ventilated cupboard somewhere in a branch office like environment.
A bit of an interesting one today; while provisioning a pair of shiny new Dell T430s I had obtained and uploaded a valid 3rd party signed SSL certificate to the iDRAC interface with a view to ensuring that whenever an administrator accessed the interface they didn’t get a invalid certificate warning.
However after uploading the certificate and restarting iDRAC I was presented with an error message in Internet Explorer starting that ‘The security certificate provided by this website is not secure’. In researching this it appeared that the site was either running a very old version of SSL or that the certificate had become ‘mangled’ in the server somehow. Either way Internet Explorer, Google Chrome and Firefox did not allow me to bypass this error message.
On way to resolve this issue was by accessing the server via SSH and running some commands (see screen shot sequence below for the details)…