Reaching out to others! Free & Open Source Software, Kannada, L10n, L18n Data Science, Cloud Computing & more…

End of my Dell 9 Cell Laptop Battery tale

Last pose of my Dell 9 Cell Laptop Battery. Tested before disposal.

It gave me pretty good life and almost 4+ hrs backup when it was alive. From past few weeks, it was troubling me. Got to place an order for a new one. New expense when there is a financial crunch in the world.

Dell Remote Access cards and Linux

Yesterday I got to work on a Dell Power Edge server remotely. My idea was to checkout how DELL DRAC Card works and How I can enhance the remote server management capabilities. I found that DRAC interface needed Virtual media plugins for browsers before allowing me to use remote video and remote disk mounting capabilities. It was hard to findout how get it working.

Then I found a blog post on Wazollc Blog which really made a trick. Here is an extract from the blog expaling the Plugin installation for firefox :

  1. Log into your DRAC5 card as normal.
  2. Paste this link into the address bar, overwriting what is currently there: https://YOUR_DRAC_IP/plugins/ (be sure to include the trailing slash!)
  3. Download the .xpi files from both the vkvm and vm directories.
  4. Extract the .xpi files to temporary folders.
  5. Open a Terminal, and navigate to /usr/lib/firefox/plugins
  6. Copy the .so files from each extracted folder into this directory.
  7. Copy the “videoviewer” folder and all subfolders into the plugins directory. (cp -R)
  8. Navigate to the videoviewer folder and make both .sh scripts executable by everyone, along with the “videoviewer” file.
  9. Navigate to /usr/lib/firefox/components
  10. Copy the .xpt files from the extracted directories to this folder.

It really did a trick. I could use the same technique to get the plugin installed for both Internet Explorer and Firefox on Windows.

For IE in Windows, I had to download the .cab files and extract the ActiveX files and other contents to C:\Windows\System32. Once this was done, I just had to restart my browser to get the Console and other Interfaces working.

DRAC really rocks…. Remote Access has been made very simple. Only concern is “Plugin“. If Dell  could make it available on Firefox and other browsers by default, that would be great.

Dell PowerEdge-2850 Firmware upgrades

It was scary to upgrade some firmware when there were no one to help you on board at DC on a weekend and you are sitting in a remote location connected via broadband facing technical glitches. Firmware upgrades failed yesterday as I had directly started upgrading the RAID Controller firmware upgrades. I did learn that I have to finish few other upgrades like BIOS, Baseboard Management Controller, Dell Remote Access Controller 4/I were supposed to be upgraded before setting off with PERC upgrades meant for raid controllers.  When ever a firmware upgrades fails you should not forget to remove the temporary files else it will bring you nightmares.

When I started off with the firmware upgrades today, I started getting these lines turning up on console. This is a my first Firmware upgrade on Dell PowerEdge series servers on Linux.

 An Update Package is already running.
Wait until it is complete before proceeding with another update.

I had to remove a lock file which was left on the server due to yesterdays test run :  /var/lock/.spsetup

It all started when I started facing load issues on one of my Mysql Server and found that “iowait” was too high to cope up with the high traffic at peak hours. PowerEdge-2850

I had to contact Dell to check out if there is any fix which they can provide in order to resolve this issue as there was no software related changes made to the server. You can also find that iowait is a very common issue on Linux servers and many times its directly related to the hardware and the OS installed.

We use this server to provide database solutions to Soho launch installations which we have for various websites. It was funny to find various stats generation queries coming to Mysql server and hanging over there for quite a long time that too around peak hours and causing slow response issues from servers. When I contacted Joe Lain of Soholaunch asking for a solution to the issue which I have been facing with my server, he too found it funny to see SQL queries. He was found to be working on a significant server slow down issue which was already traced back to the same SQL queries which I had pointed out.  Waiting for an update from him to get this thing resolved at the earliest.

Anyways, I’m done with the firmware upgrades as I had promised. Yes issue is still not fixed. Now, I got to monitor the load on the server at peak hours and wait for update from Soho Launch to get the issue resolved completely.  Wish me luck ;) I shall update you once I’m through with it.