C H A P T E R  1

Introduction to Sun Advanced Lights Out Manager

This chapter provides an overview of Sun Advanced Lights Out Manager (ALOM). The following topics are discussed:

Subsequent chapters contain detailed instructions for configuring and using ALOM.

ALOM Features

Sun Advanced Lights Out Manager (ALOM) is a system controller that enables you to remotely manage and administer the Netra server.

The ALOM software comes preinstalled on your host server. Therefore ALOM works as soon as you install and power on the server. You can then customize ALOM to work with your particular installation. Refer to Configuring ALOM.

ALOM enables you to monitor and control your server, either over a network, or by using a dedicated serial port for connection to a terminal or terminal server. ALOM provides a command-line interface that you can use to remotely administer geographically distributed or physically inaccessible machines, see ALOM Shell Commands.

In addition, ALOM enables you to run diagnostics remotely such as power-on self-test (POST), that would otherwise require physical proximity to the server's serial port, see Troubleshooting ALOM Problems. You can also configure ALOM to send email alerts of hardware failures, hardware warnings, and other events related to the server or to ALOM.

The ALOM circuitry runs independently of the server, using the server's standby power. Therefore, ALOM firmware and software continue to function when the server operating system goes offline or when the server is powered off.

What ALOM Monitors

This section shows some components that ALOM can monitor on the Netra server.

Component Monitored

What ALOM Reveals

Disk drives

Whether each slot has a drive present, and whether it reports OK status


Whether a fan is present, fan speed and whether the fans report OK status


Whether a CPU is present, the temperature measured at the CPU, and any thermal warning or failure conditions

Power supplies

Whether each bay has a power supply present, and whether it reports OK status

System enclosure temperature

System ambient temperature, as well as any enclosure thermal warning or failure conditions

Circuit breakers and voltages

Whether circuit breakers have been tripped, and whether correct voltages are reported

Server front panel

System rotary switch position and status of LEDs

Alarm port

Status of the alarm port

Using ALOM

The ALOM software comes preinstalled on your host server. Therefore, ALOM works as soon as you install and power on the server. You can connect an external ASCII terminal to the serial management port (SERIAL MGT) and start using ALOM right away without configuring the ALOM software. For more information about connecting an external terminal, refer to the Installation Guide that came with your host server.

You can use the ALOM software to monitor the host server in which the ALOM hardware is installed. This means that you can monitor only the host server, but not other servers on the network. Multiple users can monitor the host server, but only one user at a time can issue any commands that require permissions. The other connections are read-only; they may issue commands that allow them to view the system console and ALOM output, but they may not change any settings.

There are several ways to connect to ALOM:

1. Connect an ASCII terminal directly to the SERIAL MGT port. Refer to Serial Management Port.

2. Use the telnet command to connect to ALOM through the Ethernet connection attached to the NET MGT port. Network Management (Ethernet) Port.

3. Connect an external modem to the SERIAL MGT port and dial in to the modem. Note that this port does not support outgoing calls to the external modem. Refer to Configuring an External Modem.

4. Connect a port on a terminal server to the SERIAL MGT port, and then use the telnet command to connect to the terminal server.

When you first apply power to the server, ALOM automatically begins monitoring the system and displaying output to the system console using the preconfigured default account. The default account is called admin, and has full (cuar) permissions. Refer to Permission Levels for more information on permissions.

To log in to ALOM and to specify a password for admin, perform the following step:

If you do not log in before ALOM times out, ALOM reverts to the system console and displays the following message:

Enter #. to return to ALOM. 

If desired, after you log in to ALOM, you can customize ALOM to work with your particular installation. Refer to Configuring ALOM.

You can now perform some common administrative tasks, such as adding ALOM user accounts. Refer to Common ALOM Tasks.

Fault and Failure Terminology

All Sun servers show two operational states that you can view and monitor using ALOM: ok, and failed or failure. Some servers have an additional operational state: fault. This section explains the differences between the fault state and the failed state.

Fault State

A fault indicates that a device is operating in a degraded state, but the device is still fully operational. Due to this degradation, the device might not be as reliable as a device that does not show a fault. A device in the fault state is still able to perform its primary function.

For example, a power supply shows a fault state when an internal fan has failed. However, the power supply can still provide regulated power as long as its temperature does not exceed the critical threshold. In this fault state, the power supply might not be able to function indefinitely, depending on the temperature, load, and efficiency. Therefore, it is not as reliable as a non-faulted power supply.

Failed State

A failure indicates that a device is no longer operational as required by the system. A device fails due to some critical fault condition or combination of fault conditions. When a device enters a failed state, it ceases to function and is no longer available as a system resource.

Using the example of the power supply, the power supply is considered failed when it ceases to provide regulated power.

Platform-Specific Information

Before you update the ALOM firmware using either the flashupdate or scadm download command, make sure that the rotary switch on the Netra is set to the unlocked position. For more information, refer to the Installation Guide that came with your system.