C H A P T E R  3

Sun Advanced Lights Out Manager

This chapter gives an overview of the Sun Advanced Lights Out Manager (ALOM) software. The chapter contains:

3.1 Sun Advanced Lights Out Manager (ALOM)

Both the Sun Fire V210 server and the Sun Fire V240 server are shipped with Sun Advanced Lights Out Manager (ALOM) 1.5.4 or a subsequently compatible version of ALOM software preinstalled. The system console is directed to ALOM by default and is configured to show server console information on startup.

For the latest up-to-date documentation about ALOM see the following web sites:
Always download and use the latest version of ALOM that is compatible with the version of OpenBoot PROM you are using.

ALOM enables you to monitor and control your server through a serial connection (using the SERIAL MGT port), or Ethernet connection (using the NET MGT port).

Note - The ALOM serial port, labelled SERIAL MGT, is for server management only. If you need a general purpose serial port, use the serial port labeled 10101.

Note - If you use ALOM to reset the server and the diag-switch? is set to true, the bootscript command is not executed when the server reboots. If you use OpenBoot PROM to reset the server, bootscript executes correctly.

ALOM can be configured to send email notification of hardware failures and other events related to the server or to ALOM.

3.1.1 Email Delivery Alerts

If you have alerts configured for email delivery, ALOM waits for success or failure confirmation from email delivery before sending the next alert. This affects event alerts sent to the ALOM shell and to syslog. If mail alerts are incorrectly configured, this could result in significant delays. These delays do not occur if email alerts are not configured.

If you are experiencing delays in alerts, check to see that the values you entered for the mgt_mailhost and mgt_mailalert configuration variables are correct. For more information refer to ALOM online help.

Note - When a mail alert occurs and the mail host is unable to communicate with the network's naming service (for example, NIS), ALOM stops generating and logging messages.

3.1.2 What ALOM Monitors

The ALOM circuitry uses standby power from the server. This means that:

See TABLE 3-1 for a list of components monitored by ALOM and the information it provides for each.

TABLE 3-1 What ALOM Monitors



Hard drives

Presence and status

System and CPU fans

Speed and status


Presence, temperature, and any thermal warning or failure conditions


Memory errors

Power supplies

Presence and status

System temperature

Ambient temperature and any thermal warning or failure conditions

Server front panel

Keyswitch position and LED status


Status and thresholds

SCSI circuit breakers


Table describes the system components that ALOM monitors after power is applied to the server.

Note - When you issue the showfru command from the ALOM command shell, the command does not read the layout of the DIMMs.

Note - When OpenBoot PROM reports DIMM errors to ALOM, it sends system concole (SC) alert messages with the incorrect memory slot position for the Sun Fire V210 and V240 servers. However the memory errors are still valid.

3.1.3 Automatic Server Restart

Note - Automatic Server Restart is not the same as Automatic System Recovery (ASR), which the Sun Fire V210 and V240 servers also support. For additional information about Automatic System Recovery see, Section 6.11, Automatic System Recovery.

Automatic Server Restart is a component of ALOM. It monitors the Solaris OS while it is running and, by default, synchronizes the file systems and restarts the server if it hangs.

ALOM uses a watchdog process to monitor the kernel only. ALOM does not restart the server if a process hangs and the kernel is still running. The ALOM watchdog parameters for the watchdog patting interval and watchdog time-out are not user configurable.

If the kernel hangs and the watchdog times out, ALOM reports and logs the event and performs one of three user-configurable actions.

For additional information see: http://docs.sun.com, search ALOM for the ALOM documentation.

3.2 ALOM Management Ports

The default management port is labeled SERIAL MGT. This port uses an RJ-45 connector and is for server management only--it supports only ASCII connections to an external console. Use this port when you first begin to operate the server.

Another serial port--labeled 10101-- is available for general purpose serial data transfer. This port uses a DB-9 connector.

In addition, the server has one 10BASE-T Ethernet management domain interface, labelled NET MGT. To use this port, ALOM configuration is required.

Note - If you use the OpenBoot PROM command setenv ttya-mode to change the speed of the ALOM serial port (SERIAL MGT) to a value other than the default of 9600 baud, reset the host server. This sets the port speed to the specified value.

For additional information see: http://docs.sun.com
Search for ALOM to find the ALOM documentation.

3.3 Setting the admin Password

When you switch to the ALOM prompt after initial power on, you are logged in as the admin user and prompted to set a password. You must set this password in order to execute certain commands.

single-step bulletIf you are prompted to do so, set a password for the admin user.

The password must:

Once the password is set, the admin user has full permissions and can execute all ALOM CLI commands.

Tip - If you login to ALOM with a 16-character user name and execute the showusers command, ALOM enters a loop and refuses all other connection attempts. If you encounter this problem, establish a telenet connection to the host server and use the scadm resetrsc command to reset ALOM.

3.4 Basic ALOM Functions

This section covers some basic ALOM functions.

Tip - For additional information see: http://docs.sun.com. Search for ALOM to find the ALOM documentation.

3.4.1 To Switch to the ALOM Prompt

single-step bulletType the following:

# #.

Note - When you switch to the ALOM prompt, you are logged in with the userid "admin". See Section 3.3, Setting the admin Password.

3.4.2 To Switch to the Server Console Prompt

single-step bulletType the following:

sc> console

More than one ALOM user can be connected to the server console stream, but only one user is permitted to type input characters to the console.

If another user is logged on and has write capability, you will see the following message after issuing the console command:

sc> Console session already in use. [view mode]

To take console write capability away from another user, type:

sc> console -f

3.4.3 To Set the Serial Port Speed Back to the Default

single-step bulletType the following:

sc> bootmode reset-nvram
sc> reset

3.4.4 scadm resetrsc Command

If two users are running ALOM at the same time and one user issues the scadm resetrsc command for Solaris OS while the other user is updating ALOM firmware using either the scadm download command or the ALOM shell command flashupdate, the firmware could become corrupted and cause ALOM to be unusable.

3.4.5 TTYB Console Output

If you have your console set to TTYB (10101) rather than to TTYA (the ALOM serial port, labeled SERIAL MGT), you may not see all the output from the console. This is because both OpenBoot PROM and Power-On Self-Test (POST) send diagnostic output to TTYA by default.