Do not panic … we are trained professionals

ever seen a bug’s life? If you haven’t – give it a try – you’ll have a good laugh. Just like we did when we met Murphy at work today.

If you ever tried to use Dell‘s DRAC remote console from a linux desktop? We ended up having a good laugh about it today.

Well, you actually _can_ view the console and as long as you don’t have to type special characters, it _is_ somewhat useable. But try to type a pipe (for you german windows guys reading this: that’s the symbol appearing once you press “ALT-GR” and “>” at the same time, looks like this: “|”) for example. Quite a usual task when working on the command line … you might say. But it seems impossible to do that from a linux desktop. We tried a couple of things but couldn’t get it to work and since the task was somewhat urgent, we decided to try using a Windows XP vm we had in a lab environment.

At first, the remote desktop login to the vm didn’t work since we had a mixup in one byte of the node’s IP address. So apparently, someone in russia, who happened to own the IP we tried to connect to by accident, has a remote desktop session running but since everything was russian letters, we couldn’t read what was going on. At any rate, we could see the login didn’t work and once we verified the IP, we noticed the mistake. Unfortunately, at that time, we had already entered the lab password a couple of times … So this needs changing …

So then, once the connection to the actual windows system was established, we started a browser to connect to the DRACs https interface only to find out we could not type the URL. Every time we hit “r”, the system showed the “start”-“execute” dialog. Erm, yeah. After a reboot this was fixed, but it turned out the node was in a network segment that was not allowed to connect to the DRAC.

Luckily, someone had a windows laptop around from which we could then try to actually do the work. Obviously … there was an old java version installed which DRAC didn’t like so we had to upgrade java. Download 80+MB, extract, install … took about 15 minutes but finally, it was possible to start the DRAC remote console and actually type special characters.

We couldn’t help but think of a bug’s life at this moment.

Do not panic! We are trained professionals!

3 (apparently) IT professionals needed about one hour to connect to a remote console and execute a rather trivial task (for which the network had to be disconnected and therefore could only be executed via a remote console). Prost!

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