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Management Module

Intel’s 24-Core, 14-Drive Modular Server Reviewed
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The Management Module is the piece that provide remote administration for the MFSYS25.The Management Module is the piece that provide remote administration for the MFSYS25.

Remote administration of the MFSYS25 is made possible by the management module that sits in the center of the chassis’ rear panel. Via the module’s single network port, the management module offers a Web-based user interface that is used to configure, manage, and monitor the hardware inside the modular server as well as provide remote functionality for the compute modules.

The functions of the management module are served with a built-in Linux-based operating system. On the first try, I was able to connect to the modular server control application using Firefox and then was able to use PuTTY to telnet to the Linux CLI, but with the latter interface, I had limited functionality. I couldn’t find anything on Intel's Website that had instructions on how to properly use the CLI, so I just relied on the Web interface instead.

Along with the network port, there’s a reset button to reboot the management module. A nine-pin serial port is also built into the module, although a MFSYS25 FAQ on Intel's Website states that the serial port is only used for manufacturing and engineering. I then found an Intel document (Solution ID: CS-029107) that explains how to connect to the management module by using a terminal program. This program serves as a backup procedure in case you lose network connectivity or need to reset the module back to its factory defaults.

Unlike the other hot-swappable modules in the MFSYS25, the management module is not redundant as there is no space in the back for a second module, nor is there a second network port on the single management module that comes with the MFSYS25. It’s assumed that as long as the compute modules are running, then you can survive without a management module until it’s replaced.  RDP, telnet, or SSH could be used for remote connection, but local administration of each of the running servers would require using the video and USB ports on the compute modules. One good thing about replacing a management module is that if the module is completely lost, the configuration is backed up on a flash card located on the chassis midplane. The data on the memory card is then restored once the management module is replaced.

The login screen used to get into the Modular Server Control application used to manage the MFSYS25 and all it’s components.  Very Firefox friendly; IE…not so much.>The login screen used to get into the Modular Server Control application used to manage the MFSYS25 and all it’s components. Very Firefox friendly; IE…not so much.>

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