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November 13, 2009

Command the 3000's Service General

It's a powerful part of your HP 3000 that runs whenever the server is plugged in. The General Service Processor (GSP) is the maintenance control console that commands the server to "reboot, do memory dumps and even fully power down the HP 3000," reports consultant and outsource support expert Craig Lalley of EchoTech.

Lalley has been on the hunt for a method to make the 3000's GSP as useful as the unit in an HP-UX server. "On HP-UX it is possible to reset from the host OS," he said. "I have not found a way from MPE."

Lalley explains that on HP-UX it is possible to issue the command

stty +resetGSP < /dev/GSPdiag1

to reset the GSP. From time to time a reset may be required for diagnostics services. If your 3000 gets loving care from outside your computer room, you may need a paper clip to keep service at HP-UX levels.

The gap between 3000 and HP 9000/Integrity GSPs is a common shortfall of HP designs. Even though the 3000's MPE/iX includes a Posix interface, HP didn't engineer enough Unix into the 3000 to enable some administration that HP-UX users enjoy. (That can be a good thing when a security breach opens up in the Unix world, however.)

But when a 3000 needs a GSP reset, pressing a magic recessed button on the 3000's back will do the trick if a Telnet command doesn't work. Matt Perdue of Hill Country Technologies and the OpenMPE board explains.

"I telnet to the IP address of the GSP, log in and do the reset that way," he says. "But you can get someone, to press the physical reset button at the back of the machine. If memory serves, it's recessed into the cabinet so you may need a 'magic paper clip' bent just so."

Lalley calls the GSP, which HP introduced with its final generation of 3000s, one of the most useful things in the A-Class and N-Class boxes.

The GSP is a small computer that is always powered on when the plug has power. With it, it is possible to telnet to and BE the console. While multiple admins can telnet in and watch, only one has the keyboard.

It is possible to reboot, memory dumps and even fully power down the HP 3000 from the GSP.  Use the command PC OFF.

It is probably the best feature of the N-Class and A-class boxes.  The problem is sometimes it needs to be reset, usually with a paper clip.  Since the GSP is a different CPU, it can be done during business hours.

All of which begs the question of to secure these resets. He says the MPE/iX user/account structure provides the security.

As for security, users and passwords are defined, and there are two or three classes of users.

1) Administrator
2) Operator
3) Perhaps even User

I only use Operator, i.e. I usually am the only one who accesses it.  I do have one customer that allows operators. They can reply and watch messages, but not reboot and so on.



09:01 AM in Hidden Value, Homesteading | Permalink

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