Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Oracle Exadata smart PDU

The standard Oracle Exadata cabinet that holds the parts of your Exadata is equipped with two independent power distribution units or PDU’s for short. This is regardless of the size of your Exadata, every size Exadata contains two independent PDU’s. The PDU’s are not specifically designed for the Exadata and are standard Sun Rack II Power Distribution Units who are generally available. In general the PDU’s are not given that much attention by administrators and it is something that is “just there”. There are however a number of important things to note about the PDU’s.

Oracle Exadata Power Distribution Unit

First important thing to note about the Exadata PDU’s is that they are more intelligent than your average Power Distribution Unit. During a standard deployment the PDU’s are connected to the Exadata management network. The Exadata management network is used to connect all Exadata components to your existing management network. For example your ILOM, switches and also your PDU’s to the management network.

This means that you have a power distribution unit that is connected to your network and that it is not a pure “dumb” device. You can actually connect to the device. This however introduces an “issue” that this can also be misused. An often overlooked part after the initial deployment is that the PDU is equipped with a default login and for security reasons you have to change this. In line with the Oracle documentation you need to undertake the following steps to change the PDU password and add potentially additional user accounts for the PDU with a maximum up to five users. The original instructions can be found in the Oracle Exadata Database Machine Owner's Guide 12c Release 1 (E50467-01).

The default account user for the power distribution unit (PDU) is admin. The following procedure describes how to change the password for the PDU:

  1. Use a Web browser to access the PDU metering unit by entering the IP address for the unit in the address line of the browser. The Current Measurement page appears.
  2. Click Network Configuration in the upper left of the page.
  3. Log in as the admin user on the PDU metering unit.
  4. Locate the Admin/User fields. Only letters and numbers are allowed for user names and passwords.
  5. Enter up to five users and passwords in the Admin/Users fields.
  6. Designate each user to be either an administrator or user.
  7. Click Submit to set the users and passwords.

As stated, the PDU is connected to the Exadata management network and you can actively connect to it. You can use SNMP for this or you can use the webinterface. An example of such a webinterface page from a standard PDU can be seen below.

Oracle Exadata Power Distibution Unit monitoring screen

However, as it is in the strategy of Oracle to use Oracle Enterprise Manager to be the central management and monitoring tool for all parts of a landscape you can also add a PDU monitoring plugin to Oracle Enterprise Manager to monitor your Exadata Power Distribution Unit.
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