We’ve had a bunch of new servers in place for around 3 months now. They seem to be working well and are performing just fine.

Then, out of the blue, our monitoring started throwing alerts on seemingly random servers. Our queues were building up – basically, database performance had dropped dramatically and our processing scripts couldn’t stuff data into the DBs fast enough.

What could be causing it?

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I use cobbler to provision our new Dell servers, which is great but it needs the MAC addresses of the servers to identify each machine.

Previously, I have been doing this manually:

  1. log in to the DRAC web interface
  2. launch the java console
  3. rebooting the server
  4. go into the BIOS
  5. navigate to Embedded Devices
  6. manually record the MAC addresses

This takes quite a while, and is prone to error.

I recently had another 42 servers to deploy to I looked for a way to automate this process. I found one! Continue reading