WATCH: How to Set Backplane Mode From “SplitMode” to “UnifiedMode” Using RACADM on a Dell Server
Some Dell servers come with a feature called “Split Backplane” or “FlexZone.” This feature allows you to have two RAID controllers in the same machine. While Dell provides several options to configure the split backplane feature in their literature, we have found this to be the most reliable process for changing a server from the Split Backplane Mode to a Unified Backplane Mode across all RAID controllers. If you have tried and failed to change a server from Split to Unified mode through iDRAC, this tutorial will show you how to switch the backplane mode using RACADM.
To begin the process:
1. Install raid controller in server and make sure server is fully updated.
2. Reset iDRAC and Lifecycle Controller.
3. Go into System Setup and assign a static IP to the server.
4. Shut server off, unplug power cables and drain power to ensure the Lifecycle Controller has no running activities.
5. Boot server up and allow the server to do a full boot so that the Lifecycle Controller can update system inventory. The system will then reboot.
6. For this tutorial, we are using PXE, a server boot tool that allows us to boot the server without an OS present; but you should be able to boot to your OS.
7. Remote into the server using PuTTY and the static IP address that was assigned to the server earlier. While we are using PuTTY, you can use any tool that allows you to remote into the server using SSH / TCP port 22. PuTTY is a free tool, here is a link.
8. Enter credentials and run the command racadm.
9. Run the command “storage get controllers -o”
10. Confirm that the RAID controller status is OK. Take note of the raid controller identifier, normally it’s something along the lines of “RAID.Integrated.1-1” or “NonRAID.Integrated.1-1”
11. Run command “get storage.enclosure 1 BackplaneCurrentMode”, the command should say current mode is splitmode.
12. Run command “get storage.enclosure 1 BackplaneRequestedMode”, the command should say requestedmode=none.
13. Run command “set storage.enclosure 1 BackplaneRequestedMode UnifiedMode”
14. Repeat earlier step (12) of “get storage.enclosure 1 BackplaneRequestedMode”, and make sure requestedmode is set to UnifiedMode.
15. Run command “jobqueue create <raidcontroller identifier earlier in Step 10 (in our case, RAID.Integrated.1-1)-s TIME_NOW--realtime.” Ensure that the command went through successfully, you should get a response saying “job successfully created”.
16. Run “jobqueue view” until all jobs are completed.
17. Run serveraction powercycle command
18. Run the command “get storage.enclosure 1 BackplaneCurrentMode.” This tells you that the backplane is set to UnifiedMode.
19. When the server is rebooted the error should go away. Good Job!