How to assign a static IP address to Cisco’s CIMC

The Cisco Integrated Management Controller or CIMC for short is a dedicated hardware controller that comes bundled with Cisco’s UCS servers and allows you to do management and monitoring of the server independently of the service it’s running, think of it as Dell’s iDRAC equivalent. Being an independent hardware controller it has it’s own management IP address and which can be either set via DHCP or manually:

  • Using DHCP

The CIMC port is set to DHCP by default, if you connect it to any DHCP-enabled network it will get an IP address assigned and will show it up in the screen upon booting. With that IP you can access CIMC’s GUI and change the IP address to any static one you like in the admin/network tab, this is the easiest way to do it. The CIMC default credentials are admin/password (yes, change it ASAP).

  • Using the CIMC configuration utility

Note – The first time you access the CIMC configuration utility it will ask to change its default password (which is “password”).

In case you don’t have a DHCP-enabled network you can use the CIMC’s configuration utility which is slower because it requires a reboot and also a keyboard/screen/kvm to do it. Upon booting once you see the Cisco logo in blue, hit F8 to get into the configuration utility, once inside you can set the IP parameters for the controller. Hit F10 to save (you’ll have to wait about 45 seconds), then hit F5 to refresh and finally ESC to exit; the server will reload and you will be able to access the CIMC’s GUI from using a web browser.

Having access to the CIMC GUI is a must-have for remote management (it features a handy Virtual KVM) and also to upgrade CIMC’s firmware when required by some specific Cisco product’s.

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