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Dev kit aims to unify open source IPMI implementations

Dec 20, 2004 — by Henry Kingman — from the LinuxDevices Archive
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[Updated 2:30PM] — Cyclades is distributing a free development kit to help open source developers create interoperable proxies, gateways, and managers for IPMI-enabled devices. IPMI is an open standard from Intel that provides a remote interface for system monitoring and recovery. High-availability telecom and enterprise Linux servers are increasingly IPMI-enabled, Cyclades says.

According to Cyclades PR manager Scott VanSickle, IPMI is Intel's answer to technologies such as Sun's ALOM (advanced lights out manager) and HP/Compaq's iLO (integrated lights out) technologies. It defines a standard for communicating with a “baseboard management controller” (BMC), a microcomputer embedded in server systems that can be used to take control of a system that is not available through the operating system. IPMI enables administrators to remotely power servers on and off, change the BIOS settings, monitor the processor temperature, line voltages, and more.

About 150 vendors of Intel-based hardware — including Intel, Dell, and HP — are shipping IPMI-compliant baseband service controllers in their high-availability systems today, according to VanSickle. However, vendor implementations of IPMI proxies, gateways, and managers have suffered from a lack of coordination, and from poor interoperability, VanSickle says. The company hopes its development kit will help bolster open source efforts to create vendor-neutral implements of IPMI software.

Cyclades is a hardware vendor that sells devices such as the Linux-based Alterpath KVM (keyboard, video, mouse), an appliance that enables administrators to interface with multiple servers from a remote central management console. Cyclades also sells an Alterpath Manager that can manage remote devices, including the Alterpath KVM, using IPMI.

Cyclades in September organized and hosted an IPMI conference for open source developers, and the company launched and maintains the openIPMI website. The company in September of 2003 hired Linux 2.4 kernel maintainer Marcelo Tosati to ensure support for IPMI in the Linux 2.4 kernel. Cyclades claims it was the first company to develop communications boards for Linux, in 1993, and the company recently joined the OSDL and serves on the desktop and data center working groups.

OSDL CEO Stuart Cohen said, “Cyclades has a long history with the open source community and we're pleased that they will bring this experience to OSDL.”

Cyclades CTO Marcio Saito said, “When we embarked on creating the first secure, enterprise IPMI manager based on open source, we found the open source community was not united in their efforts. Today we are working to unify the open source community effort in this area.”

Cyclades President John Lima said, “While other companies offer proprietary implementations of IPMI and other management protocols, Cyclades today provides platform and OS-independent products that deliver powerful business benefits.”

Cyclades is currently discussing the formation of a vendor-independent IPMI interoperability lab with interested parties. More details are available at openIPMI, the website where the development kit can be downloaded.


 
This article was originally published on LinuxDevices and has been donated to the open source community by QuinStreet Inc. Please visit LinuxToday.com for up-to-date news and articles about Linux and open source.

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