This article explores the core elements of IPMI applications and how they work with Opengear console servers.
Opengear offers a variety of connectivity methods to access IPMI tools securely from a remote location. Our solutions provide an aggregate IPMI gateway to remote sites, branch offices, co-location facilities and data centers both in-band and out-of-band. The unique blend of security filters offered in our software and hardware platforms gives administrators enhanced IPMI abilities. Best of all, our solutions are low cost - starting at just a few hundred dollars.
We make deploying IPMI easier, more secure from anywhere in the world. To deploy IPMI at the remote site we offer our small form factor ACM5000
products. For the larger branch office site, colocation, or data center we offer our IMG4216-25
line of products. Contact our sales team today for assistance in finding which product best fits your remote management application.
While there's a spectrum of service management technology offering, Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) is the one open standard technology that is most likely included with your server today. Irrespective which brand server. IPMI underpins most service process technologies and it runs on the small dedicated baseboard management controller (BMC).
The IPMI standard was originally introduced in 1998 by DELL, HP, Intel and NEC. It is an open standard which is maintained by the IPMI forum, an industry-wide initiative with over 180 vendors participating. The IPMI specification defines interfaces which enable administrators to receive information on the components state or alarms on line, to carry out a diagnosis, or to control servers by the network.
IPMI operates independent of the main processor and the operating system so it provides administrators with the ability to monitor, manage, diagnose and recover systems, even if the operating system has hung or the server is powered down.
Monitoring the health of components, such as temperature, power and inventory information, can also be done even during times where the server operating system may have hung or when the server is inactive. IPMI also includes alert notification and recovery capabilities that enables an administrator to monitor and react before hardware problems and supports user-defined thresholds for specific events.
Version 1 functioned with a serial console interface , then version 1.5 allowed the use of a LAN interface. Version 2.0 which is used commonly today includes basic security functions, plus VLAN and blade support. For details of the IPMI specification refer www.intel.com/design/servers/ipmi
(Adventiq, AMI, NatSemi ..)
(Baseboard management controller)
|IPMI||IPMI2.0 & 1.5||Embedded on motherboard||Serial and UDP/TCP Ethernet NIC connection; Remote power control; Fault logging and SNMP alerting; Access to the system event log (SEL) and sensor status information; Control of system functions, including power cycling; Text console redirection for system setup, text based utilities, and OS consoles; Access to the EMS, SAC and Linux serial console interfaces using SOL|
Another key IPMI feature is Serial Over LAN (SOL)
. IPMI communications with the BMC are all IP based but the SOL feature also provides remote connection to the system serial console. SOL redirects the local serial interface over a UDP session allowing remote access to the server's serial console. This is accomplished by the IPMI firmware intercepting the COM port data then resending this information destined for the serial port over the LAN. This offers a standard way to remotely view the BOOT, OS Loader or Emergency Management consoles, irrespective of vendor, to diagnose and repair server-related issues. It also allows configuration of various components during the BOOT phase.
Almost all serves today have a BMC built-in as a default system component, so they all offer basic IPMI based monitoring and control. However it is the more advanced service processors which now enable system administrators to fully monitor and troubleshoot their servers. Most servers shipped in the last few years have service processors embedded within them, like IBM's RSA, Dell's DRAC or HP's iLO, and these provide extended power control, KVM and console access and monitoring and alerts.
So IPMI provides a common interface to computer hardware and firmware which system administrators can use to monitor system health and manage the system. Open source tools like ipmitool
which is embedded in all IM/CM4000 gateways make this management simple.
program provides a simple command-line interface to the BMC. It features the ability to read and print sensor values, display the contents of the event log, print inventory information, read and set LAN configuration parameters, and perform remote chassis power control.