Ready for prime time was how Andrew Geissler, an IBM senior software engineer, was describing OpenBMC’s development at this year’s 2018 Open Compute Project Summit. Essentially, a lot of work has been put into fixing bugs and the project is now ready for general use. To this end it has been already deployed by multiple companies in datacentres worldwide.
For those who don’t know, OpenBMC is a Linux Foundation open-source project written in C++ and Python. It has a goal to produce a baseboard management controller which is open source and can operate in heterogeneous deployments. Deployments ranging from enterprise, HPC, telco to cloud. Well actually it’s official goal, as taken from the readme, is “to create a highly extensible framework for BMC software and implement for data-center computer systems.” The founding members of the project are Microsoft, Intel, IBM, Google and, of course, Facebook.
BMCs in general are controllers that monitor the state of hardware and are typically found in the main circuit board of the device. It is often in the form of a SoC and they enable monitoring and management of your hardware eg health (like temperature/fan speeds), event logs, and remote management capabilities. These are essential for today’s remotely deployed servers.
OpenBMC is welcome news as, until now, you were essentially locked into your hardware vendor of choice and hope they created good enough BMC firmware. Either way, you probably had to maintain a few different variants. At the OCP Summit it was clear that if you want to run Project Olympus hardware you need OpenBMC to run the board. This is because currently Microsoft licenses firmware from Intel that it can not open source along with the hardware.
On a customer level, some of the functions that have recently received some love are:
- Moving from yaml to json
- Ipmi – now has it 2.0 compliant
- Full dcmi support
- Web interface
The coming soon list is as follows:
- VGA mirroring
- KVM over ip
- Adv user management – eg ldap
- Remote media
- SNMP / telemetry
- inboard firmware update
- Se Linux / security enhancements
Ethernet takes another jump in speed. Yes, Edgecore have announced 400 gigabit Ethernet or 400GbE. The big reveal happened at this year’s Open Compute Summit in San Jose and will be the industry’s first 400G open design. Edgecore have contributed the specification and design package to the OCP foundation. Continue reading
Despite rain attendance at the 2018 OCP summit was at an all time high with over 3000 delegates on day one. Having attended two years ago it was clearly a swelling audience for the keynote opening speech. Continue reading
Earlier this year Hyperscale IT received a RackSolutions OCP Open Rack enclosure. The rack was delivered to Aegis Data, our partnering OCP-compatible datacentre. The following post details some of our findings around the unpacking and installation of the cabinet. Continue reading
With the rise of white box environments network equipment is being liberated from captive pre-installed network OSes. You can now choose your bare metal switch hardware and operating system separately and then change it trivially later. Surely this creates chaos and a compatibility nightmare I hear you say. Continue reading
Read our feature in The Stack about the impact the Open Compute Project is having on data centre innovation:
What the Open Compute Project can deliver in the data centre
“Major players are coming together to innovate efficient data centres at a pace faster than ever seen before”
Aegis Data has entered into an agreement with data centre hardware firm Hyperscale IT, which is providing it with access to Open Compute hardware services. The partnership will allow Aegis Data’s customers to significantly benefit from greater flexibility and lower total cost of ownership when it comes to fulfilling their compute needs. Continue reading
Open compute meets low CO2 plastics
At the Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit last month we spoke to Simon Huang, general manager from JPSeco (Jean Parker & Sons Corp). JPSeco have been working on a Natural Fiber Reinforced Plastic (NFRP) which has very low CO2 emissions compared to traditional plastics that are used in servers today. Continue reading
White box from the beginning
First, let us define a white box server. A white box server (sometimes referred to as a beige box) is a machine without a well-known brand name associated with it. White boxes are usually made en masse by Asian original design manufacturers (ODMs) such as Quanta, Wistron, Inventec and Wiwynn. They are also produced by system integrators who build systems assembled from parts purchased separately to create bespoke systems.
OK, so where do black boxes come from? In the traditional IT procurement model, enterprise customers buy from original equipment manufactures (OEMs) such as HPE, Dell and IBM. The OEMs in turn outsource the manufacturing of hardware to the ODMs. It is at this point you are buying a branded, closed, black box server.
OCP Summit news
2016 marked the seventh OCP Summit and was held in San Jose, California. It attracted over 2000 people this year including many industry leaders. Jason Taylor, President and Chairman of the Open Compute Project (OCP), and VP of Infrastructure for Facebook, highlighted the continued growth of the OCP community. He also discussed the OCP momentum seen among large web, financial technology, and telecommunications companies, during his keynote presentation. Continue reading