Jerry Feldman gaf at
Mon Aug 28 14:37:43 EDT 2006

On Monday 28 August 2006 1:54 pm, John Abreau wrote:
> I was spec'ing out a new server this afternoon, and I saw an option for
> an IPMI board. When I googled to find out what that was, I discovered
> it's a management interface for server hardware, apparently offering
> BIOS-level access to a server's hardware over a network.
> There's also a GNU FreeIPMI project available at
> It sounds like it would be an interesting topic for a BLU meeting. Has
> anyone here used IPMI, and would they be willing to give a talk on it
> or recommend a good speaker on the topic?
Intel's EFI pretty much does that. On all the EFI systems we have in our 
lab, each has a separate cat-5 connector for the EFI which will give LAN 
access to the EFI (or BIOS). While you could put this on a public LAN, the 
intent is to keep the EFI LAN as a private network not accessable even to 
the system itself. The way we have it set up here is we have a terminal 
concentrator that connects to the serial console port of all the Itanium 
systems where we can log in from our desktops. In this case, the management 
console board is totally isolated from the rest of the system, and it is on 
even if you power off the system, kind of like Skynet or WOPR.

FreePMI is an attempt to provide a similar type of approach to systems. HP 
also have iLO (integrated Lights Out), Sun has LOM (Lights out management).  
The whole approach is to move complete system management out of the data 
center and into the office or operation center. 
Jerry Feldman <gaf at>
Boston Linux and Unix user group PGP key id:C5061EA9
PGP Key fingerprint:053C 73EC 3AC1 5C44 3E14 9245 FB00 3ED5 C506 1EA9

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