Browse Prior Art Database

Configurable, Modular Service Processor Function

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000013227D
Original Publication Date: 2000-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-18
Document File: 2 page(s) / 40K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Currently, all entry servers provide some level of environmental and physical intrusion hardware and software to alert an IT manager of a problem on the server. Because of price competition, this solution need to be designed, verified and placed in a low-cost ASIC. However, each time additional function is required or a problem is found, this ASIC must be changed at a high cost to the manufacturer. However, by using an on-chip processor that contains a reprogrammable programming region changes can be made and additional function added in a common design. This low-cost entry solution is expandable and upgradable in the field with no additional cost to the base alerting server function. This disclosure depicts the use of an embedded processor that can be installed on all servers for a very small increase in price to provide a base level of advanced system management function which can later be expanded when the server does a "refresh" or when new software function is added. The embedded processor contains its own flash and RAM. Once the requirements for the service processor are known, that function can be implemented and the product shipped with a certain amount of base function. In the figure below, all the hardware fixed functions are software coded in the embedded processor. Additional function can 2 be added via the Ethernet or the IC interface without changing the hardware. This is a big improvement over the current ASIC design today because the hardware must be changed to add more function. The embedded processor solution cost is the same as the current ASIC implementation. However, additional functions can be designed in the planar implementation and not installed or installed at a later date based on marketing or customer requirements. In the example below, error logging, or time stamping were added into the design by populating a module on the server planar. Programming updates to add functions to the embedded processor are performed 2 over the system IC bus or through the network via Ethernet. In the example below, IPMI was added to the design at a later date via a software load. This is very important because standards change and the implementation must adapt. Another possible enhancements is the addition of IP security in the embedded processor without a cost increase or change to the hardware. 1

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Configurable, Modular Service Processor Function

Currently, all entry servers provide some level of environmental and physical intrusion hardware and software to alert an IT manager of a problem on the server. Because of price competition, this solution need to be designed, verified and placed in a low-cost ASIC. However, each time additional function is required or a problem is found, this ASIC must be changed at a high cost to the manufacturer. However, by using an on-chip processor that contains a reprogrammable programming region changes can be made and additional function added in a common design. This low-cost entry solution is expandable and upgradable in the field with no additional cost to the base alerting server function. This disclosure depicts the use of an embedded processor that can be installed on all servers for a very small increase in price to provide a base level of advanced system management function which can later be expanded when the server does a "refresh" or when new software function is added.

  The embedded processor contains its own flash and RAM. Once the requirements for the service processor are known, that function can be implemented and the product shipped with a certain amount of base function. In the figure below, all the hardware fixed functions are software coded in the embedded processor. Additional function can 2be added via the Ethernet or the IC interface without changing the hardware. This is a big improvement over the cur...