Browse Prior Art Database

Methodology of Optimizing System Management Operations in Systesm with Shared Resources

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000033504D
Original Publication Date: 2004-Dec-13
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2004-Dec-13
Document File: 4 page(s) / 62K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Disclosed is a solution that allows time critical operations to proceed unhindered by IPMI or other command protocol initialization requirements in systems with a chassis controller managing its shared resources. It allows the controller to proceed with initialization and other critical operations without being delayed by caching operations required for chassis management.

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Methodology of Optimizing System Management Operations in Systesm with Shared Resources

    In a move to a more condensed and cost effective server environment, products are appearing that rely on a shared resources where essential functions such as power, cooling, network switching, Input/Output services, etc. are shared with multiple systems. These systems must be able to coexist in an environment with other systems that are also participating in the shared environment. In such an environment, a chassis controller is required for controlling and monitoring each shared resource and all system participants in the shared environment.

    The chassis controller must be able to communicate to all the systems that participate in the shared environment. This is done on a private hardware interface internal to the shared resource chassis. On this interface, a system management command protocol must be used to communicate information between the chassis controller and the systems that share the chassis resources . This article relates to when that command protocol is the standard Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI).

    The chassis controller must use IPMI commands to manage and monitor the systems which use the resources of the chassis. The number of systems may be significant, all communicating via IPMI on the same physical interface to the single chassis controller. To facilitate management and monitoring operations, the chassis controller loads the Sensor Data Records (SDRs) from each system supported. This is a common requirement for any standard IPMI System Management Software (SMS) application, as defined by IPMI standards. However, during initialization of the chassis, this operation has a significant performance hit to the chassis controller, especially when supporting multiple systems. Time critical tasks, such as granting system use of shared power sources, are impacted dramatically by the new IPMI architecture requirements.

    When a shared resource chassis is powered up, the chassis controller is reset, or a resource sharing system (classified here as "blade") is inserted into the chassis, the chassis controller firmware must derive information about each "blade" before it can grant permission to power up that particular system and provide access for management purposes. For IPMI based blades, this information is collected from Sensor Data Records (SDRs) stored on the blade's service processor, or Baseboard Management Controller (BMC). It is necessary for the chassis controller to have all the sensor, FRU, and controller information contained in the SDRs for management purposes. However, getting all of the SDRs from each blade over the internal serial bus between the chassis controller and the blade service processor can ta...