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A Secure Means of Intel CPU Activation, Deactivation and Inventory for the Computing-on-Demand Enviroment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000103667D
Original Publication Date: 2005-Mar-18
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-18
Document File: 5 page(s) / 59K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

This invention provides a means for fully configuring a system with processors, managing the processor inventory and enabling processors on-demand that is secure and does not require additional hardware.

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A Secure Means of Intel CPU Activation , Deactivation and Inventory for the Computing-on-Demand Enviroment

     Hardware computing-on-demand is a way of offering customers the amount of computing power they desire without the need to have service or information technology personnel change the hardware and software on the machine. This is accomplished by shipping the customer a fully configured machine capable of performing at its maximum computing potential. The customer then purchases the desired percentage of that achievable computing power dynamically without the need for field hardware and software installs, reinstalls or upgrades. Hardware and software already present in the box are enabled or disabled on-demand. This invention is predicated on the fact that the machine's hardware configures itself correctly per the customer's computing-on-demand requirements by interacting with the system management hardware and software present in the system. The information in the system must be adequate to allow the system to boot in its current configuration without having to access a network or requiring operator interaction. If the customer wants more or less computing power, the system will need to interact with other compute-on-demand management systems to set up and manage that process. The means by which the system management hardware and software in the system interacts with remote ordering, billing and inventory systems is not addressed in this disclosure. This invention addresses how CPUs are enabled and inventoried on a machine that may or may not be network connected at the time it is booted. Although servers are invariably network connected, network connections come and go so the server must be able to work under various conditions of network accessibility.

     This invention addresses the following two major areas of potential theft in computing-on-demand. Both functions must be performed using data present on the system without requiring network interaction or operator intervention in the case of a normal boot of the system.
1. In many cases, the machine will have CPUs which are present but not ordered by the customer. The allowed machine configuration must be stored in a secure fashion local to the machine to insure correct billing and correct system startup under various network conditions (eg. network down or disconnected). CPU enablement must be secure so that it cannot be circumvented by a knowledgeable person without going to extreme measures. 2. Since the machine may have CPUs which are present but not being used, it is important to keep track of those CPUs so they are not removed and put on other systems, etc. thereby providing hardware for use in other machines that may not be part of the computing-on-demand framework. Without this ability to monitor inventory, a computing-on-demand machine could be used as a way

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to obtain a large quantity of valuable parts free of charge. CPU inventory must be secure so that i...