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Browse Prior Art Database

Method and System to locate virtual machine in a datacenter environment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000175766D
Original Publication Date: 2008-Oct-24
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2008-Oct-24
Document File: 14 page(s) / 64K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Abstract

Nowadays virtual machines (like Xen, VMware etc) are heavily used in data centers. And these virtual machines can be lively migrated to other physical machines. As a result, it’s hardly possible to track the physical location of these VMs. And for maintenance purpose, it often requires to determine which physical machine the virtual machine is on. The main idea of this invention is, by building the relationship between rack, BladeCenter, blade server, ordinary server and virtual machine into firmware, we can track the relationship in a top-down fashion (from BladeCenter to virtual machine) and bottom-up fashion (from virtual machine to rack). Thus we can tell the physical location of one virtual machine once you have got the access to one VM.

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Method and System to locate virtual machine in a datacenter environment

1. Background: What is the problem solved by your invention? Describe known solutions to this problem(if any). What are the drawbacks of such known solutions, or why is an additional solution required? Cite any relevant technical documents or references.

Nowadays virtual machines

                  (like Xen, VMware etc) are heavily used in data centers. And these virtual machines can be lively migrated to other physical machines. As a result, it's hardly possible to track the physical location of these VMs. And for maintenance purpose,it often requires to determine which physical machine the virtual machine is on.

2. Summary of Invention: Briefly describe the coreidea of your invention (saving the details for questions #3 below). Describe the advantage(s) of using your invention instead of the known solutionsdescribed above.

The main idea of this invention is, by building the relationship between rack, BladeCenter, blade server, ordinary server and virtual machine into firmware, we can track the relationship in a top-down fashion (from BladeCenter to virtual machine) and bottom-up fashion (from virtual machine to rack). Thus we can tell the physical location of one virtual machine once you have got the access to oneVM.

Compared to the common used method to record the vm's location in a central place, our method benefitsin the following points:
1. less error prone. recording the vm's location in a central place (for example, in a global table) requires you to manually update the table when you moved the locations of servers.
2. finer access control. The information in global table may not be accessible to all users, but our invention provides the method to track the location only if you have the access to the virtual machine. And in the virtual machine,

you have more flexible access control based on the access control mechanisms in operating system.

3. Description: Describe how your invention works,and how it could be implemented, using text, diagrams and flow charts as appropriate.

The following sections are our detailed design.

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Rack Module Design

Rack

Rack Firmware

Embedded management module

Server Presence Detectors

 Rack Cable Location Data

Rack SN Data

Rack physical location data

API

Get_current_server_location

Get_rack_location

Get rack SN

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Servers/

BladeCenters

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OUTPUT DEVICE (such as display etc)

Data Connections (cables/wireless etc)

INPUT DEVICE (such as switch, jumper)

Records the relative location of cables if any

OUTPUT DEVICE:
Output device is used to display the current rack'sphysical location.

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In this invention, we assume one rack can be located in a data center room using (row, column) pair. And the pair can be extended to add other dimensionssuch as floor num...