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Method for node physical location discovery by LED

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000244361D
Publication Date: 2015-Dec-07
Document File: 4 page(s) / 103K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database


In data center, the physical location information and physical machine information always have to be recorded manually by system admin for hardware management. Whenever there is location changing or physical machine adding or moving, these information must be updated accordingly. The issue is, if there are tens, hundreds or even thousands of machines need to be moved, the information updating process will become a heavy and risky work. Since once there is any mistake, the machine will be very hard to be found in the future. During record the physical machine information, it is an essential question that how to accurately maps the machine name, MAC address with physical location information where the machine is located. Currently, there are some methods such as scanning bar code of machine and remote installation of physical node. But they all cannot process machines in batches. The method is that using the system management tool to control the twinkling of LED on the front panel of each physical machine and then the camera in the room or in the mobile phone can batch identify the physical nodes with the accurate physical location. Basing on this method, all physical nodes can be identified without any special actions by manufacturer. And the legacy physical machines can also leverage this method to be identified with accurate location information.

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Method for node physical location discovery by LED

The core idea of this method is recognizing node by the twinkling of LED on the front panel. The method can parallel recognize multiple nodes at the same time and can automatically deal with physical machine adding, removing and replacing.

The method leverage but not limited to IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) protocol to control the LED on or off. So it can be used in any physical machine that supporting standard IPMI or similar protocol and there is no special requirements for manufacture and end user.

The work flow of the method are separated as followed:

Add new node(s)

1. Power on the physical machine(s)

2. The physical machine(s) boot up from Ethernet. (Generally, it is a default option in BIOS (Basic Input Output System))

3. The system management tool which have started DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) service will receive the DHCP Discovery. It will control the physical machine(s) to download required images by leveraging the DHCP process.

4. After physical machine(s) download the image, the image will be loaded into RAM (Random-Access Memory) to continue the boot process

5. The booted image will collect the physical node information like machine type/model, serial number and so on.

6. After the system management tool received the machine information, it will automatically allocate a host name to the node(s)

7. The LED on the front panel of physical machines can be controlled by system management tool through IPMI interface to twinkle. The LED twinkling is encoded to express the host name. The coding scheme is not limited. It can be Morse, binary system or others.

8. The host name can be periodically repeated with the LED on and off.

9. The admin or operator use camera to record the LED changing from the front panel 10. The host name can be recognized by software according to the LED twinkling. And according to the camera picture, the software could also find out location information. The location can be represented as x(rank number)-y(frame)-z(Chassis).

i. Rank number x: The rank number can only be input but since the camera record shall only record same rank, the input can be used for all nodes in one camera record procedure.

ii. Frame number y: The number is calculated from left to right. If it is the first time to record in the rank, the far left start from 0


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otherwise the far left start from the last number +1 of last record in the same rank. And the next frame add 1, the rest can be done in the same manner.

iii. Chassis number z: The number is calculated from top to down. The topside chassis is 0, and the next chassis is 1, the rest can be done in the same manner

11. After all nodes were recognized from one record and there are rest frame in the same rank, the user move rightward and repeat the 10 steps above.

Remove node(s)

If there is node removed from the physical location but not be recorded into the Admin system. The adm...