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Host/SP Communication via Mailbox TCP/IP Disclosure Number: IPCOM000010482D
Original Publication Date: 2002-Dec-06
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2002-Dec-06
Document File: 1 page(s) / 36K

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Host/SP Communication via Mailbox TCP/IP

   The service processor (SP) is on the boundary between the host and platform management. As such, the SP necessarily has an API for platform management use which in modern SPs is typically an Ethernet running TCP/IP. The SP must also offer an API of some sort for the host machine's software (be that BIOS, diagnostics or OS) to use. From a historical perspective, the host:SP interface is often ad hoc, being implemented for each system based on the hardware available and the platform management needs at the time. Use of a "service network" on the management side has enabled a rich, extensible, and evolving set of APIs to be used: HTTP, Telnet, SNMP, CIM and XML for a few examples. The use of special-purpose protocols on the host side, by contrast, has restricted the SP firmware's host interface. This invention eliminates the bottlenecks and costs associated with the host-SP interface by allowing rich and extensible networking functionality to be made available to the host side of the SP as well.

The invention uses mailboxes to pass IP packets (be they TCP, UDP or something else) or PPP streams (see below) between host software and the SP. The mailbox may be little more than a register which is mutually read/writable by both parties, or may be larger and provide handshaking such that the passing of messages is straightforward. Both the SP and the OS then see the interface as a network adapter, and any desired set of off-the-she...