Automatic System Positioning Within a Rack Based on Dynamic UUID Generation
Original Publication Date: 2001-Dec-07
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-Jun-20
Disclosed is a method for uniquely identifying a system based on its physical position, and a method for communicating this positional information to system management applications in an existing, industry standard manner. As high density servers become more prevalent (i.e.: 1U servers and ServerBlades), there becomes a need to provide customers a graphical representation showing the physical location of servers in racks. Today, some system management packages (e.g. IBM Director) include tools to provide this graphical representation and assist customers in tracking and identifying their servers. The problem with today's tools (for example, IBM Director's Rack Manager, shown below) is that the tracking and location of servers in racks is still a manual process; these tools help the customer visualize the locations of their servers, but the customer must still enforce a manual process to keep this view accurate. This disclosure defines a method which will allow electronic discovery of rack configuration, uniquely identify the systems based on their physical location, and communicate this information to management applications. 1 Today's systems contain a UUID in the System BIOS which is a guaranteed unique identifier. The current standards for generating a UUID include using the date/time stamp when the UUID was generated, the MAC address of a LAN subsystem of the system, and a random number. The existing algorithm guarantees a unique identity across all systems and all manufacturers. The UUID is created when system is manufactured and is a static, non-changeable item. Today's UUID is an unique identifier, but does not provide any information about the system or it's location. The UUID of the system only indicates the MAC address of the NIC in the system when the system was manufactured; if the LAN subsystem is changed after manufacturing, the UUID is not updated. The LAN subsystem could be a NIC adapter, NIC on-board a Server Blade, or NIC on a planar.