We can name a thousand reasons why computers crash; however, they can be narrowed down to the system software and hardware. An administrator might find a crash caused by software somewhat easier to deal with compared to a hardware crash. No doubt, it is devastating; considering the cost of repair and the amount of data lost during this event.
So, the question is “how can a system crash be prevented?” The answer to this question is IPMI. A system of administrative tools that monitors the physical health of a server without the input of an operating system. This article will get you informed on the IPMI mechanism and how it has been effectual in the tech industry.
What is IPMI?
IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) serves as an interface between the computer and the servers. It bears the tag, “platform management” because it monitors the system hardware (checks for temperature, fan, power supply, and so on), the controlling unit (powering on and off), and the storage of data (logging).
It executes these functions at a high-proximity level. With its latest update, IPMI has witnessed a remarkable development from its common management and monitoring tool to something robust. This update has the “remote console” feature which facilitates the powering on and off of the system hardware.
The system administrator can have access to platform management information due to the controlling power of the IPMI-based server and this is always available regardless of the condition of the system processor. All of the incredible functions of IPMI is possible due to the firmware installed on the server’s motherboard which makes a one-click solution possible from an “out of range” interface.
The following are the critical components mounted on the motherboard called the firmware:
BMC (Baseboard Management Controller)
BMC, known as the Baseboard Management Controller, serves as the central controller for the IPMI subsystem which independently operates. It is a bridge between the system software and the computer hardware. The BMC can perform functions such as the check for physical health, logging on, system restarts, and generating alert independently without the IPMI.
IPMB (Intelligent Platform Management Bus)
Through the application of microcontrollers, the IPMB serves as an extension to the BMC. It primarily functions like a serial bus which makes communication between different boards housed in a single chassis possible. It features as communication equipment between microcontrollers.
ICMB (Intelligent Chassis Management Board)
They provide an interface for communication and control between chassis.
Main Duties of IPMI
The primary features of IPMI are:
- Monitoring the hardware
- Recovering and restarting the device Logging on server
- Listing out server inventory
IPMI performs these functions independent of the server. In cases where the server gets shut down, the IPMI will still be functional. The BMC is a core part of the IPMI which uses a sensor feature to detect physical faults of hardware and sends a message to the IPMI by generating an alert.
Benefits of IPMI
The key benefits of IPMI are:
- Its functionality is independent of the server, and it is easily accessible.
- The server can be managed without personnel.
- It regularly warns about the physical state of the hardware.
- It is supported by behemoth vendors such as Hewlett Packard, Dell, NEC, and IBM.
- The process of configuration is basic and straightforward.
- IPMI can effect changes in the bios of a system without an SSN log in.
Applications of IPMI
For an organization that operates on a massive database which will require overrunning the system, they will need the assistance of IPMI to be informed about any soon-to-occur system damage which might lead to loss of data. The IPMI will let you know when the intensity of the temperature of a system by monitoring it physical wellbeing.
For a firm that works on a massive database, IPMI will give them information regarding any discrepancy even before its occurrence so that necessary changes can be affected.
A closely-packed and heated server space is bad for business and it makes most organizations settle for the remote sensor application of the IPMI. It implies that you can decide to run a headless server which will invariably reduce heat and electrical loads generated from the server room.
The remote sensor will prevent traveling a long distance to make due changes on a server. You can remotely get it done from anywhere, so far the device is plugged in.
Tech-oriented individuals understand the value of time and multitasking can be somewhat difficult without the required tools. The IPMI is bringing not just time conservation but the ease of operation on the system server.