Major High-Tech Firms Standardize Server Management

Heavy hitters Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel and NEC have announced version 2.0 of the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) specification, which they say will improve server management and help reduce costs by having standardized tools. The new solution is designed to extend customers' IT capabilities and further improve remote management by offering enhanced security, remote access and configuration capabilities, say the companies. Features include:

  • new authentication and encryption algorithms;
  • Serial Over LAN, which supports remote interaction with serial-based applications, BIOS and operating systems;
  • SMBus System Interface, which provides low-pin count connection for low-cost management controllers;
  • Firmware Firewall, which supports partitioning and protection of management between blades in modular system implementations;
  • IPMI "Payloads," which provides infrastructure for Serial Over LAN and OEM value-added redirection capabilities; and
  • new user login and configuration options, which enable user access-rights and security configuration capabilities to be tailored to the needs of the user's facility.
"IPMI 2.0 is a critical technology that will enable customers to more easily manage multivendor server environments with standardized tools and processes -- lowering costs and maximizing IT resources," says Neil Hand, director of worldwide marketing in Dell's Enterprise Product Group.
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