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Re: Fwd: alternative Firmware for BMC's


On Mon, Jul 01, 2019 at 09:48:50AM -0400, rhkramer@gmail.com wrote:
> I don't know how many people are aware of what the BMC is / does -- after a 
> little googling, my tentative understanding is that this is the "extra" 
> miroprocessor that is now included in some (Intel and maybe AMD?) CPUs?

It's an extra *card* (PCI-X based usually) that provides the means of
server's remote control and monitoring via dedicated NIC. Even in the
case if the server's OS is inoperable. Especially in that case,
actually, and that makes it invaluable.

Intel ME and its' AMD PSP provide similar functions, but they're
CPU-based and do not have a dedicated NIC. Both are typical for desktops
and laptops, and are redundant for servers. Also considered evil because
'they are spying on us via ME/PSP'.

AFAIK you cannot replace Intel ME/AMD PSP with your custom OS without
bricking a motherboard/CPU. You can disable it in some cases (requires
physical reflash of BIOS chip), but that's it.

But apparently you can replace BMC's 'firmware' with your own, something
that OpenBMC tries to achieve. Main problem is - there are many
BMC/ILOM/ILO, and OpenBMC targets a few of them. I'd give my hand for a
sensible replacement of Sun's ILOM 'firmware', but I'm not aware of any.


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