[Beowulf] impressions of Super Micro IPMI management cards?

Julien Leduc julien.leduc at lri.fr
Wed Nov 14 06:45:39 PST 2007

Hi Chris,

I have used several different IMPI solutions, the advantage it offers is
primarily to give you the ability to control different vendors node
management systems with the same command line (ok, different arguments
But the hardware implementation greatly differs: some IMPI cards share
the same ethernet port as the system, and some other have their
dedicated port.
Personnaly, I prefer the second solution, because I encountered some
problems with shared ethernet port implementations, leading to a lack of
IPMI connectivity during PXE boot phase, or when the node was booted on
FreeBSD OS, this is an issue if your node is stuck in PXE because it
needs a missing initrd from the TFTP server.

I think you should have a look at the different models embedding their
dedicated LAN, if you don't mind loosing a PCI slot on your node.

I don't know why no vendor is providing a solution to control several
nodes directly using the PINs on the motherboard, is is safe,
inexpensive, reliable and scalable.


Chris Dagdigian a écrit :
> Hi folks,
> I'm a huge fan of demanding complete control over a remote cluster node
> via a serial console device or embedded management processor. Most of my
> recent experience though is with Sun ILOM system processors and the like.
> I'm currently looking at a whitebox server vendor and the remote
> management technology they propose is a Super Micro IPMI add-on card,
> apparently from this family of products:
> http://www.supermicro.com/products/accessories/addon/SIM.cfm
> My needs are pretty minimal -- remote power control. BIOS access and the
> ability to trigger a PXE boot off the network. Anything else is just
> supplemental.
> Does anyone have any experience/impressions of the "Supermicro
> Intelligent Management" stuff?
> Regards,
> Chris
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