OSA's IPMI v2.0 Firmware Supports Web Service Management Extension

5/5/2004 - OSA Technologies, Inc., a leading provider of embedded management products, including Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) software and firmware, announced support for Microsoft’s Web Service Management Extension (WMX) within the company’s IPMI v2.0 firmware building blocks. WMX is a generic Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP)-based management protocol that relies on existing concepts and security models to support server management operations including embedded management technologies like IPMI. OSA estimates that 30 percent of Intel® processor-based servers shipped in 2003 were IPMI capable, and expects the penetration level to more than double by the end of 2004 as more server vendors adopt the standards-based management interface. WMX complements IPMI extremely well by reusing existing lower-level management technologies. Combined, IPMI and WMX offer an open standard with a well defined interface for future server management at a lower cost to IT administrators.

“Microsoft has always supported technologies that make it easier for our customers to manage their IT infrastructure. WMX demonstrates the potential to use existing Web services for this purpose,” said David Hamilton, director of the Enterprise Management Division at Microsoft Corp. “We are excited about the work OSA is doing with WMX-enabled IPMI firmware to lower ongoing hardware monitoring and management costs for IT administrators.”

At this week’s WinHEC conference in Seattle, OSA will join Microsoft, Intel and AMD to show a proof of concept of how Web services can be used to manage a heterogeneous server environment. IPMI and WMX capabilities will be demonstrated during the event on Intel/Itanium and AMD systems on May 4 from 2 – 5:30 pm in Room 4B after the opening keynotes.

OSA’s embedded management technologies, including its flagship IPMI v2.0 firmware solutions, are shipping worldwide, and are designed to be easily integrated into system vendors’ products as well as offered as building blocks. Products can also be tailored to meet individual customer needs for differentiation. Separately, OSA will also be available for discussions on the exhibition floor in the Small Business Partner Pavilion, Booth #223, May 3 through May 5.

About IPMI
IPMI is an embedded management specification that defines a common and secure interface to how vendors monitor their system hardware and sensors (temperature, voltage, fan, etc.), control system components (power supplies, blades, etc.), log important system events (chassis intrusion, system reset, etc.), and allow administrators to remotely manage and recover failed systems. It is typically implemented at the silicon level, and is independent of the CPU, OS, BIOS and backplane. Promoted by Dell (NASDAQ: DELL), Hewlett Packard (NYSE:HPQ), Intel and NEC (NASDAQ:NIPNY), IPMI standardizes the way embedded management subsystems communicate with systems such as the CPU, other embedded management subsystems and remote management applications. IPMI also offers enhanced manageability for products that support the AdvancedTCA initiative. RHK, an industry research firm, recently valued the AdvancedTCA market at $3.7B by 2007 (RHK study: www.advancedtca.org). Since 1998, more than 160 vendors have adopted IPMI, making it a market-proven standard.

IPMI v2.0 was announced in February 2004 and adds new features beyond IPMI v1.5 including:

  1. Enhanced Security – support for new authentication (SHA-1) and encryption (AES) mechanisms – reducing operational risk by supporting well-known mechanisms to secure remote operations.
  2. Console Redirection – supports remote viewing of the BOOT process and Emergency Management consoles. This provides a standard way of remotely viewing server consoles, irrespective of vendor type, to diagnose and repair server-related issues.
  3. Enhanced support for Modular systems like Blades – reports status of blades during hot-swap, built-in redundancy by monitoring the secondary IPMI Management Bus – useful for Advanced Telecom Computing Architecture (AdvancedTCA) products and Blade partitioning that restricts management to known interfaces – all increase reliability and security of Blade designs.
  4. Backwardly Compatibility – purchased IPMI v1.5 or v2.0 systems offer compatibility - helping improve a customer’s ROI.

The complete specification is available at http://developer.intel.com/design/servers/ipmi/spec.htm.

“As IPMI adoption continues to grow in Enterprise and Telecom markets, interoperable IT management solutions requires an industry-wide standard approach,” said Mark Lee, president and CEO of OSA. “Coupling WMX with IPMI v2.0 has far-reaching benefits for IT organizations. More than one million servers this year will ship with OSA standards-based IPMI firmware, drivers and software. WMX support will offer access to these IPMI-enabled systems in a consistent manner using existing Operating System-level building blocks like SOAP and Extensible Markup Language (XML).”

About OSA Technologies
OSA Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Avocent Corporation (NASDAQ: AVCT), provides embedded platform management solutions to the server, blade, telecommunications, networking, and storage marketplaces worldwide. OSA's market leading solutions, including IPMI software and firmware, are well entrenched through partnerships with major silicon vendors, system and design manufacturers, and branded OEMs. Building on its first mover advantage, OSA has strategically located sales, support and development centers in San Jose, Taipei and Shanghai to more closely meet the embedded management needs of system vendors shipping OSA-enabled products worldwide. More information about OSA can be found at www.osatechnologies.com.

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