HP, Intel, NEC, Dell Announce Version 1.5 of IPMI Specifications

HP, Intel, NEC and Dell have announced availability of version 1.5 of the Intelligent Platform Management Interface (IPMI) specifications.

IPMI defines common interfaces to "intelligent" hardware used to monitor a server's physical health characteristics, such as temperature, voltage, fans, power supplies and chassis. These capabilities provide information that enables system management, recovery and asset tracking, which help drive down the total cost of ownership (TCO).

The new interfaces in IPMI 1.5 facilitate the management of rack-mounted Internet servers and systems in remote environments over serial, modem and LAN connections. IPMI 1.5 also includes new capabilities to automatically alert Information Technology (IT) managers of system errors and enable immediate system recovery. These new capabilities, combined with the remote management functionality, allow IT managers to manage their servers and systems, regardless of system health, power state or supported communication media.

IPMI 1.5 is backward compatible with version 1.0 and includes extensions to support existing and emerging standards such as the Desktop Management Task Force Alert Standard Forum, CompactPCI, SMBus 2.0 and proposed PCI Management Bus. IPMI 1.5 systems will be deployed in the second half of 2001.

Says Kirk Skaugen, director of Enterprise Platforms and Services marketing, Intel Architecture Group, "IPMI 1.5 gives system managers remote manageability functions that are always available for both routine and emergency operations within a standards-based framework."

Since IPMI 1.0 was introduced in 1998, more than 70 companies representing a broad cross-section of the industry have adopted IPMI, including system and motherboard OEMs, silicon vendors and embedded computer manufacturers. Several companies are also creating baseboard and peripheral management controllers for IPMI, including Agilent Technologies, QLogic Corporation, National Semiconductor, Vitesse Semiconductor and Winbond Electronics Corporation. In addition, the vendors are including IPMI firmware and software development kits (SDKs) in their offerings. Moreover, the IBM-AIX and HP-UX operating systems are providing IPMI messaging support.