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IPMI. Why do you want it?
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IPMI. Why do you want it?

UnrealServersUnrealServers Member
edited July 20 in General

Legit question here to the Low End user community.

What draws you to IPMI?

Is it the ability to programmatically, remotely power cycle a machine without using a ticket system?
Is it SoL for event logging over serial?
Is it the ability to monitor fan and power health? Memory errors?
Is it because it commonly comes with KVMoIP and remote media mount?
Is it a fetish for using a mouse pointer remotely without vnc/rdp?
Is it out of band control of the box in case its primary nic gets screwed up?

Please, share what specific capabilities you seek when you search for IPMI. I'm interested in providing those capabilities, at the absolute most efficient price point whether or not that involves the four letters "IPMI".

Poll not found

    Comments

    • MrPsychoMrPsycho Member
      edited July 20

      @UnrealServers said: Poll not found

      Haven't seen that in a while @jbiloh

      As for the topic:
      1. Remote media mount
      2. System rescue - I don't see a provider doing that
      3. Always there, if shit hits the fan there is no need to wait for support
      4. If mobo comes with IPMI it's generally not your typical customer grade hardware, but rather enterprise one coming with lots of other nice things

      I live in harmony with people. They hate me and I hate them.
      AlphaSucks | Proxmox on Kimsufi | Hiding Proxmox behind NGINX | Securing SSH

    • MikeAMikeA Member, Provider
      edited July 20

      For an unmanaged server having IPMI is a no brainer. Being able to login without network? Same reason VPS come with console access.

      ExtraVM - AMD Ryzen VPS starting @ $3.50
      USA (TX, VA, FL), CA, FR, UK, SGP, AU

    • jsgjsg Member

      @UnrealServers said:
      Please, share what specific capabilities you seek when you search for IPMI. I'm interested in providing those capabilities, at the absolute most efficient price point whether or not that involves the four letters "IPMI".

      Good luck providing those capabilities without IPMI.

      Thanks no.

    • MINIMAN10000MINIMAN10000 Member
      edited July 20
      1. Shutdown, Boot, Reboot
      2. Mount ( for the purposes of installing custom Linux with custom kernel ) so alternatively just an "upload iso"

      ... I think that's all interested in. If I can boot and reinstall I'm pretty much set. It's mainly about being able to get myself into a known working toy environment without having to reach out to support.

      1. System rescue - I don't see a provider doing that

      So I've never used it losangelesvps.com has ( just some vps I have that I remembered seeing the feature )

      Rescue mode provides the ability to boot a small Linux environment from another disk so that you can rescue your primary linux VPS or backup files that are present on it | root password confirm password | enable rescue mode

      On that note I've never even used impi

    • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

      @fat32 any idea on this poll bug?

      Jon Biloh
    • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

      Oh, and I think ipmi is super useful. Coming from someone who remembers a world before ipkvm, and then years of fighting with spider kvm units, integrated ipmi is a blessing.

      Thanked by 1jsg
      Jon Biloh
    • Combination of PDU and rescue CD is not bad for replacing IPMI. In any case IPMI cannot solve problem with hardware or unexisted support. Also leaving IPMI port open for connection from all the world is dangerous (unfortunately this is most popular option over the world). So IPMI is good feature but with additions: PDU, secured connection to IPMI, free remote hand and so.

    • I agree, IPMI on a public IP can be a big risk. Firmware gets updated about once every never, and so many IPMI controllers come with bad passwords on them by default.

      We've only got a few hardware types with ipmi.

      Usually to deliver prices as low as we do, we're stuck buying cheaper hardware that doesn't have it. But when we add our first section of ipmi-included hardware, IPMI will probably be on rfc1918 addressing behind a vpn. To conserve address space, and protect people from getting pwned as quickly. It'd probably also be our best option to keep one customer from trying to connect to another customer's ipmi module. Of course, setting up all that crap and maintaining it will drive up costs, so that's one big reason we haven't gone full in yet.

      Giving clients a portal that can reset their power, and that can direct the net-boot of their node sounds to me like a safer solution that could utilize cheaper hardware more easily. And I could figure out a way to netboot to iso files provided by the client, or just offer a wide wide array of netboot targets to boot to. I've already built this for staff-guided installs. It's just not tied into whmcs or anything publicly visible.

      So this community feedback will help guide our development to the features that you want.

    • AlwaysSkintAlwaysSkint Member
      edited July 20

      @UnrealServers said: Giving clients a portal that can reset their power, and that can direct the net-boot of their node sounds to me like a safer solution that could utilize cheaper hardware more easily. And I could figure out a way to netboot to iso files provided by the client, or just offer a wide wide array of netboot targets to boot to. I've already built this for staff-guided installs. It's just not tied into whmcs or anything publicly visible.

      This. ;)
      Some other providers offer this with their dedis and I don't need to bother them with Tickets etc. if/when I wish to reconfigure/repurpose the server.
      Keep your costs low and us customers stand to benefit.

      Thanked by 1UnrealServers

      Long live LowEndInfo.com

    • DennisdeWitDennisdeWit Member
      edited July 20

      Why I want IPMI. Because my servers are at the datacenter. Both of my servers run ESXi. However, sometimes I need to perform an update and I want to keep a close eye on the booting process.

      Another reason is that I want to control my servers until BIOS without having to go to the datacenter. It’s only 15 minutes away, but I prefer doing stuff from home and spending as less time at the DC as possible. Because that means things are going great. ;)

      About Supermicro IPMI and public IP’s: don’t! What I did is blocking all traffic to IPMI and only accept my own IP-address and those of the second server. This way I can always login. What if both servers are down and my home IP changed? Well, then I have a good idea to be in the noisy dataroom.

    • @UnrealServers Do what responsible companies like QuadraNet do, put them on a private network, and setup VPN access that gives the client access to their specific subnets on clients dedicated VLAN.

    • @techhelper1 said:
      @UnrealServers Do what responsible companies like QuadraNet do, put them on a private network, and setup VPN access that gives the client access to their specific subnets on clients dedicated VLAN.

      Unsure if QuadraNet was the right example, but ye.

      Thanked by 1UnrealServers
    • a2razora2razor Member
      edited July 20

      Features: Out of band control, reboot, hardware monitoring, bios access.

      Personally, the main reason I look for it is because I don't trust myself, and I don't trust hardware to just-work.

      I know that sooner or later I'm going to do something "stupid" that locks me out of the system.. When that happens, I'd rather be able to get back up and running on my own rather than bothering support.

      It's your life-line when something goes wrong, and something eventually always does go wrong -- even if it takes years to happen, and even if it's not directly your fault. ... There's no way to even know if it's your fault or not, without some means of remote access.

      -- I mean, I get that it's another security risk and all that, yet at the same time the effort involved in finding some way to provide it safe (e.g, private LAN / VPN) probably cuts down countless customers using up a technician's time too.

    • Why not? Is there any downside for having an IPMI?

    • alwyzonalwyzon Member

      @yokowasis said:
      Why not? Is there any downside for having an IPMI?

      Security, if not configured safely (standard passwords used, accessible over public network, IPMI itself never updated). But, I fear the main point of OP is to save bucks on the required hardware for IPMI.

      Personally, I’d never want to miss the iDRAC interface of my servers again (or other IPMI interfaces if I where about to change brands). Makes the admins life so much easier if something screws up.

    • rcxbrcxb Member

      @UnrealServers said:
      Is it the ability to programmatically, remotely power cycle a machine without using a ticket system?

      Yes, it's impractical to involve support in every freeze/hang. And you don't really get that with a switchable PDU. People accidentally clean shutdown sometimes. Cycle the power outlet all you want, it's not coming back... BIOS options can help with that, but cobbling together the various bits is laborious and still less reliable.

      Is it the ability to monitor fan and power health? Memory errors?

      A little bit... If hardware issues crash my system, I want to be 100% sure I'll know about it, and not have to guess. I'll ALWAYS guess that the provider's hardware is trash, and my software is error-free, and demand they prove otherwise.

      Is it out of band control of the box in case its primary nic gets screwed up?

      Bingo. #1 issue there... It happens, and being unable to fix it yourself is pure hell.

      Is it a fetish for using a mouse pointer remotely without vnc/rdp?

      Well, there are a few cases where the system "console" is a special thing, and some things can't be done from elsewhere, though that's getting ever less common.

      I'm interested in providing those capabilities, at the absolute most efficient price point whether or not that involves the four letters "IPMI".

      Nobody cares whether you're using the IPMI protocol. BMC is more accurate. Terms like RAC, OOBM and LOM will get the point across.

      I don't believe you can do this at a more "efficient price point." IP-PDUs will cost you more. IP-KVM hardware will cost you more. And all will be inferior. Look at Pi-KVM and start running the numbers for all the bits.

      Even PCs these days have many of these features in the form of AMT.
      There are even free software options like OpenBMC to help commodotize these features.

    • rcxbrcxb Member
      edited July 23

      @jbiloh said:
      Coming from someone who remembers a world before ipkvm, and then years of fighting with spider kvm units, integrated ipmi is a blessing.

      You must be one of those Microsoft heathens... Unix (and Network) admins got along perfectly well with text-only RS-232 console servers, right up until ipmi and SOL came along. No reason for a wasteful graphical console, when text could do everything.

      Before broadband was a thing, no internet was needed. You'd dial-in directly to a bank of modems. Remote-in from a pay phone via acoustic coupler, if needed. Not even from a laptop, any old dumb terminal would do. I can't imagine VNC over 1200 baud modems, but text worked perfectly well.

      Thanked by 1AlwaysSkint
    • jbilohjbiloh Administrator

      @rcxb said:

      @jbiloh said:
      Coming from someone who remembers a world before ipkvm, and then years of fighting with spider kvm units, integrated ipmi is a blessing.

      You must be one of those Microsoft heathens... Unix (and Network) admins got along perfectly well with text-only RS-232 console servers, right up until ipmi and SOL came along. No reason for a wasteful graphical console, when text could do everything.

      Before broadband was a thing, no internet was needed. You'd dial-in directly to a bank of modems. Remote-in from a pay phone via acoustic coupler, if needed. Not even from a laptop, any old dumb terminal would do. I can't imagine VNC over 1200 baud modems, but text worked perfectly well.

      I do use windows for my desktop and laptop personally.

      From an enterprise and hosting background though having integrated ipmi is helpful for so many reasons.

      Jon Biloh
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