[coreboot] server hardware without IPMI / with coreboot

Ward Vandewege ward at gnu.org
Sat Mar 6 20:33:52 CET 2010

On Sat, Mar 06, 2010 at 08:03:40AM -0800, ron minnich wrote:
> So, if you're looking to buy 150 or so nodes, what's a reasonable
> coreboot-capable node *without* any sort of BMC/IPMI? I really need
> these IPMI-free boards and the vendors keep trying to shove this IPMI
> nonsense down our throats -- in spite of the fact that IPMI is such a
> failure. It's easy to see why, they get to charge a pretty nice
> premium for the  presence of those BMCs.

While the IPMI BMC is tightly integrated with the mainboard, it tends to be
an optional module on Supermicro (and Tyan, I guess, I have not looked
recently though) boards. So you can definitely order without the module.

> Coreboot would be a huge plus. A 45-second POST, in this day and age,
> is just simply ridiculous. Even were we to accept that 45-second post,
>  the BIOS on this Nehalem new board is so defective that it's just
> unusuable for what we need -- it doesn't always come out of a reset.
> Ward, what's the latest thing you know of?

I still like Opteron a lot. Here's the current list of Supermicro boards
based on the latest SR56x0/SP5100 chipset:


I wonder if these boards will take the 8 and 12 core CPUs AMD is due to
release at the end of this month.

Silicon Mechanics has a few systems built on those boards, but so far only a
2U (nServ A346) and 3U (A362). They should be able to to tell you when they
will have 1U systems (assuming that's what you are looking for here).

There are also very nifty 'twin' systems (1U) and 2x2 twin systems (4 boards,
hot swappable, in a 2U chassis with redundant power and 12 disk bays). Sadly,
I've only seen the 2x2 with Intel boards, so far...

My experience is that if you talk to a vendor like Silicon Mechanics or Aspen
Systems and tell them you want to buy 150 systems, they will at least *try*
to help with coreboot by talking to their suppliers.

I guess the most important thing right now would be to get AMD to release
docs (and code?) for the SR56x0/SP5100 chipset. With that, supporting any of
the boards listed above might be possible. This chipset is likely to be
around for a while (5 years?).


Ward Vandewege <ward at gnu.org>

More information about the coreboot mailing list