I just learned about Facebook’s OpenBMC, thanks to Sai Dasari of Facebook, who just posted a message to the Open Compute Project’s hardware management list, talking about DMTF Redfish and Facebook’s OpenBMC.
OpenBMC is an open software framework to build a complete Linux image for a Board Management Controller (BMC).
When we were developing Facebook’s top-of-rack “Wedge” switch, we followed our usual process in the beginning; our partner was responsible for developing the BMC software. However, in the first months of the project, many requirements for the BMC software emerged, introducing extra complexity, coordination, and delays into the BMC software-development process. To address these challenges, at one of Facebook’s hackathon events, four engineers worked to create our own BMC software. Within 24 hours, we were able to build a minimum BMC software image, including an SSH server and the ability to change fan speed, power-on the host CPU, and blink some LEDs. It was far from a production image, but it gave us a strong confidence that we could eventually develop our own BMC software for “Wedge.” Fast-forward eight months, and we’ve deployed our solution — code-named “OpenBMC” — into production along with Wedge. And today we’re sharing OpenBMC with the open source community in the hope that we can collaborate based on this open software framework for next-generation system management.