OpenPOWER firmware update from Stewart

Stewart Smith has a new blog post about OpenPOWER, focusing on firmware development community changes, including comments on OpenBMC and other projects. As well, apparently now non-IBM developers can now contribute to OpenPOWER firmware, as someone from has recently done, which sounds like an improvement.

Firmware update presentation from OpenCompute Project

At the recent Open Compute Project (OCP) Summit there was a talk on firmware updates. The video is now online:

Open Compute Project’s new Firmware focus group

The Open Compute Project’s Hardware group is starting a new Firmware focus group, focusing on UEFI Forum and DMTF technologies. The group is led by Mallik Bulusu of Microsoft and Vincent Zimmer of Intel.

During our last meeting, we had a very good discussion about standardizing UEFI interfaces and what make sense and does not make sense. There is also a need to standardize and streamline FW updates, define bare metal provisioning scenarios and interfaces, extend security framework to include auditing and monitoring, UEFI configuration management, etc. Also, our alliance groups (UEFI, DMTF) are working on similar or closely related technologies. We want to make sure we work closely with them to make sure we are aligned.  Towards that end, Mallik Bulusu and Vincent Zimmer are willing to bootstrap this effort and lead a subgroup that is focused on this. Anyone interested in this topic and willing to contribute please send an email to Mallik and Vincent expressing your interest. The goal here is to a) come up with a specification that capture OCP member specification and b) working with our members and alliance partners to get buy-in and implementations for those specs. We will discuss this further in our upcoming monthly meeting.

For more information, see the posting on the OCP Hardware Management list, and their next upcoming monthly meeting.

Facebook’s OpenBMC project

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.

More Information:


Project ONIE: UEFI support, and Firmware Update Mechanism

Yesterday Curt Brune of Cumulus Networks announced the latest release of Project ONIE, by the Open Compute Project:

This release contains a number of new hardware platforms, along with the usual enhancements and bug fixes. Some firmware excerpts from the announcement:

Updated x86 design specification to cover UEFI support:

Support for UEFI firmware machines:
42c7448 UEFI: initial support for ONIE on UEFI
a16e630 kvm_x86_64 vm: Update INSTALL instructions for UEFI

Firmware Update Mechanism:
a8e712b pending firmware update discovery mechanism
477cd47 x86 firmware update: add onie-fwpkg CLI tool

More Information: