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Facebook today is announcing that it has expanded the capabilities of OpenBMC, the open-source software that the social networking company developed to help it control certain aspects of its data center hardware.
When Facebook introduced OpenBMC — which is essentially a full-on Linux distribution to deal with hardware components such as sensors — in March, the company said the tool could control Facebook’s Wedge custom networking switches. But Facebook has since gone further and added support for Facebook’s efficient Yosemite servers.
This is just the latest software engineering work that Facebook has done to optimize its infrastructure to run at tremendous scale. Facebook has 1.49 billion monthly active users. It’s in Facebook’s best interest to make its custom-built compute, storage, and networking gear function exactly the way engineers want it to. Getting out of infrequently updated and imperfect proprietary BMC software from vendors was the whole point of developing OpenBMC, and Facebook has now made it much more expansive.
Yosemite’s architecture is highly distributed, and Facebook has explicitly designed for it.
“Typical BMC supports one only one server node (or payload in IPMI terminology) at a time following the original IPMI architecture,” Facebook engineer Sai Dasari wrote in a blog post. “In case of Yosemite, the OpenBMC has to support four independent server boards/nodes. To support this multi-node model, various software modules in OpenBMC are updated with support for multiple nodes.”
Employees can now SSH into the servers with OpenBMC for debugging purposes and manage servers with a REST application programming interface for OpenBMC, Dasari wrote.
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