What is it?
A baseboard management controller (BMC) is a small, specialized processor used for remote monitoring and management of a host system. Usually an ARM-based SoC (System on Chip) with graphics and control logic built in, it is commonly located on the main motherboard of the computer, server, network or storage device (the "baseboard"), can be accessed remotely either via a dedicated or shared network connection, and has multiple connections to the host system, giving it an ability to monitor hardware via sensors, flash BIOS/ UEFI firmware, give console access via serial or physical / virtual KVM, power cycle the host, and log events.
Why do you need it?
The key advantage of a BMC is that allows a system administrator to perform many different monitoring and management tasks remotely without having to be physically located next to and connected to the system – such as power cycling, installing BIOS or firmware updates, and monitoring fan speeds and temperatures. The BMC will also notify the administrator (via email or text message) if there is hardware failure (such as a hard drive, fan or PSU that needs replacing) or if there is another kind of error or fault.
The BMC is an extremely efficient labor and time saving feature – the administrator no longer needs to physically connect with each server in the rack to perform maintenance tasks. In modern data centers which could have hundreds of racks and thousands of servers, it would be impossible to live without it. As a result, all modern servers and other devices used in a data center (such as switches, storage devices, power supply devices etc.) now have a BMC.
How is GIGABYTE helpful?
All GIGABYTE's server systems and motherboards include an Aspeed AST2300 / 2400 / 2500 Series BMC – one of the leading baseboard management controllers available on the market, and GIGABYTE Management Console (AMI MegaRAC SP-X), an IPMI (Intelligent Platform Management Interface) enabled firmware platform which includes a web-browser based GUI and a rich list of features such as RESTful API support (allowing the administrator to integrate with 3rd party applications for server management) and a HTML5-based iKVM remote management client (included as a standard feature with no additional add-on license required to purchase).
Also available as a free download is GIGABYTE Server Management, an add-on software package which allows for remote monitoring and simple management (such as power cycling and BIOS update) of multiple servers simultaneously, saving the administrator time from not having to log on to each BMC individually to perform these tasks.
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