Out-of-band NIC management

Supreeth Venkatesh supreeth.venkatesh at arm.com
Thu Jul 18 02:43:14 AEST 2019

On Tue, 2019-07-16 at 16:45 -0500, Ben Wei wrote:
> Hi all, 
Hi Ben,
> Would anyone be interested in collaborating on out-of-band NIC
> management and monitoring?
Yes. If there is an existing implementation that can be
leveraged/extended within OpenBMC, it will be fantastic.

> DMTF has as a NCSI spec (
> https://www.dmtf.org/sites/default/files/standards/documents/DSP0222_1.1.0.pdf
> ), that defines a standard interface for BMCs to manage NICs.
I assume that NC-SI over MCTP Binding 
 will also be targeted. Correct?

Jeremy was working on MCTP, so we should collaborate with Jeremy and

> And in kernel 5.x , NC-SI driver supports Netlink interface for
> communicating with userspace processes.
> I'm thinking adding the following tools to OpenBMC as a starting
> point and build form there:
>       1. A command line utility (e.g. ncsi-util) to send raw NC-SI
> commands, useful for debugging and initial NIC bring up, 
>       For example:
>           ncsi-util -eth0 -ch 0 <raw NC-SI command>
>       We can further extend this command line tool to support other
> management interfaces, e.g sending MCTP or PLDM commands to NIC.
>       2. A daemon running on OpenBMC (e.g ncsid) monitoring NIC
> status,  for example:
>           a. Query and log NIC capability and current parameter
> setting
>           b. Periodically check NIC link status, re-initialize NC-SI
> link if NIC is unreachable, log the status
>           c. Enable and monitor NIC Asynchronous Event Notifications
> (AENs) 
>                 i. such as  Link Status Change, Configuration
> required, Host driver status change
>                 ii. there are OEM-specific AENs that BMC may also
> enable and monitor
>                 iii. either log these events, and/or performs
> recovery and remediation as needed
>           d. Additional monitoring such as 
>                 i.  temperature (not in standard NC-SI command yet), 
>                 ii. firmware version, update event, network traffic
> statistics
> Both the CLI tool and the monitoring daemon can either communicate to
> kernel driver directly via Netlink independently, or we can have the
> ncsi daemon acting as command serializer to kernel and other user
> space processes.
> These are just some of my initial thoughts and I'd love to hear some
> feedback if these would be useful to OpenBMC. 
> If anyone in interested in collaborate on these we can discuss more
> on features and design details.
I am interested in collaborating on the design details.

> Regards,
> -Ben


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