IPMI/BMC interface for remote server management

In keeping with the theme of Webmin providing a uniform interface across multiple Linux distributions, I was wondering if anybody has thought about server remote management via the BMC - either via IPMI or via the SSH and Redfish interfaces that some server vendors provide.

Most server vendors provide a web interface into their BMC. Some, like HP and Dell, only support limited functionality, via the web interface and ask you to purchase a license to unlock higher level functions. However, nearly all server vendors support the UDP interface accessible via IPMITOOL and similar CLI software packages.

Even with full functionality, the web interfaces for remote management can be very different across vendors. Even basic functions like power control and remote console can be hard to find and remote console especially can be very different between vendors. And once the hardware is a little old, issues with TLS and Java versions start to creep in, making management very difficult.

However, command-line access via IPMITOOL, once set up, works consistently and provides 90% of the typical day-to-day functionality regardless of the server vendor.

So… Wouldn’t it be cool to have a Webmin extension or Webmin-like package that provides a consistent interface for BMC access based on the common IPMI commands that work across all server vendors?




Hi Dave!

This indeed is an excellent idea, and I like it. However, I’m afraid it may take a considerable amount of time, possibly days if not weeks, to develop.

@Jamie, @Joe, what are your thoughts on it?

lol. Try months or years, it’s not a quick project, at least not to make it nice and reasonably consistent across a bunch of systems (and it’s not worth doing something if we can’t make it nice). That space is pretty chaotic, there’s not a lot of agreement on the shape of information they provide and commands they accept, at least that’s been my experience with it. And, OS support in Linux for all the various IPMI chipsets is spotty.

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