Baseboard Management Controller (BMC)

Definition - What does Baseboard Management Controller (BMC) mean?

A baseboard management controller (BMC) is a service processor which is capable of monitoring the physical state of servers, computers or other hardware devices with help of sensors. Part of the Intelligent Platform Management Interface, the baseboard management controller is embedded within the main circuit board or motherboard of the device or computer to be monitored. A baseboard management controller helps a single administrator to monitor a large number of servers or devices remotely, thereby helping reduce the operating cost of the network.

Techopedia explains Baseboard Management Controller (BMC)

A baseboard management controller usually consists of a bootloader and an interface to connect to the removable device. The baseboard management controller communicates through an independent connection with the system administrator.

A baseboard management controller's sensors are capable of measuring physical parameters such as:

  • Power supply voltage
  • Fan speeds
  • Operating system functions
  • Humidity
  • Temperature

If any of the parameters are outside the permissible limits, the system administrator is notified, who then needs to take appropriate measures.

Apart from monitoring, a BMC can perform other tasks such as:

  • LED-guided diagnostics
  • Logging events for error analysis
  • Monitoring sensors
  • Power management
  • Providing remote management capabilities like:
    • Logging
    • Power control
    • Console redirection

The baseboard management controller has its own IP address, which can be accessed with a special web interface. The BMC helps in reducing manpower which would otherwise be needed to monitor large networks or servers, and it indirectly helps in bringing reliability to the overall monitoring of the network.

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