Last week, the Open Compute Project (OCP) published the RunBMC spec through an open source contribution from Dropbox. RunBMC is the first open source hardware spec for the BMC, or baseboard management controller, which is a crucial component of any server. BMCs allow for remote monitoring and management of data center hardware. RunBMC will streamline the supply chain and strengthen hardware security in the data center ecosystem.
With last year’s news about possible security compromises in the global technology supply chain, many people are now paying more attention to hardware vulnerabilities. RunBMC is one way we’re trying to protect against these threats. It standardizes the hardware interface between the many different subsystems of BMC, allowing for more consistent software. By focusing on a single BMC card, system designers can standardize their own software management stack. Modularizing the BMC subsystem will also make it easier for designers to add hardware security features.
As a new member of the OCP, Dropbox is adopting and collaborating with the larger OCP community, which includes contributors from companies like Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. Being a part of OCP will allow us to share what we're learning as we scale our infrastructure and carve the path for more secure, energy-efficient, and cost-effective hardware.