Redfish: It’s not just for breakfast anymore…

Patrick Quirk • August 01, 2016

The transition from theory to reality can be rather difficult; too often, a great idea remains as only an idea, because the challenges of making it real prove too tough.

But when you can make it work…when you can take a great idea and turn it into something real…it’s one of the best feelings in the world.

And that’s exactly what we’ve done with Redfish.

Oh, it didn’t happen overnight.  You may remember that, two years ago, we introduced the concept of Redfish, having worked on it with industry partners.  The idea was pretty simple: introduce a new specification that enables heterogeneous data center hardware to work together in a unified manner.  We designed Redfish to replace IPMI, and deliver a standard for data center and systems management that improves performance, functionality, scalability and security.   Last year, we moved the ball forward, announcing that the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) had officially adopted Redfish as an open industry standard specification.

This year, we’ve gone one giant leap further; we’re making the theoretical a reality.  We’ve delivered Redfish into what we call the Vertiv Connectivity Engine, a web services framework that supports our initiative.  It’s a portable application that can be added to Linux-based management solutions using plug-ins. We’ve begun making it available to customers as a software development kit (SDK).

The beauty of the Vertiv Connectivity Engine is pretty straightforward:  Let’s assume your data center requirements have grown along with your business.  The chances are pretty good that your hardware isn’t all from the same provider, or it doesn’t use the same communications protocols.  Up until now, you may have relied on IPMI to get everything working together.  But IPMI is largely outdated, if for no other reason than its inability to handle today’s massive multi-scale environments.

The Vertiv Connectivity Engine, by contrast, works simply to unify everything in your data center: Redfish messages come in via a RESTful web API.  Data, like infrastructure telemetry, can be read; controls, like power-on and reboot, can be actuated.  Back-end components interact with the framework through the plugins mentioned above and a publish-and-subscribe eventing mechanism.  The plugin interface leverages connectors to translate the data into a format the back-end component can understand.  This means your web services framework can also translate Redfish commands into legacy protocols, even IPMI.  The Vertiv Connectivity Engine greatly simplifies application development and allows you to support your legacy and third-party devices.

At the Intel Developers’ Forum (IDF16), August 16-18, you can see how an end-to-end Redfish-enabled system can improve efficiency, security and scalability of IT operations. We’ll be at booth #628, demonstrating how, working with great companies like OSIsoft and Lenovo, we’ve made the transition complete, maximizing your operational efficiencies at a time when it’s more important than ever.

Redfish is no longer merely a great idea.  Starting now, as the Vertiv Connectivity Engine…it’s reality.  And we think you’re going to like what you see.

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