Using management channel auto-discovery

You can use management channel auto-discovery (MCAD) to route BladeCenter management channel communications for MCAD-capable blade servers.

Note: The default state of the management channel auto-discovery feature is disabled. See Enabling management channel auto-discovery for information about enabling this feature.

Management channel auto-discovery (MCAD) allows a blade server to select a communications channel used for management traffic within the BladeCenter unit and find an alternate channel if the current channel becomes unavailable. The blade server can select the default network interface card (NIC) on its system board, another NIC on the system board, or a port on an expansion card as the path for management traffic. Management channel auto-discover operations on the blade server are controlled by the blade system management processor (BSMP) or an MCAD-capable service processor. Management traffic routed by MCAD includes the following communications:

During MCAD operation, the blade server determines when it is appropriate to select the next best communication channel for management traffic and passes this information to the advanced management module.

The advanced management module calculates a list of communication channel candidates based on the list of channels available on the blade server as reported by the BSMP or service processor (this list is dependant on the hardware that is installed in the blade server) and the I/O modules that are installed in the BladeCenter unit. The advanced management module groups and prioritizes all ports in the candidate list, based on communication speed, and passes the list back to the blade server.

The blade server determines when to select the next best channel and which channel to select based on current management traffic conditions. The advanced management module responds to management packets it receives from the blade server, directing management traffic to the new network path.

The advanced management module reports which I/O module is currently being used for management traffic by each blade server and the status of the management traffic path. In BladeCenter units containing blade servers that do not support MCAD, these blades are automatically identified and route their management traffic using the standard non-MCAD method.