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Re: [libvirt-users] IPMI in Libvirt

On Wed, Jul 08, 2015 at 11:46:17AM -0400, Anderson Kaiser wrote:
Greetings all,

I am looking for a solution to use IPMI (BMC) in with LibVirt
(Virt-Manager). Actually there is a Customer behind this request as

If the customer you are talking about is a Red Hat customer, and they
want to build this on RHEL, then the solution might be found by the
ways of support and I believe there might be better ways to push this
through there (just in case nobody on this public mailing-list is
interested in following the same idea and collaborating on it).

Trying to be short: We are looking for a Solution in OpenStack
Environment. Customer wants to have the entire environment running in
Virt-Manager (probably for a P.O.C or tests purposes). So here is
what he is trying to do: http://red.ht/1HfNn9r

So you want to have a virt-manager that sees bunch of machines and VMs
on them and these VMs are running OpenStack, right?

This template you can find in the Red Hat's OpenStack Install
Guide. So far so good. But OpenStack works with High Availability and
in some moment of the procedure you have to create an IPMI (BMC)
interface in order to Fence the HA Nodes and Controllers.

(Just for curiosity in this first moment customer is setting the
Nodes - Hypervisors - as Nested KVM - so he can use the VM as an
Hypervisor as well).

That said the 3 VMs which are the controller, and also the 2 nodes,
should have an IPMI Interface. Is it possible to have it in KVM? I
mean, seems that in SeaBIOS we already have this support:

One question is whether this is in seabios, another one is whether
it's supported in qemu?  Maybe there is no need to add anything and it
can be already used or maybe we need to add something, I don't know.

From what I know there is no support in libvirt for adding such
interface to qemu VM.  Even though it would be cool, I can't imagine
what you should be able to do with it that you cannot do with libvirt.
Apart from plugging it into running IPMI infrastructure.

Apart from implementing this throughout the whole stack (bios, qemu,
libvirt, etc.) I see few other ways out of this, depending on the
use-case.  If there's supposed to be unified infrastructure for
maintaining machines, then you can use OpenStack an an abstraction
layer by itself as it can manage both VMs and bare metal machines.
If you just want to plug VMs into current IPMI infrastructure, you
might be also better off creating new standalone "translator" program
that converts IMPI commands to libvirt calls and vice versa.  There
are bunch of possible ways to tackle this, but it's hard to compare
them without knowing the use-case.

Anyway, I'm not saying adding the support to qemu and libvirt is not
an option.  If there is something usable in qemu we should add it to
libvirt as well.

Also I found a Red Hat BugZilla regarding this request:
https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=815136 . but it seems to
be "abandoned" since the beginning.

Well, it's just that nobody saw the potential in it or nobody had the
time to do so.  Or nobody really wanted it.

So the point is:

- Is it possible to have a NIC or a Device emulating an IPMI (BMC)
- interface?  If yes, how can we export it to the VM?

Maybe we can do a pass-trough if the hardware is available. But Lets
think in a Notebook or a Desktop, for instance (we are working with a
POC, remember?) and maybe the IPMI Interface could not be available
or oesn't exist.

I don't think it's supposed to be seen as a normal device in the
system (or is it?  I don't have such experience with it), so
pass-through wouldn't be an option.  I also wouldn't make sense, I
guess, since you want this to be available even when the machine is
not working and passing this through would effectively disable it for
the host which you shouldn't be able to do in order for it to do the

I thought if it was possible to have some kind of IPMI NIC emulated
and also an "brdge" and then an additional virtual network for this
bridge. Am I going to far? ;-)

I there's a device that behaves like a NIC then it can be plugged into
a network ;)

Anderson Kaiser (RHCE, RHCVA)
Team Lead - Red Hat Global Support Services Latin America
Red Hat Inc,.
akaiser redhat com
Ph: +55 11 3529-6000
Red Hat Support: 0800-602-5222

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