AMD announces Open Platform Management Architecture specification

Posted on Monday, February 28 2005 @ 19:07 CET by Thomas De Maesschalck
AMD announced the release of the Open Platform Management Architecture (OPMA) specification that defines a common hardware interface between the server platform and its server management subsystem. This specification will provide hardware vendors with a more flexible approach to system management when designing their commercial grade server products.

AMD has worked closely with technology partners to develop and publish this specification. The OPMA defines a robust connector-level interface that allows a wide range of management subsystems to be attached to server motherboards in a standardized way. Ultimately, the end-user will benefit from open standards like those provided in the OPMA. A standard management subsystem infrastructure makes server management technology more accessible and cost effective. It enables a common infrastructure that results in a variety of solutions that span a range of capability and price levels.

“As a customer-centric company, we embrace and promote a collaborative, connected business model,” said Marty Seyer, corporate vice president and general manager, Microprocessor Business Unit, Computation Products Group, AMD. “The OPMA specification is just one more example of how AMD innovates within industry standards to provide real solutions to real problems. Open standards puts the power of choice back in the hands of customers.”

“One of the biggest challenges today facing IT managers, server OEMs and motherboard manufacturers is the lack of common interface standards for embedded system management,” said Dr. Christian Paetz, CEO of Raritan Computer’s OEM division, Peppercon. “Raritan-Peppercon is proud to work closely with AMD and its partners in the development of the OPMA specification that will help improve server manageability. The initial market feedback to our OPMA-compliant KVM-over-IP embedded solution has been extremely positive, and it has had a great reception from the OEM server market. AMD’s initiative and leadership in the creation of the OPMA specification is a true testament to its understanding of changing trends in the server market and commitment to meeting customer needs with innovative solutions.”

The OPMA connector provides the interface between manageability components including baseboard management controller devices (BMCs), network interface controllers (NICs), standardized system busses between sensor devices and the system microprocessors. OPMA feature cards contain BMC firmware that communicates with software such as BIOS, drivers, manageability software suites, system management frameworks and operating systems.

By taking a collaborative approach to producing a standardized specification, AMD and its partners have helped to reduce server platform development risk, cost and time to market. OPMA also enables a multi-vendor approach for sourcing the manageability subsystem with minimal impact to BIOS firmware.

In contrast, proprietary manageability hardware subsystems can inhibit collaboration and ultimately result in inconsistent designs and a complex upgrade path for servers as manageability requirements change.

The public OPMA specification defines the connector, electrical, mechanical and firmware interfaces for a flexible, modular, card-based platform management subsystem. It is available for download from AMD’s website at,,30_118_8796_12498,00.html

About the Author

Thomas De Maesschalck

Thomas has been messing with computer since early childhood and firmly believes the Internet is the best thing since sliced bread. Enjoys playing with new tech, is fascinated by science, and passionate about financial markets. When not behind a computer, he can be found with running shoes on or lifting heavy weights in the weight room.

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