27 Jan 2017
Information and Communications Technologies
Redfish: a New Way to Represent and Manage ICT Platforms and Services
Professors Mohamed Cheriet and Kim Khoa Nguyen, of the Synchromedia laboratory, organised a mini-conference, as part of IEEE’s 12th International Conference on Network and Service Management (CNSM), hosted from October 31 to November 4, 2016, at the École de technologie supérieure (ÉTS).
This article presents an outlook of the keynote lecture entitled “A Modern Interface for Managing Compute, Storage and Network Platforms,” which provided an overview of the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) tools, focusing on Redfish™, “a modern RESTful interface, for managing compute, storage and network platforms and services”. It was written by a student researcher of the Synchromedia laboratory who attended the conference.
About the keynote speaker:
John Leung is Vice President of Alliances at DMTF. He has worked in computer architecture, design and coding for over 34 years. John is a graduate from the California Institute of Technology with a B.Sc. in Engineering & Applied Sciences. Prior to joining Intel in 1995, John worked 10 years for two successful start-ups in Silicon Valley: Sun Microsystems and Auspex Systems. Currently, he is a System Manageability Architect in Intel’s data center group and is responsible for the manageability architecture of Rack Scale Design platforms.
Servers (where the information is processed), storage platforms (where the information is stored) and networks (where the information goes from one place to another) are some of the components which constitute the Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) infrastructures. Your Dropbox, your Facebook, and your email applications probably use such complex structures. The Infrastructure managers have different challenges in taking care of all the platforms and services coming from different vendors and offering different architectures.
If you want to better understand what these infrastructures are, see this video from Google about their data center:
To help the infrastructure managers, DMTF, an international organization made up of companies and alliance partners, developed Redfish. The idea was to “enable simple and secure management of modern scalable platform hardware” to manage or integrate platforms.
DMTF’s Common Information Model
In 2003, the DMTF introduced CIM (Common Information Model), a conceptual framework used to represent information and communication technologies (ICT) managed environments, and to expose this management information. Figure 1 illustrates a small part of CIM for Networks, which is one category of technologies supported by CIM.
It is an object-oriented model that can be used by different heterogeneous systems, produced by different companies to represent these systems in a uniform way. It has been recognized as a malleable technology and can be extended, such as what was done regarding modelling policies to manage ICT environments.
Having achieved success with CIM, DMTF looked to address the modern data center with a new interface, which could take advantage of the existing modern toolchains. The community expected an application program interface (API) to use cloud / web protocols and structures, including a security model. The demand was for a standard-based, multi-vendor deployment.
Redfish : A RESTful Interface for Manageability
The answer to that was Redfish, an open industry standard specification and schema to represent ICT infrastructure.
Among the criteria for this new manageability interface were:
- Leverage existing Internet standards and tool chains
- Able to manage scale-out solutions
- Usable by professionals and amateurs
- Deployable on existing management controllers
- Meet Open Compute Project (OCP) Remote Machine Management requirements
Redfish classes model what you are managing from different points of view:
- Collection of Systems, the “logical view” (processors, disks, network interface cards)
- Collection of Chassis, the “physical view” (power and thermal aspects)
- Collection of Managers, the “management view” (log services and network protocols)
Additional Information on Redfish
DMTF has made rapid advances in the interface, and the standard organizations and companies have reacted favorably. The model is still a work in progress and all those who are interested can access the resources posted by DMTF, provide feedback, and contribute actively to Redfish advances.
To find out more about Redfish, please watch the following video:
You can also read the white papers and see detailed specifications on the DMTF website.
Ana Carolina Riekstin
Ana Carolina Riekstin holds a postdoctoral scholarship at the Synchromedia Laboratory. In 2015, she earned a Ph.D. from the Department of Computer Engineering at the Polytechnic School of the University of Sao Paulo (USP) in Brazil. She worked for Univesp, LASSU/USP and Microsoft Research.
Research chair : Canada Research Chair in Smart Sustainable Eco-Cloud
Research laboratories : SYNCHROMEDIA – Multimedia Communication in Telepresence