Increase Your BMC Network Performance by Over 800%!

Your friendly neighborhood manageability nerd here announcing my latest whitepaper.

 

The NC-SI (Network Controller Sideband Interface) is a connection between a Network Controller and a BMC.  This DMTF defined interface is designed to provide 100Mbps full duplex connectivity to a BMC.

 

Over a year ago I began researching why I was having customers were complaining to me that the NC-SI performance under some circumstances was horrible, in most reports only a few megabits per second.

 

After literally hundreds of tests and countless hours of research and tweaking of different things, I began to understand what the problem was and how to go about providing a solution.
nc-si perf.pngFigure 1 Network Performance Streaming to BMC

 

What I found was that the NC-SI interface worked exactly as it was supposed to, however the BMC itself needs to take into account that it is using NC-SI and that NC-SI does not have as much buffer space as the BMC itself has.

 

I tested with not only Intel Network Controllers, but also another well-known manufacturer of Network Controllers.  The results were pretty much identical, very poor performance until I modified the BMC to be a bit more intelligent.


Making changes detailed in the whitepaper, average performance when streaming data to the BMC went from less than 8Mbps to nearly 65Mbps.  The performance would be even better, however a BMC is not a super-powerful processor and it can’t yet handle 100MBps data rates.

All my research, conclusions and actual sample data is included within the whitepaper.   I also provided an overview of what NC-SI is for the uninitiated.

 

I hope you find it of use.  If you do please comment so we know if folks actually read these docs .

The paper is available here:  https://www-ssl.intel.com/content/www/us/en/ethernet-controllers/nc-si-overview-and-performance-notes.html