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Sometimes referred to as “lights-out management” or ‘integrated lights-out”. The Intelligent Platform Management Interface is a specification defining a common interface used by administrators for management and monitoring of the health of their servers. IT managers can receive status alerts, send instructions to servers, and run diagnostics over a network rather than locally at the server. IPMI runs independently of the host system’s CPU, firmware and operating system. Administrators can manage a system that may be powered off or otherwise unresponsive by using a network connection to the hardware rather than to an operating system or login shell.

The Intel specification was originally published in 1998. It is now supported by hundreds of vendors, such as Cisco, Dell, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, and Supermicro.