Ryan Chow

Author Archives: Ryan Chow

How we used OpenBMC to support AI inference on GPUs around the world

Cloudflare recently announced Workers AI, giving developers the ability to run serverless GPU-powered AI inference on Cloudflare’s global network. One key area of focus in enabling this across our network was updating our Baseboard Management Controllers (BMCs). The BMC is an embedded microprocessor that sits on most servers and is responsible for remote power management, sensors, serial console, and other features such as virtual media.

To efficiently manage our BMCs, Cloudflare leverages OpenBMC, an open-source firmware stack from the Open Compute Project (OCP). For Cloudflare, OpenBMC provides transparent, auditable firmware. Below describes some of what Cloudflare has been able to do so far with OpenBMC with respect to our GPU-equipped servers.

Ouch! That’s HOT!

For this project, we needed a way to adjust our BMC firmware to accommodate new GPUs, while maintaining the operational efficiency with respect to thermals and power consumption. OpenBMC was a powerful tool in meeting this objective.

OpenBMC allows us to change the hardware of our existing servers without the dependency of our Original Design Manufacturers (ODMs), consequently allowing our product teams to get started on products quickly. To physically support this effort, our servers need to be able to supply enough power and keep Continue reading