A Cloud/Hosting Provider Is Using Coreboot On Thousands Of Servers

Written by Michael Larabel in Coreboot on 4 February 2018 at 08:33 AM EST. 14 Comments
A European cloud and dedicated server provider that designs their own servers is now designing their own BIOS using Coreboot and using this in production on thousands of servers.

The Online.net dedicated server provider and their Scaleway cloud division have taken to using Coreboot paired with the Intel FSP and TianoCore and using it on their thousands of servers. Online.net/Scaleway is owned by France's Iliad Group and the company is big enough that they design their own x86/ARM server hardware and have now taken to designing their own BIOS by building off Coreboot.

Julien Viard de Galbert talked about the company's BIOS work at this weekend's FOSDEM conference in Brussels. They opted to make their own BIOS and make use of Coreboot due to it being open-source, no need to pay any BIOS fees, better documentation than proprietary BIOS implementations, etc.

But even with Coreboot's existing support for Intel hardware paired with Intel's binary FSP, there was still challenges to overcome. When initially using Coreboot, their server CPU cores were stuck to 800MHz, there were memory troubles, missing ACPI tables, and initialization failure for their NVMe storage. But Coreboot ended up fitting their needs, they got performance to the same level as the reference BIOS, were able to build in extra features, and make use about "95%" of the existing code out there for Coreboot/TianoCore.

They are up to running "tens of thousands" of servers using their custom BIOS. Those interested in learning more can check out this slide deck.
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