Systems built to VITA standards, such as VME, have not traditionally needed the high reliability of many of the telco systems, and have relied upon front panel LEDs to indicate fan failure, voltage monitoring, and thermal issues with the boards and chassis. While VME has long been the preferred architecture of the military and aerospace industry, as higher speeds and increased reliability became more critical to system operation, it was apparent that these older architectures just wouldn’t cut it. VPX, or VITA 46.0, was VITA’s answer to implement modern high-speed interconnects, real-time monitoring, and remote mitigation of certain system parameters in harsh environmental applications.
In November 2013, after several years of work, VITA 46.11 was adopted as a Draft Standard for Trial Use in the VPX community. The draft standard defines components, interfaces, mechanisms, and general infrastructure to support the implementation of an interoperable management subsystem within VPX that enables features such as inventory, sensor, and diagnostic management, as well as system configuration and recovery. In the absence of VITA 46.11, such features, if present in VPX systems, would be implemented as part of the application(s), rather than as a standardized layer serving the application(s). VITA 46.11 aims to enable, for the system management aspects of applications, many of the same benefits that COTS hardware has long provided: lower cost and quicker application development and system upgrades.
The high-energy campaign to complete the OpenVPX standard has been complemented by a parallel effort to define a generic system management layer for use in OpenVPX and other VPX systems. The resulting VITA 46.11 architecture and corresponding implementation considerations are presented.