A service processor is provided for a computer system that includes a host processor
and the service processor. The service processor includes a management interface
including a first port forming an external user interface and a second port forming
an internal console interface. The service processor is operable to provide system
management functions within the computer system. It is also operable to respond
to external mode switching commands received via the user interface to operate
one of two modes. The first mode is a management mode in which commands received
via the user interface are processed by the service processor. The second mode
is a console mode in which commands received via the user interface are passed
by the service processor to the console interface for processing by the host processor.
The service processor can be implemented by a dual-ported microcontroller. Remotely
controlled management functions and console functions can thus be supported via
a single external interface port by effecting mode switching internal to the service processor.