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Re: KVM question - skip this technology entirely

 "Matt Shields" <[hidden email]> wrote: 
> If you go 
> without the external ILO/DRAC power, then if the server has lost 
> power, you cannot get into the card.  At my last company they used all 
> HP with the ILO boards and I remember one time where the circuit that 
> the main computer was on shut off 

Hmm I don't understand this argument.  If main power to the computer is off 
then you can't turn it on no matter what kind of options you have.  In my case 
I'm working with systems that each have two power supplies so hopefully the 
above scenarios would be virtually impossible (at least, no more likely than a 
scenario where a DRAC could somehow put power into the system by some 
alternate method).  The KVMs don't have any mechanism for power cycling or 
resetting so that's what interests me about the DRAC/ILO solution. 

Didn't know you could connect a separate power supply to the DRAC or ILO, I 
really am just starting out with this stuff, just wanted to post here that 
this is an alternative to the KVMs (which have *always* frustrated me).  Maybe 
the console front-ends will ultimately prove just as frustrating but so far I 
haven't had any troubles.  And the "user experience" is as good as or better 
than the Raritan or Avocent connection, at least through a 100-Mbit or faster 
network link. 

> Your beef shouldn't 
> be with each specific piece of equipment that you have, it should be 
> that you inherited a network that is not homogeneous in any way... 

I have never inherited one that was, and I've never managed to pull off 
building my own that was.  Over any span of time, technologies get obsolete or 
overpriced so you wind up making different choices about what to buy.  It's 
never practical to yank *everything* out and start over, so there is always a 

As for the network ports argument:  KVM ports always cost a whole lot more 
than plain Ethernet ports on cheapo 100-megabit 48-port switches (the 
console-net switches don't have to be fancy like the production-net 
switches)--you can get by on $5 to $20/port for Ethernet ports depending on 
whether you want SNMP on them (I do but it's not really necessary). 

I dunno, maybe I'll post more on this after a few more months of switching 
things around. 

Hey since you're a Raritan user--have you ever run into that key-bounce 
problem?  Is this something I might be able to eliminate with a firmware 
upgrade from Raritan?  If I type at my normal speed into a Raritan console, 
the remote server sees roughly 50% more characters than I actually type--it 
duplicates and transposes characters in the input stream.  That particular bug 
made me dismissive of the technology, and disinclined to shell out any more 
bucks for higher-end products. 

As for the query about white-box console front-end solutions:  the guy who 
recommended this at work said he likes the ones from Supermicro.  I don't know 
the price but I think it's in the $130 range (!).  If I could do this for that 
kind of price, especially if it could be done on any motherboard (which may 
not be possible) it'd be hard to imagine ever contemplating a KVM solution 
again.  The scalability of being able to run this for 2 computers at my house 
or 20 computers at a small company or 1000 at the place where I currently work 
would be compelling, especially since it means I don't ever have to keep a 
database of which ports are connected to what. 


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