[CentOS] using a Laptop as a KVM console?

Rudi Ahlers Rudi at SoftDux.com
Wed Oct 13 14:35:30 EDT 2010


On Wed, Oct 13, 2010 at 7:51 PM, Giles Coochey <giles at coochey.net> wrote:
>  On 13/10/2010 19:31, Rudi Ahlers wrote:
>> Hi all,
>>
>> Has anyone seen something like this before:
>>
>> I want to use a laptop as a KVM console. Basically when a technician
>> goes to one of our datacentres, or clients he has to look for a free
>> LCD, keyboard&  mouse to connect to a server (no network access,
>> reinstall, troubleshoot failed kernel / HDD, etc). And then hopefully
>> there's an open power socker in that cabinet.
>>
>> So I'm thinking why not just use a laptop instead? It already has an
>> LCD, keyboard, mouse&  power. Surely someone has, or may still, build
>> something that could connect to the laptop's USB port(s) and then to
>> the server's VGA&  USB / PS2 ports, then act as a KVM?
>>
> Many servers have network console capability these days. HP's iLO
> (Integrated Lights Out) and Dell's DRAC functions.
>
> You can just boot up the laptop, connect a network cable to the iLO port
> and the Laptop, set the IP, and use a browser to get a Java application
> that includes a console (OS independant).
> Most medium to large scale datacenter deployments will have a seperate
> management network to which these iLO and DRAC systems are constantly
> connected to for OOB management.
> _______________________________________________


This will only work for servers with iLO devices built-it, and / or
network access to them.

It doesn't help me much with smaller / cheaper servers (aka headless
file server / mail server / router / etc in a 10-user office) which
doesn't have remote management features. Many of our smaller Atom
based servers, or older Pentium 4 / Core2Duo / Core2Quad's also don't
have iLO or other network managed interfaces and we still need to use
a LCD, keyboard & mouse. Since many of our servers are colo we depend
on the DC's to have these, but if there isn't any then the tech's
can't work on the servers. So now they haul these with them in their
cars, but that's not ideal as well. Especially if he needs his laptop
with him already, and need to carry new server spares in, as well as
the LCD / KB / mouse.


-- 
Kind Regards
Rudi Ahlers
SoftDux

Website: http://www.SoftDux.com
Technical Blog: http://Blog.SoftDux.com
Office: 087 805 9573
Cell: 082 554 7532


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