[CentOS] using a Laptop as a KVM console?

Mon Oct 18 08:36:17 UTC 2010
Rudi Ahlers <Rudi at SoftDux.com>

On Mon, Oct 18, 2010 at 7:20 AM, Devin Reade <gdr at gno.org> wrote:
> Rudi Ahlers <Rudi at SoftDux.com> wrote:
>> I want to use a laptop as a KVM console.
> [snip]
> Other people have pointed out KVM-over-IP devices for your legacy or
> low end machines (ALOM/iLO/DRAC/whatever is still cheaper for
> server-grade hardware).
> I'd like to bring up the AdderLink IPEPs, which I can say from experience
> is a very nice device.  They are very stable and the over-the-wire
> protocol is encrypted VNC which means, unlike many of the lower-end
> competitors, you're not forced to use a Windows box to access the
> console of your windows machine.  The IPEPs has an IP-blocking mechanism
> if someone tries to brute-force it.  (Of course, having it on a
> non-publicly-available management network is still better.)
> <http://www.adder.com/uk/products/IPEPS.aspx>
> or
> <http://www.adder.com/uk/products/IPEPS_Dual_access.aspx>
> While they market them as one-per-server, you can easily amortize the
> cost by hooking the IPEPs to an electronic KVM switch (the kind that
> allows you to switch machines based on keyboard strokes rather than
> flipping a switch), and then hooking the KVM to your servers.  Thus
> the fanout depends on the capability of your KVM switch. Note that
> using the KVM means that you have a security model that assumes that
> anyone who logs into the KVM is permitted console access to any attached
> server.  (They'd still have to log into each server.)
> I think that AdderLink also has multi-server versions of IP-over-KVM
> that may be better/cheaper if you need to allow for different people
> with different security access to get at the servers.
> Unlike an ALOM/iLO/DRAC, the IPEPs does not have any power switching
> capability, so you'd still need to cover that capability off as well
> if you need it.  For power management, there are also many options
> for PDUs but I'd suggest the APC line, such as the AP7901 or equivalent:
> <http://www.apc.com/products/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=AP7901>
> IMO, this is only suitable for single-power-supply servers  (If you're
> using a redundant power supply in your servers, you should also have
> an ALOM/iLO/DRAC.)
> If you go the IPEPs + KVM route, I'd suggest ensuring that your KVM
> doesn't draw power from the keyboard/monitor/mouse connectors so that
> if you need to reset the KVM you can power cycle it remotely via a
> PDU rather than needing to be on site.  (The DLink DKVM-8E is
> inexpensive, but it has the draw-power-from-multiple-sourcs problem
> and sometimes after a power outage it needs a reset -- for which we
> need on-site access. *grumble*)
> Devin
> _______________________________________________

Hi Devin,

I have a few spider KVM-over-IP devices but found that if there's no
spare power point in the cabinet it becomes a problem. They work well
for this purpose though. The USB2KVM device mentioned earlier on in
this thread is exactly what I was looking for, but I couldn't find a
distributer locally and UPS quoted me $356 just for freight, excluding
import duties in our country, so I think I'll stick with the spider
KVM over IP's for now. They're about 50% cheaper locally than the
KVM2USB before shipment & import duties.

Kind Regards
Rudi Ahlers

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