[CentOS] Affordable KVM over IP switch

Nico Kadel-Garcia nkadel at gmail.com
Tue Mar 22 15:32:08 UTC 2011

On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 11:11 AM, Rudi Ahlers <Rudi at softdux.com> wrote:
> On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 5:07 PM, Nico Kadel-Garcia <nkadel at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 10:48 AM, Rudi Ahlers <Rudi at softdux.com> wrote:
>>> On Tue, Mar 22, 2011 at 4:34 PM, Devin Reade <gdr at gno.org> wrote:
>>>> Michael B Allen <ioplex at gmail.com> wrote:
>>>>> Are there any KVM over IP switches that are not thousands of dollars?
>>>>> Ideally a 3-4 port switch for a few hundred seems reasonable to me.
>>>> I can attest that the Adderlink iPEPS and iPEPS-DA are excellent units.
>>>> They're both in the 500-1000 range.  They're intended for a single
>>>> machine, but as long as your access policies allow for it, putting
>>>> an electronic KVM switch (~$200) between multiple servers and the
>>>> iPEPS works well.
>>> Isn't it cheaper, at this price range to get a motherboard with
>>> built-in KVMOIP support? I know many Intel & SuperMicro server boards
>>> offer this either on board, or as an added module. Even on the smaller
>>> / cheaper SuperMicro boards I could add KVMOIP support for about $40
>>> per server. And, it doesn't takup any more space on the racks and has
>>> much less clutter than those spiders
>> Note. This is *NOT* CentOS, this is general systems discussion.
>> That's great until you want to connect another session, or haven't had
>> a chance to configure a new machine and want to do it remotely, or you
>> want to leave your mom's netbook in the rack while you re-install it
>> for her. (This just came up on another list.)
>> _______________________________________________
> True.......
> Both have their pro's & con's, but in our case we'll always only use
> rackmount servers which is why I prefer the onboard modules.

The overhead and instabilities of installing the components and
configuring these features is adventuresome. Simply explaining to a
client's inventory management that *they have to record the MAC
addresses when they receive the hardware* so that the DHCP setups and
network setups can be done gracefully has been awkward. For a few
servers in a personal, or small business rack, it's not a big problem.
But even the big hardware vendors can be very confusing to learn all
the interface tricks and configurations for, and in a mixed
environment it can get out of hand really, really fast.

I've had a devil of a time demonstrating, and explaining to clients,
why they need these tools, right up to the point when they say "but,
but, but, I can do that with the Windows servers!!!!" and showing
them, on the purchase orders and the emails, where they paid for that
service and where they refused to allow me to install the drivers
because that "wasn't part of the project".

This has actually gotten *MUCH* better with "our favorite upstream
verndor's" 6.0 operating system, and I'm looking forward to CentOS 6.0
with baited breath. The really cool features of IPMI have matured a
lot, and in some cases no hardware vendor drivers are needed, It Just
Works with the basic system installation. Unfortunately, I don't have
a rack of hosts to test this on this week, or I'd suggest it.

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