[Beowulf] recommendation on crash cart for a cluster room: full cluster KVM is not an option I suppose?

Skylar Thompson skylar at cs.earlham.edu
Sat Oct 3 10:18:06 PDT 2009

Rahul Nabar wrote:
> I see, thanks for disabusing me of my notion of "ipmi" as one
> monolithic all-or-none creature. From what you write (and my online
> reading) it seems there are several discrete parts:
> IMPI 2.0
> switched remotely accessible PDUs
> "serial concentrator type system "

These actually are different beasts. IPMI you'll find on a host
motherboard. Switched PDUs tend to provide a telnet/ssh/web interface,
but you should also make sure you can switch outlets using SNMP to make
scripting easier. The serial concentrator is an appliance that has a
bunch of serial ports that you can connect to serial ports on your
systems. You'll ssh into the concentrator and be able to select a port
to connect to. These are really nice for switches, so you can make
disruptive changes without worrying about the network change cutting off
your telnet or ssh session to the switch.

> Correct me if I am wrong but these are all "options" and varying
> vendors and implementations  will offer parts or all or none of these?
> Or is it that when one says "IPMI 2" it includes all these features. I
> did read online but these implementation seem vendor specific so its
> hard to translate jargon across vendors. e.g. for Dell they are called
> DRAC's etc.

I think IPMI defines the way different components talk to each other,
but it doesn't mandate that a given implementation use all the
components in the specification. There's just mandates for how it'll
authenticate, talk to sensors, connect to the serial port, etc if it
chooses to provide those features.

-- Skylar Thompson (skylar at cs.earlham.edu)
-- http://www.cs.earlham.edu/~skylar/

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