remote console access/ multiport card recommendations?

Stephan Greene sgreene at
Wed Jul 25 17:49:29 PDT 2001

On Mon, 23 Jul 2001, Chris Harwell wrote:

> just a clarification - i meant this question to be framed in terms of a
> control channel for access in place of a monitor/keyboard switch NOT
> as a replacement for networking. many clusters are installed w/o vga cards
> and keyboards b/c for the most part they are not needed, but if you want
> to experiment with interesting/creative networking (say channel bonding on
> a beowulf or different arp scenarious with ha clusters) this could be
> really useful.

I can tell you what "we" used to sell when VA was in hardware:

We used either Comtrol Rocketport cards with serial concentrators or
Cyclades terminal servers to provide remote serial console access and
(rocketport only) ipmi access for intel motherboards that supported their
emp (emergency management port) connections.  (the terminal servers
apparently had too much latency to deal with ipmi).  You would need
rocketport driver support in your management node to use the rocketports.
The cyclades (or any other terminal server, for that matter), just needed
an etherent connection and an IP address.

Depending on the motherboards involved, you might be able to set up serial
access for bios messages; the linux kernel supports serial console
redirection for boot selection and boot messages.  

Hope this helps.


Stephan A. Greene                            sgreene at
Senior Systems Specialist, VA Linux Systems  sgreene at
Mid-Atlantic Region                          1-888-LINUX-4U x5774
Amateur  KA1LM at  Grid FM18hx        38 59'83.33"N 77 23'6.15"W

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