[Beowulf] console hardware?

Michael Will mwill at penguincomputing.com
Wed Oct 19 22:23:30 PDT 2005

Here is my nonvendor-reply:

1. serial console
most rackmounted servers will offer console access on the serial port 
that you can then
connect with a serial cable to a cyclades terminal server (i.e. 32 port) 
or similar
which in turn does allow buffering output so you can do a postmortem 
analysis by
logging into that port and looking at the last pages of output.

2. serial over lan / IPMI
IPMI offers SOL which means that the serial console is made accessible 
through the
network-adapter, and can be connected to from an outside machine. I have 
never evaluated
cyclades offering but I am sure they have something similar to their 
console servers that
allows to buffer output etc and connects via IPMI SOL.

There is also an opensource project called 'conserver' that might
allow you to do the same thing with a simple server since you no longer 
need all those serial
ports or cables.

Michael Will

Simen Thoresen wrote:

> Hi Guys,
> How does one handle console-logging thes days?
> We run a development environment with a number of small clusters of 
> different shapes and some tens of pc- and non-pc type nodes (mostly 
> with Linux) that our developers keep crashing. It would be very useful 
> to hook something up to the nodes to have their last screens of 
> console-output be available, after the fact. Is serial-console and 
> kermit the way to do it, or  is someone building and/or selling more 
> modern solutions? Preferrably, we'd like to just log into a 
> concentrator and be able to read the last several screens logged by 
> the just crashed node.
> What are your experiences and recommendations?
> Any vendors please reply off-list.
> Yours,
> -S

Michael Will
Penguin Computing Corp.
Sales Engineer
415-954-2899 fx
mwill at penguincomputing.com 

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