[Beowulf] Remote console management

Bill Broadley bill at cse.ucdavis.edu
Fri Sep 23 17:34:22 PDT 2005

With all the console discussions I figured I'd mention that the v20z
management can actually be daisy chained (I.e. 1 foot network cables),
and that the discussion of Masterswitch like devices seemed pretty thin.

I've been using APC 208 3 Phase PDU's for handling power distribution
inside the rack.   I'm interested in people's thoughts.

Something like:

I can power 32 nodes (assuming AMD and not intel based dual or quad cores)
or similar on 2 power strips (so around $550) or $17 per node or so.

To add the ability to turn a node on/off:

$1680 or so for 32 nodes or $52 per node.  So something around $52-$17=$35
per node to add the ability to turn them on/off.  Granted full consoles
would be nice, but for the most part this is enough to greatly reduce
the number of trips to the server room.

It avoid running a management network (lots of cables), any driver/utility
problems (just needs a web browser), and has zero physical footprint (since
you need the powerstrips anyways).  It also blocks no airflow (some racks
can integrate the strips outside the airflow).

Not that I wouldn't appreciate IPMI functionality, but often the price
difference on the quotes I've seen (128 node or so) ends up being more
like $150-$200 per node.  Of course many vendors charge less then that,
but it seems like their margins/prices are higher to begin with.  Not
a complaint, just an observation.

Bill Broadley
Computational Science and Engineering
UC Davis

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