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

Mark Hahn hahn at mcmaster.ca
Tue Sep 29 23:26:55 PDT 2009

> Any good recommendation on a crash cart for a cluster room? My last

I've got a rolling cart, 15" vga and keyboard, not a big deal.
it's technically an AV cart - provides two other shelves, and 
enough space for a pad or some tools, even a node sometimes.

> nodes. How do other sys admins handle this? Just a simple crash cart?
> Or there any other options that make life easier in the long run.

thank goodness for lan IPMI (bios, serial console redirection) - 
it keeps me out of the machineroom 99% of the time.  heck, it keeps 
me out of the dozen other machinerooms that our ~30 clusters are in.

> Note that for my head nodes etc. I do plan on having a small (4 port)
> KVM in the main rack with its console and rackmount keyboard. I guess

not worth it imo - I'd use the crash cart, since the need is so rare.

> I'm not trying to be cheap here but just splurge a bit and get a
> solution that will make late hours of debugging a little more
> palatable for the sys-admins!

ipmi ipmi ipmi.  try to avoid the obnoxious nonstandard proprietary POS's 
that vendors push.  you want remote power on/off/reset, then serial
redirect and hopefully bios redirect too.  then temperature monitoring,
and SEL access.  this should be in every entry-level server IMO.

you know the vendor has jumped the shark if/when they provide xml-based
scripting and offer licensed extended features rather than standard ipmi

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