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Re: KVM over IP suggestions?

  • From: Alexei Roudnev
  • Date: Tue Aug 23 02:09:19 2005

DELL's DRAC-III is waste of money.

DELL's DRAC-IV is a very good thing, and I find it replacing al consoles
around (it have embedded monitoring with e-mail and SNMP alerts; have VNC
based console servcie with perfect /not ideal, through/ mouse
syncronisation, haVE VIRTUAL cd (SLOW, BUT WORKING) AND VIRTUAL FLOPPY,
EASY-TO-USE INTERFACE (except strange password management), and so on.

Compaq's RIB cards was good but expensive and nbot very reliable.

Serial console can be fine, but do not eliminate normal console in many
cases.

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Kevin" <kkadow@gmail.com>
To: <nanog@merit.edu>
Sent: Monday, August 22, 2005 1:26 PM
Subject: Re: KVM over IP suggestions?



On 8/22/05, Matthew Black <black@csulb.edu> wrote:
> On Mon, 22 Aug 2005 11:15:23 -0400
>  "Drew Weaver" <drew.weaver@thenap.com> wrote:
> >            Howdy, I'm looking for a way to give our remote users access
> > to their servers, perhaps a KVM-IP solution. What we need is support for
> > multiple users (more than 2), with access control that limits what users
> > can connect to what ports on the KVM switch, and would allow you BIOS
> > level access and os-installation type control over the server, would
> > also be nice if it worked with windows and linux/unix based systems.

Where possible, I strongly prefer to work with serial console on a
hardware platform with firmware serial console support.  This works
for any OS that supports a command line, including Windows Server
2003.

Dell includes serial console support in the BIOS on "servers", and
offers an enhanced remote management card which appears to work as a
KVM-IP solution for Windows and (some versions of) Linux.

I've never tried their DRAC/ERAC, only the serial console BIOS.
All of the commercial remote serial console products we've considered
so far have had serious security and/or usability flaws.  This
includes Cisco, Lantronix, Raritan, Digi, etc.


> We have a non-IP switch from Raritan and saw presentations on their
> IP KVM products. Seemed pretty impressive. One problem you may want
> to focus on is screen resolution since the video output must be
> converted to IP packets with a lower refresh rate. We're planning
> to buy a few of these switches for remote monitoring.

The "IP Reach" video compression is bearable for installation and
recovery.  Video quality is degraded, but unless you really cannot
stand moire patterns, it'll take an hour or so staring at the display
before your headache becomes unbearable.

I have experience with Raritan's "Paragon IP Reach" products, and they
do work, but are expensive for such a low port density.  Also it has
been very difficult to work with tech support to make the Paragon
product with a RADIUS server for OTP access control.

The newer "Dominion" line may be better;  I've heard some complaints
about their serial console products, nothing either way about KVM.

Kevin Kadow





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