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Re: DATACENTER: Serial console concentrator/server

On Sat, 06 Nov 1999 19:03:57 PST,
+++ Joseph Chin <[email protected]> (joseph) said:

joseph> What do you think is the "best" solution for aggregrating access to serial 
joseph> consoles of 10-25 Sun/UNIX servers? Majority of my servers are Sun 
joseph> E250/E450/Netra T1, but there are a few Intel (LB440GX-based gray boxes) 
joseph> and Compaq that support console redirect to serial port.

joseph> I would like to be able to bind an IP address to each serial port, so that 
joseph> one can "telnet <an IP address>" to reach the console. Access control via 
joseph> Radius/Tacacs would be nice too.

joseph> The solution I am most familiar with is based on the Cisco 2509/2511 access 
joseph> servers? But that is alot of $$$ and density beyond 16-ports is not so 
joseph> great. What do you think?

Cisco will work, but they have a problem with Suns interpreting
power-down as a BREAK signal.  There are workarounds to this, but most
involve disabling the BREAK signal interpretation on the servers.  A
friend of mine developed a smart adapter that actually blocks the
power-down BREAK but permits an actual BREAK.  If anyone is interested
in that adapter, let me know -- I've been bugging him to turn it into
a "real" product for some time :).

As far as other solutions, I like the Lightwave ConsoleServer 3200,
which does not have the BREAK problem, and can handle up to 32 ports
per chassis.  It also buffers 64K of console output per port, but has
a pretty high per-port cost compared to other solutions ($200+ per
port depending on chassis density).  There are some server-attached
solutions from Aurora that also avoid the BREAK problem.  The Digi
(nee Central Data) scsiTerminal is nice and cheap (server-attached),
but also has the BREAK problem.

Mark D. Nagel <[email protected]>, CCIE #3177