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Old 12-31-2009, 02:28 AM
Thomas Harold
 
Default CAT5 IP-capable rackmount KVM units?

Rather off-topic, but I'm looking for IP-based KVMs (~16 ports) that can
handle both PS/2 and USB hookups on the server side. All of the answers
over at Slashdot are a few years out of date and it looks like prices on
KVM head units have dropped a bit over the years.

Some of the older units only worked with Windows, Internet Explorer and
ActiveX. Others like the ATEN KH1516i supposedly use Java and are far
better from a cross-platform point of view.

I'm on the fence about the CAT5 cables over the more traditional style,
it seems like the CAT5 cable system would give a lot more flexibility in
dealing with USB vs PS/2 servers (or even serial only?). The bigger
advantage with the CAT5 stuff seems to be fewer length limitations and
less space used in the rack for the head unit.

I'm guessing that the CAT5 adapters are going to be proprietary?
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Old 12-31-2009, 03:49 PM
Brian Mathis
 
Default CAT5 IP-capable rackmount KVM units?

On Wed, Dec 30, 2009 at 10:28 PM, Thomas Harold <thomas-lists@nybeta.com> wrote:
> Rather off-topic, but I'm looking for IP-based KVMs (~16 ports) that can
> handle both PS/2 and USB hookups on the server side. *All of the answers
> over at Slashdot are a few years out of date and it looks like prices on
> KVM head units have dropped a bit over the years.
>
> Some of the older units only worked with Windows, Internet Explorer and
> ActiveX. *Others like the ATEN KH1516i supposedly use Java and are far
> better from a cross-platform point of view.
>
> I'm on the fence about the CAT5 cables over the more traditional style,
> it seems like the CAT5 cable system would give a lot more flexibility in
> dealing with USB vs PS/2 servers (or even serial only?). *The bigger
> advantage with the CAT5 stuff seems to be fewer length limitations and
> less space used in the rack for the head unit.
>
> I'm guessing that the CAT5 adapters are going to be proprietary?


I'm using an Avocent DSR1020 and it works just fine. The admin
console is web-based and works with Firefox, and the remote console
app is java based. I've only used it on Windows, but I think any
system with a java install would support it.

The way it works is that you buy the main console box, and then you
buy dongles for each server that you need to control. Dongles can be
VGA/PS2, VGA/USB, or VGA/Sun. They probably have other too. They all
plug into a CAT5 cable on the back of the dongle and then into the
main console unit. The dongles are proprietary, and there's no way
you're going to get around that with any vendor.

I can't speak to CAT5 as far as length is concerned, as I'm only using
it within the space of 1 rack, but I can say it's far easier to deal
with CAT5 cables in a rack than the traditional type (very long fat
VGA cables with additional PS2/USB cables glued on). They fit into
cable management more easily, and with a rack full of servers you save
a lot of space with thinner cables.

Overall using CAT5 is a lot easier, just don't make the mistake of
thinking that it's ethernet. CAT5 just provides the wires, the
signaling is proprietary and would probably fry an ethernet port if
you plugged one in. I suggest using different color cables
specifically for the KVM connections.
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:16 PM
Daniel Bird
 
Default CAT5 IP-capable rackmount KVM units?

Thomas Harold wrote:
> Rather off-topic, but I'm looking for IP-based KVMs (~16 ports) that can
> handle both PS/2 and USB hookups on the server side.
I've been using the AdderView CatX series of IP KVM's for quite a while.
They are very good.
http://www.adder.com/uk/catx-kvm-switches.aspx

Remote connection is via a VNC client (java based from the CatX device
or a local install) and host connection is made via "Computer access
modules"
http://www.adder.com/uk/products/cam_ComputerAccessModule.aspx?sid=

ATB
Dan
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Old 12-31-2009, 04:52 PM
Miguel Medalha
 
Default CAT5 IP-capable rackmount KVM units?

> Overall using CAT5 is a lot easier, just don't make the mistake of
> thinking that it's ethernet. CAT5 just provides the wires, the
> signaling is proprietary and would probably fry an ethernet port if
> you plugged one in. I suggest using different color cables
> specifically for the KVM connections.
>

That may be true for the solution you know but certainly it is not true
for many solutions out there. Look for "KVM over IP".

As a quick example, see this page:

http://www.lindy-usa.com/kvm/extenders-listed-by-features/kvm-over-ip/

You can even control equipment over the Internet.


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Old 12-31-2009, 05:41 PM
Drew
 
Default CAT5 IP-capable rackmount KVM units?

> That may be true for the solution you know but certainly it is not true
> for many solutions out there. Look for "KVM over IP".
>
> As a quick example, see this page:
>
> http://www.lindy-usa.com/kvm/extenders-listed-by-features/kvm-over-ip/

Miguel,

What you're referring to is accessing the KVM box itself via IP, which
the Aten does allow. What Aten *also* does is use CAT5 cable to link
the KVM switch to various adapters which plug into the server(s). It's
the signalling on those lines that Brian was referring to, not
remotely accessing the KVM itself.


--
Drew

"Nothing in life is to be feared. It is only to be understood."
--Marie Curie
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Old 12-31-2009, 05:49 PM
Miguel Medalha
 
Default CAT5 IP-capable rackmount KVM units?

> What you're referring to is accessing the KVM box itself via IP, which
> the Aten does allow. What Aten *also* does is use CAT5 cable to link
> the KVM switch to various adapters which plug into the server(s). It's
> the signalling on those lines that Brian was referring to, not
> remotely accessing the KVM itself.
>
>

Ok! Sometimes we jump to conclusions without reading carefuly. Sorry!
Thank you for the explanation.
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:11 PM
John R Pierce
 
Default CAT5 IP-capable rackmount KVM units?

Thomas Harold wrote:
> Rather off-topic, but I'm looking for IP-based KVMs (~16 ports) that can
> handle both PS/2 and USB hookups on the server side. All of the answers
> over at Slashdot are a few years out of date and it looks like prices on
> KVM head units have dropped a bit over the years.
>


my suggestion? get servers with an integrated TCP KVM, like Dell's
DRAC, or HP's iLO (for which you need to spend $150 or so extra to
enable 'advanced iLO'), and be done with it. not only KVM but virtual
CD/DVD for installing, troubleshooting.
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Old 12-31-2009, 07:25 PM
Brian Mathis
 
Default CAT5 IP-capable rackmount KVM units?

On Thu, Dec 31, 2009 at 3:11 PM, John R Pierce <pierce@hogranch.com> wrote:
> Thomas Harold wrote:
>> Rather off-topic, but I'm looking for IP-based KVMs (~16 ports) that can
>> handle both PS/2 and USB hookups on the server side. *All of the answers
>> over at Slashdot are a few years out of date and it looks like prices on
>> KVM head units have dropped a bit over the years.
>>
>
> my suggestion? * get servers with an integrated TCP KVM, like Dell's
> DRAC, or HP's iLO (for which you need to spend $150 or so extra to
> enable 'advanced iLO'), and be done with it. * not only KVM but virtual
> CD/DVD for installing, troubleshooting.

Yup, that's the best way, but for older servers it's hard to add them,
so a remote KVM and a remote power switch is sometimes the best you
can do.
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Old 12-31-2009, 08:18 PM
Benjamin Donnachie
 
Default CAT5 IP-capable rackmount KVM units?

2009/12/31 Brian Mathis <brian.mathis@gmail.com>:
> I'm using an Avocent DSR1020 and it works just fine.

I'm quite happy with Avocent kit, but haven't tried it from non-IE browsers yet.

Ben
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