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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    174

    Type of KVM/IP switch with something extra..

    Hi,

    KVM/IP switches are a wonderfull thing, aren't they?
    Lifesavers they can be..

    Anyway, I'm looking for a module compareable to KVM/IP, but with the extra feature to remotely mount an image using an USB port of a server.
    Basically so its possible to install a server remotely over IP, w/o having a physicall CD in the KVM/IP switch (or using hardware similar to IPMI's from HP/Dell/SM). Does such hardware excist?
    I don't need multiple users to log in, or to control multiple server at the same time (login for each server would be handy though). Only 6~8 ports are required.

    The only problem I could forsee with it is that my rack might get messy.. 8 servers, 8x2 powercable (A+B), plus 8x2 UTP, plus KVM, plus USB..

  2. #2
    I havent done in myself, but isnt it possible to a network install of linux? Would that not be a possibly easier alternative to mounting the image?
    http://www.mtcmedia.co.uk - Professional web design, ecommerce and web development solutions
    E-mail Alan @ Mtcmedia.co.uk

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    174
    It is, but not all servers got decent support for network boots, and it just has this nasty habit of going wrong when installing 2k3.

    And next to that, such a switch would also make it possible to remotly use things like an ultimate boot disk.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    490
    Freedom9 KVM/IP supports virtual media so you can mount a local or network image to the USB port.

    We have been using the Freeview 100 without problems.

    They have an 8-port model at http://freedom9.com/products/product.php?p=10

    I'm not sure if they actually have 8 USB ports or if you can only have one active virtual media at a time.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    174
    Hi MKC,

    Thanks for your reply. Any chance you know a dealer located in europe?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    490
    Not sure about europe. We bought off provantage which will ship internationally, though.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    174
    mkc, thank you very much.
    If anyone else has more suggestions or feedback on such switches, I'm glad to hear about it (planning on installing it begin febru, so still some time).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Ashburn VA, San Diego CA
    Posts
    4,571
    I've thought about that idea myself but came up empty, so I ended up going with full network based reloads. If you use RDS (remote deployment services built into server 2003) for your network windows installs, it's practically bullet proof. Yes it's a pain to set up initally, but now it is hard to believe we did manual installs before.

    If you can't get RDS running, maybe leave a w2k/2003 disk in the drive and use network install only for linux installs.
    Fast Serv Networks, LLC | AS29889 | Fully Managed Cloud, Streaming, Dedicated Servers, Colo by-the-U
    Since 2003 - Ashburn VA + San Diego CA Datacenters

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    /dev/null
    Posts
    2,131
    When it comes to Virtual Media-enabled KVMs, there are only a few options that come to my mind:

    1) Avocent DSR series
    Costs about $4000 for the 32 port version
    Each server dongle/SIP will cost another $150-200
    You'll need to purchase the viewing software (DSView) license at another 2000 (around).

    2) Raritan KXII series
    Costs about the same price as the Avocent
    The dongles also cost around $150-200
    No software purchase needed. Browser (Java) based.
    Will mount an image over SMB.

    3) Lantronix Securelinx Spider
    There is no 1U appliance, it's only the dongles, that work daisy-chained.
    Each unit costs around $400
    No software purchase needed. Browser (Java) based.
    This one is the one that ThePlanet adopted recently.


    I wonder the best choice is the Lantronix, but never tested them (the others I have already used; the Raritan is very nice and is the same technology used by Supermicro's AoC-SIMSO+ IPMI cards).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    521
    I use this when I need to: http://www.startech.com/Product/Item...1115IPEXT&c=US

    It gets the job done and can mount and install over USB. But it is slow and impractical. In remote locations it might be a life saver. But in reality if you are close to the data center like I am, you just end up driving over and popping in a CD. It looks like StarTech makes some 4 port and higher models of this single port unit now also. Check out their line. Interface is so-so. But works when tweaked correctly for the internet connection / VNC client.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    L.A., CA
    Posts
    3,706

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