We have used a bunch of units in the AP79XX series from APC (7900, 7902, 7932, etc). We did have one 7902 fail, but that is the only unit I recall failing to date. APC was very easy to work with on replacing it, and it was RMAed very quickly. Rebooting and monitoring of total load via SNMP is a nice feature. About the only detraction is per port load monitoring (not a huge problem for us but might be for some). Can find some great deals on ebay, and the zero U 7932 is a great product that maximizes your cabinet space.
KVM over IP, many people recommend the Lantronix Spider, but it is only a single port unit. Combined with an anlog unit with OSD that would be a cheap solution. We started off with something similar and it worked well for starting out on a budget.
We like the Dell 2161DS KVM over IP. Its cheap, a good product (its an Avocent KVM over IP switch), and you can control up to 128 servers with the expansion modules. Plenty of cheap units available on Ebay (Dell was giving them away with large server orders at some point, so there are plenty of them floating around out there).
We have Raritan KX-232 units deployed as well. Their software is pretty good, units are pretty flawless and work well. The newer models (when coupled with USB dongles) support remote media for remote OS loads. You can sometimes find a good deal on these on Ebay, but they are rare and it take patience. Dongle prices can be pricey, unless you buy in big bulk lots.
The other option is deploying a server with built in KVM over IP LOM (Lights Out Management). The new Supermicro Core i7 boards (with F designation) come with this built in as a third network port on the back of the unit. Previous generations offered this by an add-on card that either piggy backed on the second network port, or had a dongle that took up an expansion card slot on the back of the unit.
These days we are opting for the Supermicro based stuff with the built in functionality since it is onboard, we can hand it over to the customer, where as we have to maintain control over the Raritan stuff due to user limits.
Just depends on your application I guess.
Hope that helps.
Last edited by ExpressColo-TomW; 08-06-2009 at 07:56 PM.
I can't give you much information on the KVM over IP, but we've deployed quite a few APC's and they are great, reliable and interface well with other software. I can't say that I'm impressed with the baytechs, I tried two of those and they really rather suck, at least the model I got did.
I spent the better part of February researching this very same question, for a fairly significant deployment. Of all the vendors, I purchased Raritan because they have the best *integrated* solution.
For KVM/IP, they've got a bunch of configurations from low- to high-end, but the main advantage is -- regardless of what unit you get, the whole line features the high-end capabilities (dual power supplies, virtual media, etc.) for "free" -- i.e., no more expensive than competitive equivalents.
For power (switched PDU's), I also went with Raritan because:
(a) what impressed me on the switched power side (I’m formerly an APC shop) is that the Raritan analysis software talks to all switched power products (not just Raritan, but APC, Eaton, etc.). So now, I go to one place and see my APC PDU’s and my new Raritan PDU’s.
(b) their switched PDU’s integrate seamlessly with the KVM -- go to one place to access KVM, and right-click to do a hard shut down.
(c) the Raritan PDU’s uniquely provide metering information for each individual receptacle. That is, not just how much current is being drawn on the whole strip... but "how many kwh is being drawn on this specific power supply?" This turns out to be super useful for provisioning.
So that, combined with the KVM integration, plus the compatibility with my legacy APC and Geist strips, put it over the edge.
I really should get paid for this post, shouldn't I? Maybe I’ll forward it to my local Raritan guy and see if I can get a discount on my next order !!
I installed in May, and the combined implementation is rock solid. No lockups whatsoever. Very easy to brag to the boss (show him the power numbers, explain the efficiency of KVM/IP + switching power, ask for more $$).
Anyways, yeah, like I said…. I spent almost a whole month evaluating all the vendors, so just wanted to save your the effort.
Good screenshots of APC power integration from Raritan's website:
raritan.com >> go to resources/screenshots/power-iq/