Kelly Stezer wrote:
Personally, I recently priced intel server systems from a
variety of major
vendors including Dell, Compaq/HP, IBM, and Sun (intel-based).
All of them offered (proprietary?) ethernet-based remote management.
None offered serial management.
Dell poweredge servers have had console redirection to serial port for a while.
I can’t recall how far back, and I haven’t personally used them, but they’re definitely there.
“Console redirection allows you to manage a host (local) system from a client (remote) system by redirecting keyboard input and text output through a serial port. You cannot redirect graphic output. You can use console redirection for tasks such as configuring BIOS or RAID settings.”
That comes from the documentation for a current dell poweredge 650 1U
When purchasing the 1U’s, another thing that must be figured into the final cost are the rack rails and mounting hardware. Not all servers play well with different vendor’s racks, not all rails work with all rack types. You may not always get the rails with an ebay purchase, and a rack full of 1u’s without rails is a management nightmare.
That brings up a whole other issue, cable management. If you’ve ever worked with a bunch of 1Us, keeping the cabling from pinching other cabling is really tough (1u doesn’t give you much room). I can imagine what a rack full of 1U’s from varying vendors with different cable management systems would be like. Pull one server out for maintenance, yank the cables of the machine below it. Big fat KVM cables wouldn’t be needed so that would limit it to ethernet, console, and power cable(s), so it might not be too bad. And then again, this isn’t mission critical stuff, and the charter was for a “publicly usable personal 1u” aimed at the lowest price…