Serial Port Concentrators vs. KVMs

Guy Coates gmpc at
Thu Apr 24 05:03:41 EDT 2003

The other important aspects are logging and automation.

If you use serial port concentrators you can then you can use the wonders
of Conserver ( to manage and log the console
output, allowing you to capture your kernel panics in their full glory.

You can script against serial consoles, something that you can't do with
KVM. The case we like to taunt our prospective hardware vendors with is:

"How do I change the bios settings of all of the machines in a 200 node

Assuming serial access to the bios, you can automate that process with
expect.  With KVM (or the horribly broken VNC "remote management"
solutions some manufacturers seem so keen on) you have to do it by hand.


Guy Coates

Guy Coates,  Informatics System Group
The Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, Hinxton, Cambridge, CB10 1SA, UK
Tel: +44 (0)1223 834244 ex 7199

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