[Beowulf] Remote console management

John Hearns john.hearns at streamline-computing.com
Fri Sep 23 03:26:38 EDT 2005


On Thu, 2005-09-22 at 22:30 -0500, Bruce Allen wrote:

> 
> The nodes we are currently considering (dual opterons, supermicro 
> motherboard) do support serial bios access.
I think you might have picked something up wrong here. Should do.
Then again I don't know which exact motherboard
you have in mind. Please email me off-list, and I'll see if we have
a corresponding system under build which I can look at.


> 
> > It looks like all serial consoles/remote management cards/kvm's tend to be 
> > around $500-$1000/node, which tends to be ~50% the cost of the compute node 
> > (in our clusters).
> 
> The IPMI cards add $60 - $80 per node which works out to $30 - $40 per 
> CPU.  This is reasonable.
This agrees with what I said in my previous reply.
When you are speccing new systems, the IPMI option doesn't add much to
the cost.

Also make sure your systems builder configures the IPMI cards for you
too (as we do).


> In any case the cost is much less than the $500 - $1000 per node that you 
> quote.
> 
> So I would be interested in hearing the experiences of others who have 
> done this.
We have lots of experience with this.
All of our clusters are configured to use serial terminals.
Our recent builds are offered with an option of IPMI management cards.
I work with them every day, and it is a big help for remote systems
admin.

I very politely disagree with Joe Landman - our customers often use the
Cyclades, as do we also when logging in remotely to eg. reboot  nodes.

Joe also mentions Serial-over-Lan with IPMI cards. I politely agree
there! It is supported, but I'm not sure what the status is with Linux,
and I've never experimented with it (as I say, we use the physical
serial port). My guess is that it will work in Windows.



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