Console Server Recommendation

Saku Ytti saku at
Wed Feb 1 17:24:44 UTC 2012

On (2012-02-01 09:07 -0800), Owen DeLong wrote:
> I would hardly call conserver software a home-baked solution unless you'd
> also call anything based on OSS a "home-baked solution".

Home-baked, i.e. it's not product you can get shipped and it'll work out of
the box and you have organization supporting it.
The shipping solutions are really nothing else than embedded linux running
conserver or equivalent, opengear even gives many of their oftware for
It's certainly not difficult to roll one yourself, but for many of us, TCO
is lot more than just buying opengear.

> This takes away several of the other features from your list however, that are
> implemented using the conserver software.

The required list is satisfied by multiple offerings, including giving IP
address to console port. So there are products in the market doing exactly
what I want at cost which I'd be hard to reproduce even if I calculate my
time as free.

> I've never seen a case where the control plane console failed to respond
> and I didn't need to reboot the router to bring the control-plane back to
> life anyway. It's not like a router can (usefully) continue for very long
> with a dead/locked-up control plane.

Lot of people don't have way to remotely power cycle devices, if OOB is
separate management-plane, you can power cycle control-plane remotely. It's
probably <50USD BOM addition to list price, which server guys have enjoyed
for over decade and Cisco has been trying to introduce to networking guys.

> Only so long as the BIOS doesn't lose its mind which happens with some
> unfortunate regularity. With a good IPKVM such as the Raritans, I get

If you can access BIOS from console, you can access it via vPRO/AMT. If you
run into more exotic problem, it's cheaper just to swap that 50<100usd
motherboard than to investigate what happened.


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