WW: Colo Vending Machine

Joe Greco jgreco at ns.sol.net
Mon Feb 20 17:01:27 UTC 2012

> Speaking of that sort of thing, I'd really LOVE if there were a device 
> about the size of a netbook that could be hooked up to otherwise headless 
> machines in colos that would give you keyboard, video & mouse.  i.e. a 
> folding netbook shaped VGA monitor with USB keyboard and touchpad.  I know 
> there are folding rackmount versions of this (i.e. from Dell), but I want 
> something far more portable.  Twice in the past month, I'd had to drive 
> 100+ miles to a remote colo and took a full size flat panel monitor and 
> keyboard with me.  Has anyone actually built this yet?

Not that I know of.  We used to be able to buy Proview PL456S / Mag
Innovision LT456S's 14" LCD's, which are fairly portable and small,
and combined with a small form factor keyboard, that's not a horrible
compromise.  You just jam one in a little spare space in the top of a
rack.  But you can't *get* them anymore.  Monitor sizes have exploded 
in the last half a decade.  Bah.

But from our own experience, the need for a keyboard and display has
decreased dramatically in recent years.  Most server grade gear these
days can be had with IPMI/iLO/whatever, and the use of ESXi makes it
uncommon for us to actually need physical KVM, which means that a small
laptop is an ever-more-flexible tool.  I'm a little curious to know if
this sort of arrangement is still relatively uncommon.

I must admit that our planning and preparedness is designed around a
multi-level strategy to avoid having to go on-site to a site nearly a
thousand miles away, so we've probably instrumented things a bit more
heavily than many networks, but when the cost difference between IPMI-
capable gear and standard gear is a handful of dollars, I guess I am
a bit mystified that anyone would want to "drive 100+ miles to a
remote colo" twice a month for a task that it sounds like KVMoIP or
IPMI might be able to tackle.

... JG
Joe Greco - sol.net Network Services - Milwaukee, WI - http://www.sol.net
"We call it the 'one bite at the apple' rule. Give me one chance [and] then I
won't contact you again." - Direct Marketing Ass'n position on e-mail spam(CNN)
With 24 million small businesses in the US alone, that's way too many apples.

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