Console Servers

James Bensley jwbensley at gmail.com
Wed Sep 19 08:27:33 UTC 2018


On Tue, 18 Sep 2018 at 15:26, Saku Ytti <saku at ytti.fi> wrote:
>
> On Tue, 18 Sep 2018 at 16:39, Alan Hannan <alan at routingloop.com> wrote:
>
> > Long ago I used Cisco 2511/2611 and was fairly happy.  A little later I used portmaster and was less so.  Recently I've been using Opengear and they work fairly well but the price is fairly high.   I use the CM7100 and IM7100.
>
> Out of curiosity, how do you connect them? I see quotes around
> 200USD/MRC for ethernet in US, implying 12kUSD 5 year cost on just
> connectivity, add rack rental, and power and Opengear price is maybe
> 10% of TCO?
>
> Personally I still prefer Cisco, as not to have new operating system
> to automate. Add conserver to connect persistently to each console
> port, so that you get persistent logs from console to your NMS, and so
> that you can multiplex your console sessions.
> It's hard to recover the CAPEX benefit if you need OOB platform
> specific OPEX costs.

For cheap OOB connectivity that scales, I've had some success with
VDSL for OOB console server connections. Note that I didn't say
"great"...

In some DCs I've done mutual OOB swaps with other telcos in the same
suite, this is usually cheap or free (excluding the one time xconnect
cost, in suite xconnects often have no recurring charge) but you need
to track them all, often every swap is bespoke, providers come and go
so you need to replace them, if it's free you sometimes don't get
maintenance alerts ;)

Sometimes the DC provider has an OOB connectivity service that uses
separate transit providers than we use and this often cheap too. Again
this is often bespoke per DC/colo provider though.

The most scalable solution I've been involved in so far is VDSL. Here
in the UK lots of DCs are on-net for the national incumbent VDSL
provider (BT). It means we can have the same style of connection to
most DCs, same physical presentation, same cost, it eases the contract
management for renewing them as we have one supplier etc. The biggest
problem I've experienced with this approach is getting the copper line
to the rack, some DCs charge a small fortune as copper pairs to a rack
is a bespoke service for them, some do it regularly.

I've just moved on from an LLU provider in the UK, a CLEC in US
terminology, we had about 1200 PoPs around the UK most of which were
telephone exchanges. If you want OOB in a DC it's different to a
telephone exchange (well it is here), seeing as the OP hasn't
mentioned if OOB will be in DCs/telephone exchanges/sailing boats/etc.
I think it's worth pointing out tjat VDSL is often not available
within an exchange here and maybe it's the same in the US.

Cheers,
James.


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