Re: KVM-over-internet

On 30/01/12 18:57, Rich Walker wrote:
> Possibly a slightly odd request, but has anyone seen something that does
> the equivalent of "attach a 3G dongle to a KVM switch"? We occasionally
> want to get access to a remote computer in a random foreign country
> before it has network connectivity, and this seems like the only
> sensible solution...
>
> cheers, Rich.
>

Adder's CATX-IP range are IP enabled KVM's that run VNC. I have one at
home and it works OK via the net (well enough for occasional admin
anyway). It uses Real-VNC which is a less than lovely app and protocol
but it does the job. I've had good success with the Zoom 4501 3G router
in the past although I've never tried to remote in via 3G (I can imagine
that might be a bit turgid if you have lacklustre 3G reception). It has
the advantage of only being about £40 which is much cheaper than
anything by Draytek and IIRC it has dynamic DNS support which you'll need.

I think the smallest unit adder do is an 8 way for around £300 plus
you'll need at least one "CAM" for it which retails for about £60. If
you only need a single port I believe both Belkin and Startech have
single port KVM over IP boxes on the market though last time I looked
they had pretty middling reviews and they may not actually work out any
cheaper.

Of course if you don't need or want graphics this is all probably
serious overkill!

Roger.
(Continue reading)

John Hearns | 1 Feb 11:26 2012

Re: KVM-over-internet

On 31/01/2012, Nix <nix <at> esperi.org.uk> wrote:
>
> I have one machine which allegedly has IPMI, and at £3000+ it was not
> cheap so you'd sort of expect it to work. It works... for about a day.
> Then the BMC locks up and goes nonresponsive to IPMI requests, only
> recovering if the power plug is pulled and reinserted.

You Mileage May Vary

I'm have been very happy with IPMI, and find it quite dependable.

As an aside, is this an IPMI interface which piggybacks on an ethernet
connection?
(ie there is an internal bridge)
There is a known issue which I uncovered, where the ports used by IPMI
can clash with ports used by the main machine.

There is a sysctl you can set: sunrpc.min_resvport
Set this to  be higher than the IPMI ports
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Nix | 1 Feb 15:34 2012
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Re: KVM-over-internet

On 1 Feb 2012, John Hearns said:
> As an aside, is this an IPMI interface which piggybacks on an ethernet
> connection?

Yes, but even the internal IPMI support via the kernel devices hangs.
It's not just its network interface that's dead.

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James Courtier-Dutton | 1 Feb 16:03 2012
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Re: KVM-over-internet

On 31 January 2012 15:50, Rich Walker <rw <at> shadowrobot.com> wrote:
>
> This isn't server installations, unfortunately - it's specific embedded
> hardware being delivered as part of a package, with a customer whose
> network is usually locked down in all sorts of ways. The KVM->router->3G
> dongle approach will probably be the final solution...
>

This embedded hardware, what is it based on?
Can the software be changed to allow you to plug a 3g card directing into it?
Do you need to see the Display of it via VGA or DVI, or will serial
port access suffice?
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Rich Walker | 1 Feb 19:05 2012

Re: KVM-over-internet

James Courtier-Dutton <james.dutton <at> gmail.com> writes:

> On 31 January 2012 15:50, Rich Walker <rw <at> shadowrobot.com> wrote:
>>
>> This isn't server installations, unfortunately - it's specific embedded
>> hardware being delivered as part of a package, with a customer whose
>> network is usually locked down in all sorts of ways. The KVM->router->3G
>> dongle approach will probably be the final solution...
>>
>
> "locked down" and "having a 3G dongle" seem to be contradicting.
> If you do put 3G dongle there, make sure the customer knows what you
> are doing and that it does not bypass any of their lock down policy.
> Mobile phones in machine rooms is sometimes against policy at some sites.

Not "locked down as in guards", just "locked down as in we can't ssh to
and fro freely". Or, sometimes, get an IP address for a piece of
hardware we brought.

So 3g dongle sort of makes sense.

>
> Kind Regards
>
> James
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John Hearns | 1 Feb 19:05 2012

Re: KVM-over-internet

Alternate solution (1):

employ $spotty_herbert
Buy Easyjet cattle-class ticket
Clamp mobile phone to ear of $spotty_herbert and utilise remote fingers

Alternate solution (2):
You build robots, right?
Ship robot in a box, with webcam eyes and fully working fingers.
Robot takes place of spotty herbert, and saves on hotel bills.

On 01/02/2012, James Courtier-Dutton <james.dutton <at> gmail.com> wrote:
> On 31 January 2012 15:50, Rich Walker <rw <at> shadowrobot.com> wrote:
>>
>> This isn't server installations, unfortunately - it's specific embedded
>> hardware being delivered as part of a package, with a customer whose
>> network is usually locked down in all sorts of ways. The KVM->router->3G
>> dongle approach will probably be the final solution...
>>
>
> This embedded hardware, what is it based on?
> Can the software be changed to allow you to plug a 3g card directing into
> it?
> Do you need to see the Display of it via VGA or DVI, or will serial
> port access suffice?
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>
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Rich Walker | 1 Feb 19:05 2012

Re: KVM-over-internet


That solves almost all the problems.

Except the machines that don't boot because the hard drive fell out :-)

cheers, Rich.

John Hearns <hearnsj <at> googlemail.com> writes:

> Why have a 3G dongle?
>
> Ship a system with an enabled serial connector, plus a modem.
> Ask the customer to plug the modem in to a phone line.
>
> I am being completely serious here. this might be the technically
> sweetest and easiest way to do this.
>
> On 31/01/2012, James Courtier-Dutton <james.dutton <at> gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 31 January 2012 15:50, Rich Walker <rw <at> shadowrobot.com> wrote:
>>>
>>> This isn't server installations, unfortunately - it's specific embedded
>>> hardware being delivered as part of a package, with a customer whose
>>> network is usually locked down in all sorts of ways. The KVM->router->3G
>>> dongle approach will probably be the final solution...
>>>
>>
>> "locked down" and "having a 3G dongle" seem to be contradicting.
>> If you do put 3G dongle there, make sure the customer knows what you
>> are doing and that it does not bypass any of their lock down policy.
>> Mobile phones in machine rooms is sometimes against policy at some sites.
(Continue reading)

John Edwards | 1 Feb 19:32 2012
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Re: KVM-over-internet

On Wed, Feb 01, 2012 at 06:05:29PM +0000, John Hearns wrote:
> Alternate solution (1):
> 
> employ $spotty_herbert
> Buy Easyjet cattle-class ticket
> Clamp mobile phone to ear of $spotty_herbert and utilise remote fingers

But the fingers of $spotty_herbert usually has lots of bugs that can
take years to fully iron out. Very much like the iPhone keyboard.

> Alternate solution (2):
> You build robots, right?
> Ship robot in a box, with webcam eyes and fully working fingers.
> Robot takes place of spotty herbert, and saves on hotel bills.

Why does letting sysadmins build robots sound like a bad idea?
	http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/10/01/bofh_2010_episode_11/

Of course you could mix both ideas and ship $spotty_herbert in a box.

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David Damerell | 1 Feb 23:14 2012
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Re: KVM-over-internet

On Monday, 30 Jan 2012, John Hearns wrote:
>Yes, there used to be remote PCI cards which had serial interfaces on
>them - I forget what they were called. Probably died the death a long
>time ago.

"Real Weasel" were one make, but their Website seems to be kaput.

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James Roberts | 2 Feb 11:20 2012

Re: KVM-over-internet

On 01/02/12 22:14, David Damerell wrote:
> On Monday, 30 Jan 2012, John Hearns wrote:
>> Yes, there used to be remote PCI cards which had serial interfaces on
>> them - I forget what they were called. Probably died the death a long
>> time ago.
>
> "Real Weasel" were one make, but their Website seems to be kaput.

It's hard to see how a product with such a prepossessing name could ever 
fail. Not.

:)

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