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Re: [Xen-users] entry-level XCP server using Intel desktop components

On Fri, Feb 10, 2012 at 9:17 AM, Scott Damron <sdamron@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
> Why on earth would you need to administer XCP via a serial port?!?

It's nice to have truly out of band access to systems. This way you
can make networking configuration changes with confidence, boot into
different kernels, or collect a server's last gasp of air if it
crashes. Given that serial terminal servers are affordable even on the
OP's budget, it seems a no brainer:

Unfortunately, most motherboards can't do *full* serial redirection,
where the POST details, memory check, BIOS settings, etc... are all
available over the COM port, so we're often stuck with serial
management of the bootloader and beyond only. The boards that can do
full serial redirection tend to be expensive "server" boards.

For the OP, I'd keep an eye open for Intel boards that feature AMT:
This is a neat setup that with a VNC server independent of the OS. It
allows full KVM access to the system even when it hasn't booted yet,
and also allows booting of the system off of remote media (an CD
image, for example). AMT is generally available on Intel's "desktop"
grade motherboards.

I believe that AMT used to allow the management traffic to live only
in a particular VLAN, but that feature has been removed. This may
introduce a security risk to your Dom0, so you might consider
installing additional NICs for use by the OSes and leave the onboard
NIC dedicated to the management feature. ...And plug it into a trusted
"management" subnet.

An inexpensive alternative to IP KVM is to snag an old RILOE board
from ebay. These are basically video cards with an network interface
for remote display. They require an external cable to plug them into
the server's keyboard port.

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