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Sena PS 810

Wednesday 20 August 2008 at 6:19 pm Its been awhile for a non-linky factual type post so here goes . . .

The amount of gear going into our datacenter that has a serial console management interface was starting to increase and the number of miscellaneous serial cables going into our servers to manage them was starting to get out of hand (even the datacenter people had started to notice the cable mess - not a good look as datacenter staff can be notoriously picky when it comes to cable tidiness). Plus we'd put some switches into our DMZ to handle gear going into a 'blue' (infrastructure internet gear) and 'red' (public facing services) zone as legs off our firewall appliance. So being able to tweak and check settings on these switches and the firewall appliance itself (should the management web interface be unavailable) was pretty important.

So I went looking for options and discovered the Sena PS 810 - its not a full on 'Console Server' but it does just enough to be useful in terms of providing a telnet console to a serial interface. Sena do make the VTS series which is pitched as a Console Server with more features but from what I can gather its quite a bit more expensive - unless you need all the extras you might find the PS series sufficient for you needs.

Serial and console servers are available from a number of vendors - they used to be more common but as the serial port becomes less important they've become a little more obscure and harder to find. I've heard the HP ones are pretty good and I'm sure the other major vendors have them available too.

What the Sena PS 810 lets you do -

  • Manage and setup the Sena via web interface

  • Map serial ports to telnet ports (ie map serial port 1 to 8 to a telnet port number) - telnet to the Sena on the port number and you'll connect to the serial device

  • Convert serial to IP connections and do com port redirection - ie if you have a bunch of serial devices in a factory you can plug them into this device and remotely control/monitor them as if they were local com ports on a remote computer - we don't need that capability but it could be useful if you need to monitor several UPS devices for example.

What it doesn't let you do -

  • Control the serial device via a web interface (a full blown 'Console Server' will usually let you do this)

I have a feeling it also does support the ssh to serial mapping but I haven't had a chance to experiment with this. We've put this device on our back-end non-routed management network so there is an element of security provided.

How to fold a piece of paper more than eight times + More

Wednesday 20 August 2008 at 06:39 am Cool - How to fold a piece of paper in half more than 8 times

Like Slashdot, gadget sites like Gizmodo & Engadget have lost some of their appeal due to the lack of anything genuinely interesting but this IOGEAR usb vga wireless adaptor is awesome! Now theres no need to worry about noise from your media PC if its not actually in the same room as your TV. Look like the truly wireless PC is coming another step closer.

Interesting photos with hand-made cameras - Miroslav Tich. Nicely grainy and earthy shots. Via the always interesting - Kottke.

Pretty nifty - Like Sun, Microsoft are doing Container based data-centers. Love the modularity - sealed horse-power which you replace when the number of failed boxes within the container reaches a threshold; then you just drop in a replacement container.

I never cease to be amazed by silly browser tricks. Nice transitions.

Unfortunately the beta isn't quite as nice as the screen shots but it still looks promising Circle Dock.

Interesting paper on Digital Face Replacement and you can try it out for yourself on Year Book Yourself.

The old Microsoft Network Monitor hadn't changed much since the NT4 days (much like the Font Control Panel) - the new Network Monitor 3.1 even has a blog and it looks like it would give Wireshark (ex Ethereal) a run for its money.

Humour - 'Llectuals

Saturday 09 August 2008 at 2:49 pm If you're on of those people that despised the 'Pretty White Kids (With Problems)' shows which seemed to dominate the late 90's and into the 00's (stand up Beverly Hills 90210, Dawsons Creek, Felicity etc) then you'll love this piss-take -



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