View Full Version : Remote Serial Terminal black boxes

12-10-2009, 7:05 PM
Okay here is one for you.

I don't remember what they call these, but back in the day when I was doing System Administration we had either rack mount Serial Terminals to log into servers (Digi use to make one) or we had dedicated black boxes on our HP Unix servers that achieved the same thing by doing a telnet to it. I got rid of the last box in 2007 on my unix graphics cluster at work.

What this would do for us is we could watch the terminal at boot time by connecting to it via telnet even when the system was down. Force a reboot via key commands and then watch it boot and fail with out having to go to the server room and use a KVM with monitor to achieve basically the same thing minus the ability to use the graphical interface.

So my questions.

Do they make these today for modern PC's by plugging into them via USB or some other way?

What do they call them?

Lastly do they make a cheap one that only connects to one PC instead of a rack mount solution? Like a little kvm or something?


12-10-2009, 7:19 PM
An network capable KVM would do the trick.

Raritan makes one.


12-10-2009, 7:32 PM
You're describing a Terminal Server, yes they still make them. They were purely serial (like you referenced) so unless you're trying to use the with a *nix box or the console port of something like a switch or router they won't do you much good. You're probably looking for what elrcastor mentioned.

12-10-2009, 10:00 PM
Thanks guys... the ip kvm looks perfect but sheesh those things are expensive.

Guess it can't be done on the cheap. :(

12-11-2009, 6:18 AM
there are other models of IP KVM's, that just happens to be one i've used

12-11-2009, 12:58 PM
So far your model seems to be the cheapest. Everything else I saw was more expensive.

I'll browse ebay some more and see if anyone is getting rid of a used one on the cheap. So far they are all new and not cheap.

ETA: Actually the Securelinx Spider seems to be the cheapest and pretty cool. In case anyone else cares to look for one.


12-11-2009, 3:31 PM
Raritan's badass.

12-11-2009, 3:41 PM
Console servers. They're still in use.

We use OpenGear - http://www.opengear.com

12-11-2009, 6:35 PM

You can also get a serial console via IPMI if your servers have IPMI.


12-13-2009, 9:32 PM
These work very well: