On the grass just outside the entrance to our Menlo Park campus, there’s a big brown rectangle where they had the Blackbox sitting; it’d been taken up to San Francisco for the Analyst Summit and Education conference.

I was talking to a Canadian sales guy whose territory includes a whole lot of mountains and forests and so on; he told me he thought he could sell a few. I wondered about the pricing, and his come-back was instructive: “Pricing? We’re talking about operations at the end of a long dirt road with blackflies in the summer and blizzards in the winter. Do you have any idea how much you’d have to pay skilled people to do the work up there? And with the economy hot, you might not even find anyone willing to go. You can set up a Blackbox in regular office hours in a warehouse in Winnipeg.”

Hmm, I’ve never used the lights-out management tools on any of our servers. They’d better be good.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Alan Nichols (Feb 11 2007, at 08:25)

I have used the lights out management tools on Sun servers. They are very, very good.


From: David Magda (Feb 11 2007, at 09:29)

It's hard to understand how 'insidious' blackflies can be, though every time someone mentions them I'm reminded of this song:


It inspired the following animated short (be warned the refrain can be very, very addictive):


(The NFB is truly a wonderful entity that's produced some wonderful films over the years.)


From: David (Feb 12 2007, at 02:36)

In actual fact, the x86 remote management interface is pretty good. The Java (of course!) console is annoying, but still stomps on everything I've seen from anyone else.

From our unofficial guide at work, "Choose 8bit - the 8bit console redirection is buggy and slow - the 16bit is worse". Problems with it (while I'm here):

- under windows will only run on your primary display

- under windows can only have one open at a time

- tends to drop out without telling you (frame rate: 0.0)

But like I said, it's better than anything I've seen from anyone else. I only use the remote console for emergency surgery to get openssh running, and for anything other than the console, the interface is really quite nice (and comprehensive).


From: rama (Feb 12 2007, at 11:12)

Tim- LOM commands vary from machine to machine (to much the dismay of our Operations staff), but its slick stuff. You should give a whir, as it'll give you a new-found respect for why Sun hardware is so nice. If you want to check out a box on SWAN, I can arrange for it. rama at sun dot com.


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