From: April Sims (
Date: Mon May 01 2000 - 10:39:52 CDT

Thanks to:
Robert Keay, Mark Bialik, Ron Olphie, Matt Reynolds, Bruce Zimmer, Leonid
Knyshov, Raj Jangalwa, Steve Hatle, Kevin Colagio, Joseph McCall, Matt
Bolt, Ron Nelson, Seth Rosenberg, Francois Marcos, Raymond Wong, Dan Lowe

Vote Tally
Apex 1
Belkin 1
Black Box 5
Cybex 4
Lightwave 1
Raritan 1 positive 1 negative
Rose 3

Already knew that Cybex was highly recommended in the NT world with Raritan
being negatively recommended. Wasn't aware of Rose but the other
companies are familiar.

Dan Lowe recommended an inexpensive solution using Cisco routers:

KVM for Suns is not really necessary, and probably would cost far more than
it would be worth.

What you should do is get something like a Cisco 2509 or 2511, which has
serial console ports off the back.

Using a 2509 or 2511 you'd need an Octal cable also available from Cisco,
which is a cable that makes one concentrator port (on the cisco) into eight
serial ports (by spreading out into eight cable-ends).

The 2509 has 8-port capability, the 2511 has 16-port capability.

The cable-ends terminate in RJ45 connectors - what you want to do is buy
some RJ45 to 25-pin serial hoods, which you can then wire up to do serial
console. The pinout is pretty simple inside the 25-pin hood:

   pin2 = black
   pin3 = yellow
   pin4 = white
   pin5 = blue

Also, you can get the 2509-rj or the 2511-rj models which are nicer because
it's RJ45 on the back of the cisco, no need for the (sometimes messy) octal
cables. I prefer the RJ models because the cable management is easier.

You can do something similar with the Livingston Portmaster2E-30 unit,
which has 30 ports, but is a lot bigger than a Cisco unit. The Livingston
has RS232 off the back, and cable management with those can get downright
ugly if you aren't making your own RS232 cables (which most people don't).

The Cisco 25xx routers are about 1U in height, the Livingston is (I think)
3-4U in height. Ciscos are rack-mountable, the Livingstons require a

There are other products of course that can do this, but I've only used
those two. Happy hunting!

April Sims MCSE, CNE Abilene Christian University
Systems Administrator ACU Box 29005
Information Technology Abilene, TX 79699 Vx:(915)674-2681 Fx:674-6724

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Fri Sep 28 2001 - 23:14:06 CDT