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Remote DVD drives

The EBN server — the real one, the box in a data centre with dual power supplies and lots of other jazz — is about to be re-fitted with OpenSUSE on it. That means swapping some drives around. At least, that assumes that the machine actually supports running OpenSUSE on it. It’s a dual-cpu, dual-core, 8GB Sun X4200M2, which seems like a reasonable target to try, and what I’ll do is swap out the existing disks and swap in the disks from my home test system (which is a one-cpu, dual-core, 4GB system). However, I wanted to try out the new OS on the machine before actually bicycling all the way to the data centre at the uni.

Enter, once again, Sun’s ILOM.

Man, this stuff is great. The console redirector can not only show me the video output (from the 8MB ATI RageXL or whatever bit of cruft is in there) and give me a local console keyboard, but it can also redirect the DVD drive. I consider that pretty amazing. Consider: I have an ISO image of OpenSUSE at home. Right now the server, 9km away, is booting off of that ISO image — I don’t need to have a physical CD, or be near the machine at all. Sure, it’s sucking up all the bandwidth on my DSL to transfer blocks from the ISO image to the server, but it’s starting .. and then panicing into a reboot some time after starting the Linux kernel, so let’s try that again in the morning :)

2 Responses to “Remote DVD drives”

  1. Chris Hills Says:

    ILOM isn’t unique in this feature. Dell’s DRAC can do it too! Very handy.

  2. andrnils Says:

    ILOM is a great feature, though I’ve only worked with HPs ilo.

    Why not point it at iso hosted at a opensuse server? Should result in a much quicker install :)