[Date Prev] [Date Index] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Index] [Thread Next]

Re: Using conserver with vmware

Chris Fowler cfowler@outpostsentinel.com
Wed, 7 Dec 2011 14:02:29 GMT

On Wed, 2011-12-07 at 07:15 -0600, Joe Greco wrote:
> Anyways, the point here is that we're trying to get rid of unnecessary
> hardware.  We're already ahead of the curve in terms of getting rid of
> lots of serial ports, terminal servers, and associated wiring.  I do
> encourageyou to look at this issue and see if you've not made your
> environment more complicated than necessary by adding a multiport
> serial board. 


I don't do migrations.  My environment is not as complex.

I use VMware to provide me guests for running my software and for
development needs.   The only migration I have done has been to convert
a guest into real hardware.   

I have expanded my guest usage by using Rackspace and I expect to grow
into using them a lot more.  They do not support any form of headless

"Both of THOSE problems would be solved if there was a
well-integrated feature in conserver to listen for connections."

Years ago I considered myself a "UNIX guru".  I thought I knew
everything there was about UNIX.  I thought I was a UNIX administrator.
I was naive.  When I purchased "Advanced Programming in the UNIX
Environment", read it, and then starting coding.  That is when I learned
UNIX.  I guess it was when I was able to really start telling UNIX what
to do instead of it telling me what to do.

If you were to go down the path of making work what you have instead of
modification of VMware and conserver then I would write a program on the
host that runs conserver that listens for connections.  I've not thought
about your problem in detail so what I suggest may not solve it.
Configure conserver to connect to pseudo ttys on the host.  Those ttys
are created by the process that listens and marries the pseudos to the
remote device.  I've done this many times when I've written serial tcp
code and RFC2217 type stuff.  

Administrators don't like to program because programming is boring and
the task of CS grads.  No son, programming allows you to be the boss of
your systems not a slave.  You don't like what your server is doing.
Tell it how to do it better.  I'm not a CS grad.  I'm an administrator
that has followed the path of a Jedi.  

I have another problem with VMware that I can't fix since I don't have
the VM code.  VMware does not respect tty settings in the guest and
apply those on the host.  Not only do I have a serial port in my server
I also have an 8 port modem board.  VMware treats these ports as raw
with no flow control.  When old ascii devices dial in and dump alarms I
miss data when the software is too busy doing stuff to listen that ms
for incoming data.  My solution is to remove that part of the software
out of the guest and run it on the host directly.  Another solution is
to go real hardware with that piece.  It may be possible to write code
on the host that loops and sets the termios settings on that tty.  I've
not tried that.

The good news is that all of us here know how nice it is to work from
home, office, etc and not go to a data center.  So many other folks look
at crash carts as a viable solution.  The only time I ever go to our
rack is when I have to touch hardware.  I can control power and get to
the console without leaving the comforts of my man cave at home.