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System Console - VTs

Posted: Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:00 pm
by vmskostoff
We have a dwindling supply of VTs to perform the function of the system console to our VAX’s, Alpha’s and Itaniums.
What is the best method to transition from VTs to PCs, thin clients, etc.?
What would be the connection scheme?
Thanks in advance for your help.

Re: System Console - VTs

Posted: Mon Jan 27, 2020 8:01 am
by brianreiter
We're down to Itaniums RX2800s only (and have been for years). We put the iLO ports to a dedicated switch along with a spare network port from each the RX2800s. This gives us Telnet or SSH access to all of the Itanium iLOs adding a PC to this switch can then gives us access to all the systems.

In the past, for Alphas (and the Itanium console serial port) we've used Moxa (or some other IP to serial converter ) units to forward on IP traffic to the console port.

Re: System Console - VTs

Posted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 3:34 pm
by willemgrooters
For my main Alpha sever I use a laptop with COM port as a console, only running when needed (when I'm off for at least a few days). Using a terminal emulator that can emulate VT100 (most can) and can access COM port allows console access. If you can access this PC remotely over LAN (either local (rdp) or using a platform like ISL, Teamviewer or Anydesk to manage the PC remotely (be sure to allow this) you have a console you can access freom wherever you have internet access (so setting it up securely is VERY important).
If you manage multiple systems that require a VT-based console, think using a terminal server. Connect PC to port 1, te rest to COM port on any system you need to manage.
For Itanium, my recommendation would be using Brian's suggestion. iLO allows console access as well over the LAN port, both using telnet/SSH or http(s). BEWARE: it doesn;t work if your browser complains about the certrificate on the port...

Re: System Console - VTs

Posted: Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:14 am
by philliphelbig
In my experience, Alphas are happy to reboot without a console, but VAXes are not (i.e. it has to be physically switched on, not just connected). That is something else to keep in mind.

Re: System Console - VTs

Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2021 10:54 am
by abrsvc
I know that I am late to this party, but...

Can you provide more information about the decay of the VT units you have? There is always the possibility of repairing them. Contact me directly if you want to explore the repair option. Depending upon the symptoms, some of the units may be repairable at minimal cost.


Re: System Console - VTs

Posted: Fri Aug 06, 2021 11:05 am
by vmskostoff
Thanks for taking the time to reply. Much appreciated.
Will keep this in mind. Have a host of VT variants, 340s, 510s, etc.

The decay varies, but is screen burn, atmospheric heavy dust particles on the insides of
electronic guts ..... causing some to go "poof". It is a steel shop.

Re: System Console - VTs

Posted: Sat Aug 07, 2021 7:21 am
by abrsvc
Realize that VTs are TVs without tuners in essence. The same things that die in TVs die here too. I have repaired a number of these over the years. HOT (Horizontal Output Transistors), flyback transformers and capacitors are the most common failure parts. Can't do much about screen burn, but I have also combined many into a few working units before too.

Your environment is likely not helping much, but consider the age of these as well. Some I would guess are 30 years old or more.