[rescue] x86 vs. SPARC BIOSes (was: Small servers (was Re: WTT: 1.5G of PC2700 for 1G of PC100))

Ian Finder ian.finder at gmail.com
Thu May 8 22:53:55 CDT 2008

*edit --

But before I get too sarcastic here, I don't think the serial
management port drops you to any sort of pre-boot configuration-- it
only allows you to get a OS X console or stripped down network
configuration wizard *post-boot*, which is why the Xserve used to
require the use of a PCI slot for a video card, and now has one

I agree with all of you that this continuing trend of needing a video
card and local keyboard to change preboot settings-- whether on an
OpenBoot, EFI, or PC BIOS platform, is broken by design-- not to
mention ridiculous given how easy it'd be for a manufacturer to
implement such a facility in their preboot environment. And on a
high-end rackmount server like the Xserve, it's inexcusable.

What I'd like to find is a server with an always available embedded
supervisor processor that provides ethernet and serial connections for
configuration, and unlike some SPs I've seen (like in the SunFire
V20zs) has the ability to change eeprom-stored boot parameters that
are used by the normal processor's boot sequence. It could also attach
via an internal serial port, and make the port available over telnet,
providing the functionality of those little ethernet to serial
embedded boxes.


On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 10:37 PM, Ian Finder <ian.finder at gmail.com> wrote:
> On Thu, May 8, 2008 at 2:35 PM, Mark <md.benson at gmail.com> wrote:
>> On 8 May 2008, at 19:27, Sevan / Venture37 wrote:
>>>> Does EFI not open this type of possibility?
>>> As beautifully demonstrated on Macs? ;)
>> You meant he ones with no serial ports? :)
> Yeah, If only Mac servers had serial management ports like, umm, I dunno, these:
> http://www.apple.com/xserve/design.html
> - F

 Ian Finder
 ian.finder at gmail.com
 finder | solutions - IT on your terms

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