SUMMARY (partial): multiple suns - 1 keyboard & monitor

From: Rob Allan (
Date: Wed Jun 21 1995 - 10:16:55 CDT

Sorry for the late summary but we've been rearranging our computer room.

The original post:


Our computer room is starting to get crowded and I thought I could start putting
our suns on a rack. All of our servers/gateways are pizza boxes so
I could probably stack up quite a few on a rack.

I have a few concerns that I thought somone else out there had already
dealt with. I would really appreciate any experiences anyone has had.

1. What are the heat concerns? Our room doesn't have any special air
   conditioning. How many machines could I stakc on top of each other?
   (If any.)

2. I have seen ads for boxes which let you control multiple suns with one
   keyboard and monitor. Any experiences to share? Some of our suns have
   monochrome graphics cards and some have color, would this work?


Most responses came from people who use terminal servers to access multiple
suns via the serial ports. This seems to be ok if you don't need direct
graphical access to the workstations.

One person said that Sun's cluster product might be useful for this purpose,
but it is a bit of overkill for just console sharing.

Some people said that removing monitors from a computer room is a "good thing"
because it can significantly reduce the power consumption and cooling
requirements. (This will let a UPS last longer as well.)

Lots of people were interested in any info on monitor/keyboard sharing
products. Sadly, noone wrote of actually using such a beast. My helpful
Sun sales rep. was able to get me a product sheet; it is for a device from
Network Technologies Inc. (NTI). It supposedly supports up to 48 workstations
at a time. The pricing for a 16 port system was $4325 US. I have not had the
time to contact the company, their numbers are: US 800-742-8324,
CAN 800-626-7801, UK 0800-894-710. I would like to here from anyone who is
using this device.

We ended up stacking two pizza boxes to a shelf and sharing a monitor. We
left a lot of room behind the rack so that we cna get back there and switch
monitor cables.

One thing, our monochrome workstations didn't work with a color screen and our
color workstations didn't work with a monocrhome screen.

Hope this is helpful,

Rob Allan |
Ontario Hydro | Tel. (416) 592 4195
Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Fax (416) 592 4966

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