Chapter 3. Setting Up the SGIconsole Host, Ethernet Hubs, and Serial Port Servers

This chapter provides a description of the steps you must follow to set up the SGIconsole host system to manage and monitor all the servers and graphics systems it supports.

This information is covered in the following sections:

Preparing the SGIconsole Host System

The SGIconsole software runs on a host system meeting certain basic requirements. This section lists these requirements, then describes setting up the host system.

Selecting a Host System for SGIconsole

SGI has tested the SGIconsole software on the following host systems:

  • Dell Latitude D600 laptop

  • SGI 1100 1U rack-mount server

  • SGI 230 Visual Workstation

  • SGI 330 Visual Workstation

  • SGI 550 Visual Workstation

  • Dell PowerEdge 650 1U rack-mount server

  • Dell Latitude C640 laptop


    Note: For more information on tested systems, please see Appendix C, “Tested Host Systems”.


Though compatibility can only be guaranteed with these tested systems, the SGIconsole software should run on any system that meets the following minimum requirements:

  • An Intel Pentium III or later CPU, (1 GHz or higher recommended)

  • A minimum of 512 Megabytes RAM or more recommended, especially if more than 32 systems will be managed)

  • A minimum of 500 Megabytes of available hard disk space (after OS overhead)

  • A CD-ROM drive

  • A 3.5” floppy drive

  • A minimum display resolution of 800x600 (1024x768 or higher recommended)

  • Two Ethernet ports, each capable of both 10-BaseT and 100-BaseT

  • Must run Red Hat Enterprise Linux ES or WS 3.0 distribution

Setting up the SGIconsole Host System

To set up a host system for your SGIconsole software, follow these steps:

  1. Gather the host server (the hardware on which the SGIconsole software runs), the cables you received to connect the SGIconsole hardware to the server and graphics systems it will manage and monitor, the documentation, and other items you received to set up your SGIconsole. (See “Additional Documentation” for a listing of documents you may need to set up the SGIconsole.)

  2. If the host server is not already installed, using the documentation that came with your host server, install it in a location that enables you to easily connect it to the servers and graphic systems it will manage and monitor.


    Caution: To assure a smooth installation of your SGIconsole, please do not power on your SGIconsole until you are instructed to do so.



    Caution: Before connecting the SGIconsole host system to either a 120 VAC or 220 VAC outlet, be sure that the electrical rating on the UL-CSA label is in either the 100-120 VAC range or the 200-240 VAC range, whichever applies. In locations without either a 120 VAC or 220 VAC outlet, contact your hardware supplier before connecting the power cable.


  3. Proceed to “Connecting a Local Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse to the SGIconsole Host”.

Connecting a Local Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse to the SGIconsole Host

This section describes how to connect a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to a tested SGIconsole host legacy system at the site where the host system and the servers and graphics systems reside. This gives you the option of monitoring and managing your servers and graphics systems at the local site. SGIconsole laptop host systems (such as the Dell D600) will not require connection of keyboard, mouse, or monitor.

You will need a local monitor, keyboard, and mouse connected to most legacy SGIconsoles to perform the software configuration of your SGIconsole. If you do not want these items, disconnect them only after you have performed all the software configuration of the SGIconsole.


Note: The instructions presented here are, by necessity, general. Different host systems will have different connection requirements. Laptops, in particular, may be significantly different than what is described in this section. For more specific information, see the documentation that came with your host system.

To connect a monitor, keyboard, and mouse to the SGIconsole host system, see Figure 3-1 as you follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that the power switch on your SGIconsole host system is off and that the host system and the monitor are disconnected from the power source.

  2. Using the cable that comes with your monitor, connect one of the DB-15HD connectors to the VGA port on the SGIconsole host system. Connect the other end of this cable to the connector designated by your monitor documentation (in some cases, the other end will be permanently attached to the monitor).

  3. Connect the keyboard cable to the PS/2 keyboard port on the SGIconsole host system.

  4. Connect the mouse cable to the PS/2 mouse port on the SGIconsole host system.

  5. Connect the monitor to a power source.

  6. Proceed to “Controlling SGIconsole from a Remote Workstation”.


    Note: If the local monitor, keyboard, and mouse will be located more than a few feet from the SGIconsole host system, and if your SGIconsole host system uses standard PS/2-style cables, use SGI cable extension kit DM-KBD-EXT-025-SU to extend these cables by 25 feet (7.5 meters). See Table A-2 for details.


    Figure 3-1. Connecting a Local Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse to an SGI 1100 Server Host System

    Connecting a Local Monitor, Keyboard, and Mouse to an SGI 1100 Server Host System

Controlling SGIconsole from a Remote Workstation

In addition to running and viewing Console Manager on the SGIconsole host system, you may also monitor and manage your servers and graphics systems using a remote workstation.

There are two methods of controlling SGIconsole from a remote workstation. The first method is to run the Console Manager GUI client on the remote workstation. This method is preferred, as it uses the least network bandwidth. The GUI client can be installed on workstations running selected versions of IRIX, Microsoft Windows, or Linux. For further details and system requirements, see the Console Manager for SGIconsole Administrator's Guide (SGI part number 007-4477-00x) or the SGIconsole README file.

The second method is to run the Console Manager on the SGIconsole host system and to remote-display it to a workstation running an X Windows server. This method, however, can use significant network bandwidth. The remote workstation can be an SGI system running an appropriate version of IRIX or an Intel-based system running an appropriate version of Linux. Again, for further details and system requirements, see the Console Manager for SGIconsole Administrator's Guide (SGI part number 007-4477-00x) or the SGIconsole README file.

Follow the steps in this section and see the example in Figure 3-2 to connect a remote workstation to the SGIconsole.

  1. Prepare your remote workstation according to the instructions in your workstation's owner's guide.

  2. Connect your remote workstation to the general Ethernet.

  3. Connect the SGIconsole to the general Ethernet by using a standard twisted-pair RJ-45 to RJ-45 Ethernet cable (for example, SGI part number 018-0830-001) to connect the SGIconsole's LAN 1 port (RJ-45 jack) to your local area network.

  4. Proceed to “Connecting One or More Ethernet Hubs to the SGIconsole”.

    Figure 3-2. Example Connection of Remote Workstation to SGIconsole

    Example Connection of Remote Workstation to SGIconsole

Connecting One or More Ethernet Hubs to the SGIconsole

This section describes how to connect one or more Ethernet hubs to an SGIconsole host system.

Before connecting the Ethernet hubs, you should first have determined how many such hubs you will need, as described in “Determining Ethernet Hub and Serial Port Server Requirements” in Chapter 2.

Connecting the First Ethernet Hub to the SGIconsole Host System

To connect the first Ethernet hub to SGIconsole host system, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that the power switch on your SGIconsole host system is off and that the SGIconsole host system and the Ethernet hub are disconnected from a power source.

  2. Make sure that you have a standard RJ-45 to RJ-45 twisted-pair Ethernet cable (10 feet (3 meters), part number 018-0830-001), as shown in Figure 3-3, to make your cabling connections to one Ethernet hub. If you are connecting the SGIconsole to multiple Ethernet hubs, you need one standard RJ-45 to RJ-45 twisted-pair Ethernet cable for each additional hub you are connecting.

    Figure 3-3. Items Needed to Connect SGIconsole to One Ethernet Hub

    Items Needed to Connect SGIconsole to One Ethernet Hub

  3. Connect one end of one of the standard RJ-45 Ethernet cables to the LAN 2 port RJ-45 jack (the rightmost RJ-45 jack) on your SGIconsole host system. Connect the other end of the RJ-45 cable to an RJ-45 jack on the Ethernet hub. Figure 3-4 and Figure 3-5 show the SGIconsole connected to the leftmost jack of the Ethernet hub. If you are going to use the leftmost Ethernet hub jack to connect to the SGIconsole, make sure that the Uplink button (next to the leftmost jack) is set to Normal (not pushed in).

  4. Connect the Ethernet hub to an appropriate power source.


    Note: Ensure that the power source voltage is appropriate for the Ethernet hub.


  5. If you will be connecting additional Ethernet hubs, proceed to “Connecting Additional Ethernet Hubs to the SGIconsole Host System”. Otherwise, proceed to “Connecting One or More Serial Port Servers to the SGIconsole”.

Connecting Additional Ethernet Hubs to the SGIconsole Host System

To connect additional Ethernet hubs to your SGIconsole host system, follow these steps:

  1. Connect one end of a standard RJ-45 cable to one of the remaining RJ-45 jacks on the first Ethernet hub. Connect the other end of the RJ-45 cable to an RJ-45 jack on the additional Ethernet hub. Figure 3-4 shows the additional Ethernet hubs connected via their leftmost jacks.

  2. Repeat Step 1 for each additional Ethernet hub you will be connecting.


    Note: When cascading Ethernet hubs (that is, connecting an Ethernet hub to another Ethernet hub), using a standard RJ-45 to RJ-45 twisted-pair cable (10 feet (3 meters), part number 018-0830-001), as you face the jacks, connect one end of the cable to the leftmost jack (uplink port) of the secondary Ethernet hub. Connect the other end of the cable to any RJ-45 jack available on the primary Ethernet hub, which is connected to the SGIconsole. Make sure that the Uplink button located next to the leftmost jack of the secondary Ethernet hub is set to Uplink (button is pushed in).



    Tip: For more information about the use of standard and crossover twisted-pair Ethernet cables, see “Standard Versus Crossover Ethernet Cables” in Appendix B.


  3. Connect the Ethernet hubs to an appropriate power source.


    Note: Ensure that the power source voltage is appropriate for the Ethernet hubs.


  4. Proceed to “Connecting One or More Serial Port Servers to the SGIconsole”.

    Figure 3-4. Example Connection of SGIconsole to Multiple Ethernet Hubs (SGI 1100 Shown)

    Example Connection of SGIconsole to Multiple Ethernet Hubs (SGI 1100 Shown)

    Figure 3-5. Example Connection of SGIconsole to Multiple Ethernet Hubs (Laptop Shown)

    Example Connection of SGIconsole to Multiple Ethernet Hubs (Laptop Shown)

Connecting One or More Serial Port Servers to the SGIconsole

This section describes how to connect one or more serial port servers to an SGIconsole host system.

Before connecting the serial port servers, you should first have determined how many such hubs you will need, as described in “Determining Ethernet Hub and Serial Port Server Requirements” in Chapter 2, and connected any needed Ethernet hubs, as described in “Connecting One or More Ethernet Hubs to the SGIconsole”.

Connecting the Serial Port Servers to the SGIconsole Host System

To connect the a serial port server to the SGIconsole host system, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that the power switch on your SGIconsole host system is off and that the SGIconsole host system, the Ethernet hub, and the serial port server are disconnected from a power source.

  2. Make sure that you have a crossover RJ-45 to RJ-45 twisted-pair Ethernet cable (10 feet (3 meters), part number 018-0830-001), as shown in Figure 3-6, to make your cabling connections to one serial port server. If you are connecting multiple serial port servers to the SGIconsole, you need one crossover RJ-45 to RJ-45 twisted-pair Ethernet cable for each additional serial port server you are connecting.

    Figure 3-6. Items Needed to Connect SGIconsole to One Serial Port Server

    Items Needed to Connect SGIconsole to One Serial Port Server

  3. Connect one end of the crossover RJ-45 cable to an RJ-45 jack on one of the Ethernet hubs, and connect the other end to the leftmost RJ-45 jack on the Silicon Graphics EL serial port server. See Figure 3-7.

    Figure 3-7. Example Connection of Serial Port Servers to an SGIconsole via an Ethernet Hub

    Example Connection of Serial Port Servers to an SGIconsole via an Ethernet Hub


    Note: If you will be using just one serial port server and no Ethernet hubs, you would instead connect one end of the crossover RJ-45 cable to the LAN 2 port RJ-45 jack on your SGIconsole, and connect the other end to the leftmost RJ-45 jack on the Silicon Graphics EL serial port server. See Figure 3-8.


  4. Connect the serial port server to an appropriate power source.


    Note: Ensure that the power source voltage is appropriate for the serial port server.


  5. If you will be connecting additional serial port servers, repeat steps 1 through 4. Otherwise, proceed to “Powering-Up Your SGIconsole Host System”.

    Figure 3-8. Connecting a Serial Port Server to an SGIconsole Host System with no Ethernet Hub

    Connecting a Serial Port Server to an SGIconsole Host System with no Ethernet Hub

Powering-Up Your SGIconsole Host System

Once you have connected all required Ethernet hubs and serial port servers to your SGIconsole host system, you can power up all the devices, as described in this section.


Caution: Before connecting the SGIconsole host system to either a 120 VAC or 220 VAC outlet, be sure that the electrical rating on the UL-CSA label is in either the 100-120 VAC range or the 200-240 VAC range, whichever applies. In locations without either a 120 VAC or 220 VAC outlet, contact your hardware supplier before connecting the power cable.


  1. Power on your SGIconsole according to the instructions in that came with your host system.

  2. Power on your Ethernet hubs.

  3. Power on your serial port servers.

  4. Proceed to Chapter 4, “Connecting Managed Systems to SGIconsole via Ethernet”.