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Home lab upgrade log – April 26, 2019: "New" IP KVM switch has arrived!

In my last post on the topic of home lab upgrades, I’d stated I was going to use Intel Q370 based mobo’s to satisfy a long-standing need for IPMI/OOB/Lights-out mgmt of my various virtualization hosts

That plan has now changed, as I’ve deiced to go with a more scalable solution that won’t lock me in to building via the older / less available Q730-based motherboards ; as per my previous posts, there are only 3 mobo’s that are Q370 based as of the time of this post, where as there are dozens of Z390 based boards from my preferred OEMS (MSI/Gigabyte)

To achive this, I purchased a used Raritan DLX-108 IP KVM from eBay. The unit has 8 ports, my plans for the next few years are to have a max of 4 hosts, so 8 is plenty!

I did a fair bit of research on the Raritan IP KVM, as the only experience i’ve got with IP KVM units is from my past job, where I used to connect to IBM servers via their own IP KVM implementation. On the Reddit homelab forums, most folks are buying older IP KVM’s from Raritan or Avocent ; Avocent I ruled out due to apparently impossible-to-work-around JAVA issues. Where as most folks reported being able to use the Raritan units with a few Java work-arounds

I got the unit today from the local post office, and immediately hooked it up. The first step was a factory reset. I then connected my main NUC desktop to it via cross-over cable to amend it’s default IP, once this was done, I connected it to my main switch and connected it to my first non-IPMI host, here’s where I ran into a few issues, none of which were completly unexpected.

The unit requires an older Java plug-in , as these are explicitly banned in Chrome, IE was my only choice, here were the steps required to get the java plug-in working

1 – Install java
2 – Open Java control panel > security > site exemptions > added the IP for Raritan IP KVM
3 – Logged on to Raritan unit via IE, within the security > certificate settings, I downloaded the cert, then imported it into the JAVA control panel
4 – I closed / re-opened IE
5 – On reconnecting to the web interface for the Raritan unit, the plug-in started! nice
6 – I then attempted to connect to the HP Prodesk 400 G3 Mini that I’d cabled in to the new Raritan unit, but was getting a “video not available” message, to clear it, I had to reboot the HP Prodesk unit, not ideal, but not the first time I’ve had to restart a server to recover video

So, with the above steps in place, i’ve cleared the path to buy whatever / build based on non-IPMI compliant motherboards đŸ™‚

I’m still keeping my one IPMI complaint computer for use as an esxi / file server, that’s a HP Elitedesk 800 G3 SFF, it’s got intel vPRO support, and works perfectly via web/fat client for lights out stuff


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