Textual LCDs on servers (was Re: NEC SX-4B on Ebay)

Pete Turnbull pete at dunnington.plus.com
Sat Oct 11 04:45:52 CDT 2008

On 11/10/2008 09:39, Ethan Dicks wrote:
> On Sat, Oct 11, 2008 at 10:00:49AM +0200, Jochen Kunz wrote:
>> On Fri, 10 Oct 2008 13:38:10 +0000
>> Ethan Dicks <ethan.dicks at usap.gov> wrote:

>> Well, at least some of the SGI Origin machines had a LCD like this in
>> every node, diplaying various things like CPU utilization etc..
> Interesting.  The largest/newest SGI machines I ever got to play
> with were Onyx and Crimson boxes.
> Could you access the LCD from user-land processes, or was there
> always a system monitor running on them?

It's not in every node -- a node is usually taken to mean a processor 
board, with two R10K or R12K processors and some RAM on it, 4 boards to 
a module, and two modules per rack.  Each module can be used as an 8-CPU 
system, and has its own local management unit, which can control the 
power, reset line, etc.  The module midplanes are interconnected with a 
Craylink to make a larger system, up to 256 CPUs.  The main rack in such 
a system has an LCD working off a little 486-based controller running a 
ROM-based monitor.  It acts as a system monitor and overall manager, 
being connected to the console serial lines of the management units of 
the modules in the rack.  Under Unix you can send messages to the 486, 
and the kernel does this to display system utilisation.

Pete						Peter Turnbull
						Network Manager
						University of York

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