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I want to purchase a used Avocent KVM-over-IP device on eBay to manage some servers out-of-band in a data center. I have seen many older ones on eBay in good working condition for a couple hundred bucks, including the cable dongles. Like model 2000 and the like. Seems like a good deal.

Assuming I am willing to take the risk and purchase a working unit from a reputable seller, is there anything I need to beware of? I have seen some references to DSView software. Assuming the used unit does not come with software, is the software needed for Avocent built into the box, or is a separate purchase? Or free download?

Other out-of-band KVM-over-IP that I've used like IPMI from Supermicro the software was in firmware and it was web-based. That's really what would be ideal. Assign an IP to the KVM-over-IP and then control via a browser.

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How old are these servers? Pretty much every server I've purchased in the past 5 years has had some sort of OOB management card installed as shipped from the factory. Dell has their DRAC cards, HP has iLO, Sun, has iLOM, etc. If your servers have those, using that would be far superior to a KVM switch. – EEAA Jul 6 '11 at 1:42
Most are crippled from the factory unless you paid for the upgraded license and/or dedicate module though. The Avocent can integrate with the ILO/DRAC/etc. it's a good product. The dongles can be pricey, but some of them even allow you to mount an ISO over the KVM. Personally I like as few cables in back of my rack as possible and agree with you, go with the built-in units. – SpacemanSpiff Jul 6 '11 at 1:50
@SpacemanSpiff - yep, very true. It's so nice to not have to deal with a separate KVM device, though, for the cabling reason you mentioned, and several others. – EEAA Jul 6 '11 at 1:55
these supermicro servers about 2-4 years old and they do not have any kvm-over-ip built in nor is it available on the models i have. so i need an external unit. – paul p Jul 6 '11 at 2:02

We've purchased the Dell-branded Avocent units used from eBay over the years and had success. The last time I checked the Dell KVM client was a free download from Dell's web site. It may well work with the Avocent units (non-Dell branded) too but I've never tried it.

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hi thank you. can you tell me some of the model numbers you have had success with and if they worked with usb kvm over ip (not just ps2). thank you – paul p Jul 6 '11 at 4:35

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