My problem isn't one you encounter on a daily basis, yet I find interesting enough to share and ask for help. From the beginning: the academic scientific group I am a member of (we are focused on networking-related stuff) got today an ooold SPARC server, which we intend to use as our www/shell account machine (currently we use a pretty poor virtualized solution).
Here's a photo of it: http://i.imgur.com/s8iE9.jpg
The big question is: how do I find out if it's functional and install an OS on it? The thing hasn't got a VGA port which would make things way easier.
We've got a cable that looks like a DB-25 -> COM cable, but it's been reported not to work on a windows laptop with hyper terminal. I've been thinking about monitoring the network ports for any kind of traffic to confirm it's functional and then fiddling with network boot to install any OS on it - is it any good of an idea?
Thanks in advance for any help :)
Time for update #1:
I'd like to thank everyone for their advice! It was all very helpful, however I've run into some problems today. The first problem: http://i.imgur.com/tFgv5.jpg
As you can see, the thing on top was not a Sun Netra, but a StorEdge S1 disk array. The other thing is that I don't have a key, and the manual @lain says that you have to turn it on in the diagnostic mode to get a serial console. My google skills seem to be bad, @voretaq7, because I can't seem to find any information regarding turning on the diagnostic mode :-( Could a locksmith make a key that would fit provided I found a blueprint of the original key?
Here is the other photo: http://i.imgur.com/eFsEf.jpg
That's a big amount of ports there :-o How should I attach the StorEdge to the 4500? I browsed through it's manual and it seems like plugging one end of the SCSI cable to SE's out port and the other to the ,,1'' marked port on the 4500 is a good idea.
As for the DB25->COM cable - it turns out it was custom made, and probably isn't a null-modem one. Where could I find a diagram so I can make one?
I'd like to thank everyone for their input :) You helped me a lot to get the machine running and I don't think I would be able to do it without you. http://i.imgur.com/A9obl.jpg - currently running OpenBSD, but I'll tree Free later on :) Cheers!