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IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console
Managers
IBM Redbooks Product Guide
The IBM Global 2X2X16 Console Manager (GCM16) and IBM Global 4X2X32 Console Manager
(GCM32) are the next generation digital keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) console managers that provide
KVM-over-IP and serial console management technology in a single appliance. Either console lets you
access and manage all servers remotely, even to the system BIOS, using your existing IP infrastructure.
The GCM16 has 16 target ports and supports up to 2 local users and 2 remote users, and the GCM32 has
32 target ports and supports up to 2 local users and 4 remote users. Figure 1 shows these two models.
Figure 1. The IBM Global Console Managers: GCM16 (top) and GCM32 (bottom)
Did You Know?
The GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers provide enhanced remote management, access, and
security capabilities with out-of-band access to servers, network equipment, and other devices with serial
configuration or console ports all from a single appliance. This unified approach improves staff efficiency
by reducing the time required to remotely diagnose, reconfigure, repair, or restore servers as well as
network devices and other hardware with serial configuration or management consoles, or both.
The serial capabilities of these appliances enable connecting and managing nearly any device with a
serial port directly from the console manager, including switches, routers, and PDUs. SSH and Telnet
connections are supported.
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
1
Part number information
Ordering information is shown in Table 1. Note that when ordering with feature codes, use machine
type-model 1754HC1 for the GCM16 and 1754HC2 for the GCM32.
Table 1. Ordering part numbers and feature codes
Description
Part number
GCM16 feature
code
GCM32 feature
code
IBM Global Console Manager GCM16
1754D1X
1754HC1 fc 6694
Not applicable
IBM Global Console Manager GCM32
1754D2X
Not applicable
1754HC2 fc 6695
IBM USB Conversion Option (UCO)
43V6147
1754HC1 fc 3757
1754HC2 fc 3757
IBM USB Conversion Option (UCO) 4-pack
39M2895
1754HC1 fc 3756
1754HC2 fc 3756
IBM Long KVM Conversion Option (KCO) 4-pack
39M2897
1754HC1 fc 3754
1754HC2 fc 3754
IBM Virtual Media Conversion Option Gen2 (VCO2)
46M5383
1754HC1 fc 5341
1754HC2 fc 5341
IBM Serial Conversion Option (SCO)
46M5382
1754HC1 fc 5340
1754HC2 fc 5340
The IBM GCM16 Global Console Manager includes the following items:








16-port console switch
Mounting hardware for EIA space for rack sidewall compartment
One 1U filler panel
Two C13/C14 rack power cables
RJ45-DB9F DCE adapter for use with Setup port
RJ45-DB9M DTE adapter for use with Modem port
16 terminators for daisy-chaining configurations
Installation publications and warranty
The IBM GCM32 Global Console Manager includes the following items:








32-port console switch
Mounting hardware for EIA space for rack sidewall compartment
One 1U filler panel
Two C13/C14 rack power cables
RJ45-DB9F DCE adapter for use with Setup port
RJ45-DB9M DTE adapter for use with Modem port
32 terminators for daisy-chaining configurations
Installation publications and warranty
Each of the Conversion Option parts listed in Table 1 ships with:



One Conversion Option (4-packs have four)
One CAT-5 cable (four-packs have four)
Installation publications and warranty
The GCM digital console switches enable you to share one workspace (keyboard, mouse, and display)
across many target systems. The target systems are connected to the console switch via CAT-5 cables
and the appropriate conversion option at the target end. Conversion options are available with either USB
or PS/2 connectors. Connections to serial devices are also supported with serial conversion options.
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
2
With server densities continually increasing, cable bulk remains a major concern for network
administrators. The GCM16 and GCM32 switches significantly reduce KVM cable volume in the rack by
utilizing the innovative conversion option cables and single, industry-standard CAT-5 UTP cabling. This
allows a higher server density while providing greater airflow and cooling capacity. In addition, multiple
target systems can be daisy-chained together using CAT-5 cables, and then all connected to the console
switch using one cable, thereby eliminating a lot of cable clutter.
Feature comparison
The GCM16 and GCM32 replace the GCM2 Global Console Manager. Table 2 compares the console
switches.
Table 2. Comparison of features (part 1 of 2)
Feature
GCM16
GCM32
Model
1754D1X
1754D2X
Number of local concurrent users
2
2
Number of remote concurrent users
2
4
Local user connections - KVM
VGA + 2x USB
VGA + 2x USB
Local user connections - total USB
4 (including 2 for K & M)
4 (including 2 for K & M)
Maximum number of target systems - Direct (ARI
ports)
16
32
Maximum number of target systems - Daisy-chained
256
512
Maximum number of target systems - Tiered
configuration
1024 (2 levels)
1024 (2 levels)
Maximum video resolution
1600 x 1200 standard
1680 x 1050 widescreen
1600 x 1200 standard
1680 x 1050 widescreen
User interface
Web GUI (local and remote) Web GUI (local and remote)
Manage remotely with Virtual Console Software
(VCS)
Yes
Yes
Manage remotely with Avocent DSView 3
Yes*
Yes*
Keep Alive feature in Conversion Options
Yes
Yes
IPV6 support
Yes
Yes
* GCM16 and GCM32 include a 60-day trial of Avocent DSView 3 management software
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
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Table 2. Comparison of features (part 2 of 2)
Feature
GCM16
GCM32
User Authentication via user database in console
switch
Yes
Yes
User Authentication via remote LDAP server
Yes
Yes
AES encryption
Yes
Yes
Manage serial devices
Yes
Yes
Manage intelligent power devices
Yes
Yes
Smart Card or Common Access Card support
Yes
Yes
Support for USB Conversion Option, UCO (43V6147
and 39M2895)
Yes
Yes
Support for KVM (PS/2) Conversion Option, KCO
(39M2897)
Yes
Yes
Support for Virtual Media Conversion Option Gen2,
VCO2 (46M5383)
Yes
Yes
Support for Serial Conversion Option, (SCO)
46M5382
Yes
Yes
Virtual media
Yes
Yes
Gigabit Ethernet (10/100/1000 Mbps)
Yes (2)†
Yes (2)†
Serial port
Yes
Yes
Modem port for out-of-band access
Yes
Yes
Firmware upgrades to the console switch
Yes
Yes
Firmware upgrades to the COs
Yes
Yes
Input power
100-240V, 50/60 Hz
18 W power
100-240V, 50/60 Hz
24 W power
Redundant power supplies
Yes
Yes
† Ethernet ports are redundant for increased availability
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
4
Connections
Figure 2 shows the connections on the GCM32 Global Console Manager. The GCM16 Global Console
Manager has identical connections except it only has 16 ARI ports, whereas the GCM32 has 32 ARI
ports.
Figure 2. Connections on the GCM32 Global Console Manager
Note: Figure 2 shows the rear of the unit. There are no connectors on the front of the unit.
Features
Details about the features of the GCM16 and GCM32 are as follows:
Number of local concurrent users:
The GCM16 and GCM32 console switches enable one or two local user to access any attached servers. If
the target device is currently in use, the user attempting to gain access will be given an opportunity to
force a connection to the device if their preemption level is equal to or higher than the current user’s level.
If the user attempting to gain access has a lower preemption level, the active user will be asked if they
wish to give up control to the new user (a timeout is also configurable).
The GCM16 and GCM32 both support two independent local users as shown in Figure 3. One local user
attaches to the VGA and USB ports on the console switch as shown in Figure 2. The second local user
attaches to a tiered (slave) console switch (see "Tiered consoles" below for more information). These two
ports are independent of one another (that is, not pre-emptive or shared). This configuration allows you to
place a console in every rack, for local connectivity to those servers complete with local KVM access,
plus tier up to a master console that has local KVM access to all the servers attached to all attached
console switches.
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
5
Figure 3. Two local users in a tiered configuration
Local user connections:
Local displays are connected to the console switch using VGA analog connections. Keyboard and mouse
must be USB attached and two USB ports are provided for this purpose. Two additional USB ports are
provided for the attachment of devices such as optical drives or memory keys. These devices can be
made available on remote target systems provided Virtual Media Conversion Options are used to connect
to those target systems. Note, however, that the Virtual Media Conversion Option does not support
chaining of target systems.
Target systems:
The GCM16 has 16 target system ports (known as analog rack interface or ARI ports) and the GCM32
has 32 target system ports. These can be directly attached to systems with the appropriate USB or PS/2
conversion option connector on the end. These connections use standard CAT-5 cables. You can
increase the number of connected target systems by two methods: chaining or a tiered arrangement of
switches (more about these below). Both methods mean that each of the 16 or 32 ports will have multiple
systems connected to it. You can mix connection methods.
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
6
Remote access via Ethernet or Modem:
Remote access to console switch and to the target systems is via a Web browser. The switch provides
agentless remote control and access. No special software or drivers are required on the attached servers
or client. Access is normally via a standard Ethernet network, requiring that the console switch be
connected to the network via one or both Ethernet ports. Connecting both ports provides redundancy.
Additionally, if a modem is connected to the modem port on the console switch and the modem is
connected to a telephone (PSTN) system, then you can dial the console switch via your modem and
establish an out-of-band connection to the console switch using the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) for
remote control. V.34, V.90, or V.92 connections are supported.
Conversion Options:
These are cable-connector combinations that are connected between the CAT-5 cables from the console
switches to the target systems. Figure 4 shows the five conversion option cables available for use with the
console switches. The part numbers are listed in Table 1.
The KVM Conversion Option (KCO) is suitable for target servers with VGA and PS/2-style mouse and
keyboard connections. The USB Conversion Option (UCO) is for systems with VGA and USB
connections. The Virtual Media Conversion Options (VCO and VCO2) supports the virtual media
capability of the console switches; however, they do not support chaining. We describe both virtual media
and chaining later in this document.
Figure 4. Available conversion options
The built-in memory of each connection option helps simplify configuration by assigning and retaining
unique server identification codes for each attached server. This integrated intelligence enhances security
and helps prevent unauthorized access to a server through cable manipulation. The connection option is
powered directly from the server, providing Keep Alive functionality even if the server is not powered on.
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
7
Local and remote user interfaces:
The OSCAR interface of older console switches has been replaced by a Web browser interface, which is
accessible both locally and remotely. You can use the local management interface by connecting directly
to the local port to manage the GCM16 and GCM32 switches. You can also use the remote browser
interface to manage your switch. The browser interface is launched directly from the switch, and any
devices connected to the GCM16 and GCM32 switches are automatically detected. The local and remote
user interfaces share a similar look and feel.
Virtual Media:
The GCM16 and GCM32 support virtual media when the target systems are connected using the Virtual
Media Conversion Option Gen2 (VCO2), part number 46M5383. You can use virtual media support to
connect USB 2.0 media devices to the console switch using one of the four USB ports and make those
devices available to any connected system. With this feature, you can install software; install, upgrade, or
recover the operating system; update the BIOS code; or boot the target system from a USB drive.
Control of how the USB device is connected to the target system is managed through the user interface.
The browser interface presents the following configuration options:

Virtual Media Locked: The locking option specifies whether a virtual media session is locked to the
KVM session on the target device. When locking is enabled (default) and the KVM session is closed,
the virtual media session will also be closed. When locking is disabled and the KVM session is
closed, the virtual media session will remain active.

Allow Reserved Sessions: Ensures that a virtual media connection can only be accessed with your
username and that no other user can create a KVM connection to that target device. When the
associated KVM session is disconnected, the virtual media session may be disconnected according
to the Locked setting.

Write Access: With this option, you can specify whether the target system can write to the USB
device (assuming it is writable).

Encryption: You can configure encryption levels for virtual media sessions. The choices are: None
(default), 128-bit SSL (ARCFOUR), DES, 3DES, and AES.
Note that USB ports are assigned to a single virtual media session and cannot be independently mapped.
This means you cannot map one USB device to one target system and another USB device to another
target system.
Use of LDAP and smart cards to authenticate access:
The GCM16 and GCM32 support Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) for integration with
existing authentication/security models. This ensures that you maintain only one set of user credentials
and can maintain strict password rules.
The GCM16 and GCM32 switches also allow you to use smart cards to ensure access is authorized.
Smart cards are pocket-sized cards that store and process information. Smart cards such as the Common
Access Card (CAC) can be used to store identification and authentication to enable access to computers,
networks, and secure rooms or buildings. Smart card readers are connected directly to the switch via one
of the USB ports, or they can be connected to any remote workstation that is running the remote browser
interface or DSView management software and is connected to the switch using an Ethernet connection.
Note: For smart card use, the target device must be connected to the console switch using the Virtual
Media Conversion Option Gen2 (VCO2), part number 46M5383.
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
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Use of encryption:
The GCM16 and GCM32 support encryption for KVM signals and for remote media. Available encryption
levels are 128-bit SSL, DES, 3DES, or AES. These are configurable via the browser interface.
True serial capabilities:
The GCM16 and GCM32 switches support Serial Conversion Option (SCO) cables that provide serial
capabilities through Telnet. The capability provides a proper serial connection, not serial-to-VGA
conversion. You can launch an SSH session or a serial client from the on-board Web interface to connect
the targets that are connected to the GCM16 and GCM32 switches with an SCO cable. The SCO includes
a separate USB-to-barrel power cord adapter - see Figure 2. Connect the USB end of the adapter to an
available USB port on the target system to supply power to the SCO.
Managing Intelligent Power Distribution Units
The dedicated Power Distribution Unit (PDU) ports on the GCM16 and GCM32 switches support the
direct attachment of certain Avocent-branded Intelligent PDUs and can provide the ability to view and
manage these units directly through the switch. IBM Intelligent PDUs are currently not supported.
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
9
Chaining
IBM’s cable chaining solution enables users to manage a "daisy chain" of multiple servers through a
single connection to the console switch, replacing many long cables with just a few short ones, simplifying
rack management, helping lower cabling cost and reducing setup, diagnostic, and maintenance times.
The daisy-chain connectivity has the added advantage of thin, flexible, industry-standard CAT5 cabling
and standard RJ-45 connectors, eliminating the need for one-to-one, dedicated cable connections
between KVM switch ports and managed devices. This cable chaining solution allows up to 16 target
systems to be chained together and connected to one port on the switch.
Figure 5 shows an example of chaining three target systems from one port on the console switch. Each
conversion option part number includes a CAT-5 cable to connect it to either the console switch or its
neighbor conversion option. The console switch includes the terminator needed at the end of the daisy
chain.
Figure 5. Chaining using USB Conversion Options
Note: The Virtual Media Conversion Options (VCO and VCO2) do not support chaining.
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
10
Tiered consoles
You can tier multiple rack console switches to enable access to additional servers. In a tiered system, an
ARI port on the main rack console switch connects to the ACI port of a tiered rack console switch (see
Figure 3 for locations of these ports). Consider a tiered configuration if you want to manage servers
connected to multiple switches from one central location. For example, you could have a primary GCM16
console switch with 16 switches tiered underneath it that all have servers chained on their ports.
The GCM16 and GCM32 support two levels of tiering. The use of virtual media and smart card
authentication are both supported only when primary and secondary switches are GCM16 or GCM32
console switches.
Figure 6 shows an example of tiered consoles.
Figure 6. Tiered consoles
If there are local users attached to other tiered consoles, each can control target systems connected to
that specific console. The local user at the primary console (Local user A in Figure 6) can preempt other
local users if necessary.
The GCM16 and GCM32 support up to 1024 target systems in a tiered configuration.
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
11
Physical specifications
The GCM16 has the following specifications:
Height: 4.37 cm (1.72 inches) - 1 rack unit (1R)
Width: 43.18 cm (17 inches)
Depth: 32.4 cm (9.2 inches)
Weight: 3.2 kg (7.0 lb)
The GCM32 has the following specifications:
Height: 4.37 cm (1.72 inches) - 1 rack unit (1R)
Width: 43.18 cm (17 inches)
Depth: 32.4 cm (9.2 inches)
Weight: 3.5 kg (7.6 lb)
Operating environment
The adapter is supported in this environment:

Temperature:



Operating: 0° to 50°C (32° to 132°F)
Non-operating: -20° to 70°C (-4° to 158°F)
Relative humidity:


Operating: 20% to 80% (relative, non-condensing)
Non-operating: 5% to 95% (relative, 38.7 °C maximum wet bulb temperature)
Warranty
The GCM16 and GCM32 have a three-year limited warranty.
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
12
Avocent DSView management software
Avocent DSView management software provides data centers with a secure, centralized management
solution for all IT assets. This software allows administrators to access, diagnose, and modify any
managed device from any point on the globe, regardless of the health or status of the OS or the network
connection to those devices. This software effortlessly extends the IBM GCM16 and GCM32 KVM and
serial management capabilities to include support for blades, embedded service processors, virtual
servers, and other 3rd party devices in heterogeneous data center or remote office environments, making
them more manageable, accessible, extensible, and secure.
This comprehensive control and manageability solution delivers secure, automated, real-time tracking
and control of all your physical and virtual servers and embedded technologies, providing increased
agility and security with a tangible return on investment.
Avocent DSView 3 software features:




Single, secure, browser-based interface to manage your entire datacenter or remote office
Manages both physical and virtual assets
Hub and spoke architecture for redundancy and real-time synchronization
60 day free software support
The Avocent DSView software carries a 60 day free trial and support. After purchase, the software will be
supported under warranty by Avocent. Extended maintenance is available from Avocent.
The part numbers for the management software are listed in Table 3.
Table 3. Ordering part numbers and feature codes
Description
Part
number
GCM16 feature
code
GCM32 feature
code
Avocent DSView Hub (100 devices)
46M5379
1754HC1 fc 4170
1754HC2 fc 4170
Avocent DSView Standard Pack (500 devices)
46M5380
1754HC1 fc 4171
1754HC2 fc 4171
Avocent DSView Plus Pack (2000 devices)
46M5381
1754HC1 fc 4172
1754HC2 fc 4172
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
13
Supported systems
The console switches are supported connected to the IBM BladeCenter chassis listed in Table 4.
Table 4. Supported IBM BladeCenter chassis
Part number
IBM Global 2x2x16 Console Manager (GCM16)
1754D1X
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
IBM Global 4x2x32 Console Manager (GCM32)
1754D2X
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
The console switches are supported connected to the IBM System x servers listed in Table 5.
Table 5. Supported System x servers (Part 1)
Product description
Part
number
IBM Global 2x2x16 Console Manager (GCM16)
1754D1X
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
IBM Global 4x2x32 Console Manager (GCM32)
1754D2X
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Table 5. Supported System x servers (Part 2)
Product description
Part
number
IBM Global 2x2x16 Console Manager (GCM16)
1754D1X
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
IBM Global 4x2x32 Console Manager (GCM32)
1754D2X
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
See the IBM ServerProven Web site for the latest compatibility information:
http://ibm.com/servers/eserver/serverproven/compat/us/.
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
14
Supported racks
The GCM16 and GCM32 Console Managers can be mounted in one of the following rack cabinets:









IBM IBM 42U S2 Rack
IBM 42U Enterprise Rack
IBM 25U S2 Rack
IBM 11U Office Enablement kit
IBM S2 42U Dynamic Standard Rack
IBM S2 25U Standard Rack
IBM 1200 mm Deep Static Rack
IBM 1200 mm Dynamic Rack
IBM 42U Enterprise V2 Rack
Related publications and links
For more information refer to these documents and Web links:

IBM Digital Console Switches product page
http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/x/options/rackandpower/kvmdigital.html

Global Console Manager GCM16 and GCM32 Installation and User's Guide
http://ibm.com/support/entry/portal/docdisplay?lndocid=MIGR-5083733

Virtual Console Software Installation and User's Guide
http://ibm.com/support/entry/portal/docdisplay?lndocid=MIGR-5083731

IBM Redbooks Product Guide for the IBM 1U 17-inch and 19-inch Flat Panel Console Kits
http://www.redbooks.ibm.com/abstracts/tips0731.html?Open

IBM US Announcement Letter
http://ibm.com/common/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=dd&subtype=ca&&htmlfid=897/ENUS110-043
IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
15
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IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
16
This document was created or updated on March 28, 2013.
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IBM 1754 GCM16 and GCM32 Global Console Managers
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