Best solution to replace Neoware Thin Console on IBM i 520

I have a client with a 520 server that has always had a Thin Client console attached to HMC 1.  Today the thing appears to have died.

What is the best solution for replacing that device since Neoware doesn't exist and IBM seems to have no idea what to do.  They asked where the client got the thing client - they got it from IBM.

There are redundant Ethernet cards in the machine.  I was wondering if I could just set up a LAN console on the box but I have never done that before.  

Advice would be appreciated.
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dcgrindleAsked:
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Jon SnydermanCommented:
We have run it to this as well.  Those consoles were really easy and great, but tech support did not even know they existed.

As for connectivity type, you definately want to switch to LAN console.  I was a hold out, but there are actually some really cool benefits, like access to it from anywhere.

As for the hardware, you can use a PC but then you have the failure points, etc.  

Bosanove (now 10Zig) has a prebuilt this client with client access preloaded.  With some tips, it works really well and it avoids the issues related to a PC.

If you go that route, post when you get it and I can post some setup tips to avoid some headaches.

To switch a system console type, there is a series of steps from the front panel.  Its not difficult but it must be done and it slightly different per system type.  So we need to know the model and type to help woth that.

~Jon Snyderman
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dcgrindleAuthor Commented:
I requested information from 10Zig I haven't gotten a chance to return their call yet but they mentioned that the versions they have are either twinax or LAN.  They don't offer a replacement for the HMC connected thin clients.

Since this one is HMC connected is that what you are referring to in your statement about switching the console type on the system panel?

If you have used both solutions (LAN PC console and 10Zig) do you find one better than the other for any major reason?

Thanks
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Jon SnydermanCommented:
Yes, that's what I was referring to.    There is no HMC attached console anymore (beyond the HMC itself).    Their solution is basically a thin client (like what you have) running Windows XP Embedded vs Linux and with Client Access preloaded with Ops Nav.     But you need to tell the system of the change from HMC to LAN console.  That is where the console comes in.     I would suggest having IBM walk you through this change.   They will do it quick and will ask you the right questions for your system.   While you are going through the setup, have the write protection on the thin client off.   Then, once everything comes up and its the way you want it, turn on the write protection.   Then a reboot of the thin client always bring it back the way you need it.

As for choice, it depends.   I personally don't like the PC dependency (from a windows and hardware perspective) when it comes to our good ol' 400.   I want something that is not going to let me down in a pinch.  I think that these thin clients are the closest thing with no HDD and a write protected OS.

They do come with their own headaches due to the write protection though.   So if you are really a PC guy, you might be fine with the PC and avoid the issues raised by the write protection.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, the best non-twinax solution out there is either an HMC or the unit that you had.    But the HMC is a big added investment and the other is just not available anymore.

Hope that helps

~ Jon Snyderman
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