Archive for 29 abril 2014

UAV for remote vKVM on Datacenters

abril 29, 2014

Introduction

This is an idea about the use of Unmanned aerial vehicle (most known as UAV or drones) in order to setup remote Virtual Keyboard Video Mouse device on the fly on Datacenters.

vKVM

Usually when you hire a server in a Datacenter you can have installed a vKVM next to it. A virtual KVM (vKVM) is like a normal KVM switch the only difference is that you usually the KVM device per se does not exist. There is not a physical keyboard, video or mouse. The server where vKVM is will see these devices as actual ones but they are not.

In the other hand this vKVM device usually have a network access. This way a person (the datacenter customer which hires the server) can handle his server thanks to a vKVM client or an special webpage. He handles his server with his own mouse, keyboard, and he sees the server console / screen output in a window.

Current vKVM offer

The current offer would be to buy a server with kKVM builtin and you can just use it (ready to use). Another offer is not having vKVM as an opt-in. When you need it there’s a person which installs it and then you cannot remove that functionality. Finally you might have another offer than cannot add an vKVM even if you wanted one.

New vKVM offer based on UAV

Now most people can opt-in for his vKVM to be installed. It won’t last 4 hours to install as before (waiting for a real person to install and setup it). It will only be about 15 minutes to be installed. Somehow your server is not booting. You cannot wait for a real person to attend you but, in turn, you can wait for 15 minutes to access the vKVM.

That’s your deal!

How would vKVM based on UAV work

There would a series of UAV devices which can navigate around the datacenter. These devices can detect what rack and which server to find. The server is finally detected by a QR tag. Finally the UAV task is to connect the physical vKVM into the server. Either there would be kind of universal plug (serial console), or maybe just a USB connection for keyboard and mouse to work.

vKVM based on UAV Features

  • Avoid meat based devices (a.k.a. humans) collisions
  • Pick up a vKVM device from vKVM storage
  • Connect vKVM to server
  • Detect current rack cabinet
  • Detect current rack
  • Identify current server based on QR technology
  • Avoid other UAV collisions
  • Optional wiki network for vKVM interaction instead of using a ethernet cable for doing so

More uses of UAV

There have been recently some warning articles about many human work being not necessary in the future. One of them is The Future of Employment – Oxford Martin School which you can found explained in a easier manner in: .47% of US jobs under threat from computerization according to Oxford study .

So I’m not sure how easy is to adapt current datacenters to be handled by UAV devices but there are some ideas about you usually request to a datacenter that involves a physical intervention:

  • Replace of faulty hard disk
  • Replace of faulty network device
  • Connect an USB hard disk
  • Replace a faulty network cable

Conclusions

The new robot or computer based era is here to come and soon or later it will come into Datacenters. UAV is an emerging technology. Sometimes using two technologies that were not meant to be used together makes the difference between being succesful or not.

You can find many of them but one famous example might be the iphone (or smartphone if you want). You have been using it for so much time that you might forgot what it’s about:

  • Portable phone
  • Portable jukebox
  • Portable Internet client

Why not having a UAV based computer operator which it’s:

  • Flying device
  • Autonomous
  • able to operate on Servers

?

The future

The datacenter will be automated in a classical maner with robots that interact from either the top roof of the datacenter or from the floor. Somehow similar to how some hospitals take care of their internal package delivery in Japan and other countries.

The next step would be to use UAVs more or less as described in this article.

Finally Computer operators will be replaced by humanoid robots. Not to say here that they will have five fingers in their hands and a minimal Artificial intelligence but I definitely see them having special hand devices designed to handle every kind of hardware device on the datacenter and being able to receive minimal human voice instructions.