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Multi-port serial add on cards

Link to this post 15 May 09

I'm the senior sysadmin for the company I work for. We do linux based health information management servers. On our servers, we typically have three modems (support, claims, fax) and sometimes various lab instruments that all connect via serial.

Right now, we use an 8 port serial card by Equinox/Avocent (SST-8), but the driver quite honestly sucks. The device doesn't have native kernel support, and the source they supply for a kernel module doesn't like to compile against current kernel versions. I'm basically sick of fighting with it.

I've considered using USB->Serial adapters, but would rather stick with a PCI card.

Does anyone have positive experiences with any of the (8 port or above) serial cards out there that have native kernel support? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Link to this post 15 May 09

isaac wrote:

I'm the senior sysadmin for the company I work for. We do linux based health information management servers. On our servers, we typically have three modems (support, claims, fax) and sometimes various lab instruments that all connect via serial.

Right now, we use an 8 port serial card by Equinox/Avocent (SST-8), but the driver quite honestly sucks. The device doesn't have native kernel support, and the source they supply for a kernel module doesn't like to compile against current kernel versions. I'm basically sick of fighting with it.

I've considered using USB->Serial adapters, but would rather stick with a PCI card.

Does anyone have positive experiences with any of the (8 port or above) serial cards out there that have native kernel support? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

The only 8-way serial port card that I ever used was the Moxa CP-168U. It did not have native kernel support, but the provided driver worked like a champ - never one issue. I know what you mean about recompiling the driver every time you encounter a different kernel, tho. that is annoying.

Link to this post 15 May 09

Thanks for the reply :)

I'll have to check those out if nobody knows of one that has native support.

I'll take one with a non-native driver that actually compiles reliably over what I've got now.

One with in-kernel support would be ideal though, because I currently have to exclude the kernel from automatic updates, and every so often go back and manually update the kernel and rebuild the driver against that version on each server. Not a big deal when you have a couple of systems, but I have 30 remote hospital servers that I'm responsible for, plus all of our internal devel, testing, and production boxes. It can get a tad bit tedious, heh

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