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Dynamic, On-Demand Keyboard/Video/Mouse and Console Redirection Over USB

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000022123D
Publication Date: 2004-Feb-25
Document File: 5 page(s) / 66K

Publishing Venue

The IP.com Prior Art Database

Abstract

Disclosed is a method with three distinct implementations: an embedded server function, an embedded laptop/workstation function, and a specialized USB device, or "USB key". Benefits include automatically redirecting the console when the USB Device is plugged-in, and reducing the total area needed for the keyboard, mouse, and video connectors.

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Dynamic, On-Demand Keyboard/Video/Mouse and Console Redirection Over USB

Disclosed is a method with three distinct implementations: an embedded server function, an embedded laptop/workstation function, and a specialized USB device, or “USB key”. Benefits include automatically redirecting the console when the USB Device is plugged-in, and reducing the total area needed for the keyboard, mouse, and video connectors.

Background

Local console redirection in a rack environment is traditionally done using terminal emulation software. The software monitors the console output that is redirected by the BIOS to a physical serial port or to a LAN session. The BIOS must be preconfigured for serial console redirection. To access the console locally, the client system must be connected to the local LAN or serial port. To access via the LAN requires an accessible Ethernet port, which typically requires extra equipment such as an Ethernet hub. Physical access to the hub must be provided somewhere in the rack to allow the service technician to be present at the system while using the console. Serial console ports are typically placed in the rear of the unit, making physical access difficult. In the serial port implementation, the physical port is typically dedicated to the console purpose (i.e. not reusable for other functionality).

General Description

Figure 1 shows a block diagram of the disclosed method. The following are the three implementations for the disclosed method:

§         Embedded server function. This enables a common laptop to connect to the system over a standard USB cable by providing a USB Series “B” Receptacle (see Figure 2). The system implements two new USB Device Classes, “System Console Access Point” and “System KVM Access Point”. These USB functions provide a USB Host application with the ability to access the system’s serial console and keyboard-video-mouse connections via a single USB port/connection. The disclosed method includes an application and USB driver that runs on the laptop. The application opens the USB Device driver for the “System Console” and “System KVM” access points and maps the system’s video to the laptop’s monitor and the laptop’s keyboard and mouse inputs to the system.

§         Embedded laptop function. This enables a laptop equipped with a USB Series “B” Receptacle to function as a system console or KVM emulation (see Figure 3). In this implementation, the laptop application uses a new USB driver that emulates the USB Device classes for Human Interface Devices, Video, Monitor, and Console. The USB driver monitors a USB Series “B” Receptacle on the laptop that is connected via a standard USB cable to a server’s USB Host port. The disclosed method includes server hard...