The Challenge S is SGI’s entry level server. It is essentially an Indy, with some key parts removed, and some added.
The Challenge S is designed to run as a headless server – as such, it has no ports for a keyboard, mouse, or video out. It also lacks the S-Video in and IndyCam in ports that the Indy has, and also has no sound.
The other main difference is that the primary ethernet port on the Challenge S is AUI – on the Indy it is 10-BaseT. This means that you’ll need to get an AUI transciever if you want to connect to a 10-BaseT or 10-Base2 network on the primary port. However, the Challenge S does come as standard with the Mezzanine SCSI board.
This is a single height GIO board, with 2 fast-wide-differential SCSI ports (providing 2 seperate channels) and a 10-BaseT ethernet port.
Serial port A is where you should plug in a serial terminal to administer the machine. This is deemed the ‘console’ port. I’ve used everything from wretched old VT100 terms, through console networks, to a Palm Pilot.
As it’s based on the Indy, upgrades are very easy. The Challenge S will take the same memory, hard drives, and CPU modules as an Indy. As it shares the same PROM, it could even be configure to have the console as a graphics card. There is room to fit one, even with the Mezzanine card fitted.
More information can be found on the Indy model summary page.
Max. 256mb RAM, as in the Indy
No keyboard or mouse port
No graphics card, so no monitor
No Video input, and no sound
Mezzanine SCSI board, with twin SCSI channels and 1 10-BaseT port
Otherwise a standard Indy
The Challenge S Owner’s Guide can be found on Techpubs.
A local copy can be found here.