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serial consoles and lots of machines...

For those of you lucky enough to have experience working in big data
centers with lots of different architectures, I'd like to know the best
way of going about setting up serial consoles to everything. 

What is best practice? 

Best type of wiring to use?

Avoidable issues/pitfalls?

Is it better to cram a ton of serial ports into a single x86 box as a
controller of sorts or are you better off with manual serial port
switches? Other switching hardware?

Use with real VT terminals (VT220 VT525)?

Keyboard type/layout idiosyncracies across multiple architectures?

Being able to remotely use and debug a bunch of different types of
systems from a centralized location is what I want to accomplish -well,
that and limiting the amount of exercise I get to the absolute minimum.


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