How Can a Console Switch Capture Error Messages from Network Devices?

Most savvy network administrators know that a console switch can be used to provide remote command access to console ports on network elements such as routers, servers and switches. This provides a valuable tool for remote diagnosis and troubleshooting of network devices, but an advanced console switch can also do a lot more than just provide remote command access. For example, a console switch can also be used to collect error messages and alarm messages that network elements transmit via their console ports.

Serial ports on WTI console switch units can be configured for “buffer mode,” which allows the console switch serial port to collect data, error messages and alarm messages that are generated by the attached device. This can be extremely helpful in cases where a network element might generate a sequence of error codes before shutting down. The error codes are then captured by the buffer mode port, and stored for later review by the network administrator. These error codes can then be used to assist in diagnosis of the unit, in order to get a better idea of what events might have led the unit to shut down.

This means that instead of just trying to guess what went wrong with the unit, you can log into the console switch, retrieve the stored messages from the buffer mode port, and use the data in the buffer to get a much clearer picture of what events may have transpired immediately before the shut down. This saves valuable time by eliminating much of the guesswork in diagnosing the problem, and helps you to get critical network devices back up and running much faster, minimizing loss of revenue and network downtime. Without the error message retrieved from buffered memory, the network administrator might have to investigate and eliminate many possible causes for the shut down in order to figure out the problem by process of elimination.

The ability to capture and store error messages and status messages from network devices can streamline network management operations, by eliminating guesswork and cutting the time required to troubleshoot problems. Why waste time guessing what caused a network problem, when many times, the troublesome device can actually tell you exactly what went wrong via error messages stored at a buffer mode port on your console switch?

Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures remote device management products for IT applications. WTI’s Serial Console Server products, Remote Reboot products, Switched PDU products and A/B Fallback products are engineered to allow you to securely manage and troubleshoot rack equipment in remote locations.

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