How a Serial Switch with Buffered Ports Helps to Cut Network Downtime

In addition to providing out of band access to network devices, a well designed serial switch should also be able to collect data from connected devices, and then later allow you to retrieve that data in order to check device status and operation. When a serial switch includes buffered ports, data such as error messages, status reports and error codes can be collected from connected devices and then reviewed later to help diagnose problems when devices crash or malfunction.

Many network devices such as servers, routers and switches will often send error codes and messages via their console port whenever the device fails or recovers from a crash. If a serial switch with buffered ports is connected to the console port on the network device, these error messages can then be collected, stored and used for diagnostic purposes later, in order to help discover the root cause for crashes and malfunctions.

This means that rather than merely making their best guess as to what caused a device to crash, system administrators can review the error codes saved by the serial switch port buffer in order to better determine the exact cause of the crash or malfunction. Often, these error codes provide a concise picture of what happened prior to the malfunction, and in may cases, pinpoint the exact cause.

This saves valuable time by helping to correct problems more quickly, and also allows the network administrator to take preventative measures to avoid future problems, cutting downtime and minimizing loss of revenue due to an extended network outages. Without the information provided by the buffered error messages, technicians are often forced to just make educated guesses regarding the reason for each crash, often resulting in hours of downtime while each potential cause for the malfunction is tested and eliminated.

A well designed serial switch with buffered serial ports is an essential tool for any network application. Since modern information networks often include a multitude of different devices, spread across large facilities or even spread across several counties or states, it’s absolutely vital that your network management plan includes a solution for collecting error and status messages from these devices, in order to ensure rapid diagnosis and response when network problems result in expensive downtime.

For over 30 years, Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) has been an innovator in the field of remote management for IT facilities. Our comprehensive product line includes a wide range of Serial Console Server products, Switched PDU products and Remote Reboot Switch products to provide secure, remote management of servers, routers and other devices.

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