A WTI Terminal Switch Can Save Both Time and Money for Network Admins

If you need secure, reliable access to RS232 ports on remote servers, routers, firewalls and other network elements, the WTI’s Terminal Switch products can provide an ideal solution. WTI Terminal Switch products are designed to support secure, out of band access to RS232 console ports on remote devices, allowing remote troubleshooting and device management from anywhere on Earth; even when in band access is unavailable or unfeasible.

An Economical Solution for Network Management

Experienced network professionals already know how time consuming and expensive “field trips” to remote installation sites can be. A WTI Terminal Switch allows you to perform many routine maintenance and troubleshooting tasks via a secure in-band or out-of-band connection, without even leaving your office. System administrators can reduce downtime by managing and troubleshooting devices from anywhere, without the need for on-site personnel or expensive truck rolls.

When high temperature readings, ping command failure or other noteworthy events are detected, the Terminal Switch can promptly notify you via SNMP, SYSLOG, email or text message. This allows a rapid response to overheating racks, non-responsive devices, power outages and other potential downfalls; cutting downtime by allowing you to address small problems before they can grow into big, work-stopping disasters.

WTI Terminal Switch products offer 40 console ports for the same price as competing 32 port units. When you consider these savings, combined with the money you can save by reduced service calls and downtime, a WTI Terminal Switch truly does provide a “bailout” for IT managers who are struggling to maintain a high level of service while dealing with a more conservative IT budget.

Security and Authentication

WTI Terminal Switch products include a formidable array of security and authentication features to ensure that access to your critical network elements remains secure. Remote authentication tools, such as LDAP, Kerberos, RADIUS and TACACS+ help verify user identity. FIPS 140-2 validated SSHv2 encryption protects transmitted data from unauthorized viewing. Address-specific IP security masks protect access to command and configuration functions.

A Multi-Level subscriber directory allows you to assign different command and port access rights to each user account. The Terminal Switch provides four different levels of subscriber access privileges: Administrator, SuperUser, User and ViewOnly level.

The Administrator level is designed for system managers and other administrators, and provides complete access to all RS232 serial ports, operating features and configuration menus. SuperUser level accounts are granted access to all Terminal Switch serial ports and operating features and are allowed to view configuration menus, but are not permitted to change configuration parameters. User level is ideal for co-location applications; User level accounts are only allowed to view status and connect to ports that are specifically enabled for their individual account. The ViewOnly level accounts are permitted to view status menus for only the ports specifically granted to the account and are not allowed to access configuration menus.

Monitoring Network Environment and Events

In addition to simplifying out of band management, the WTI Terminal Switch can also monitor your network devices, constantly watching for significant status changes and abnormalities. When high temperature readings, full port buffers, invalid access attempts, ping response failure and other noteworthy events are detected, the Terminal Switch can promptly notify network managers via SNMP trap, SYSLOG, email or text message. This provides prompt response to serious conditions, and also decreases or eliminates the need for on-site personnel at remote network equipment racks and other installations.

SNMP Network Control

SNMP based control and monitoring of remote network devices is a valuable tool for almost any network administrator. The WTI Terminal Switch provides full MIB support, allowing you to review status, change configuration parameters, edit user privileges and control operating functions at remote units via SNMP commands.

When an SNMP trap alarm is generated, the Terminal Switch can send an initial trap to notify you that the alarm has been triggered, and then send another SNMP trap to let you know when the condition has been cleared. When new users are added, SNMP commands can be used to remotely grant serial port or power control access, set user privileges and select passwords.

Outbound SSH Capabilities

When normal, in band communication with your network equipment is not available, WTI Terminal Switch products provide a convenient means to create secure, encrypted, outbound SSH connections to network devices via dial up. This means that even when you can’t establish a normal network connection, you can still dial into the Terminal Switch via modem and create outbound SSH connections to allow communication with other devices on your secure local area network or intranet.

If you need to communicate with a remote facility that doesn’t have network access, such as an oil rig or remote equipment closet, a WTI Terminal Switch allows you to establish a secure, encrypted connection via modem and then communicate with other devices at that location. Outbound SSH capabilities also allow employees to log into the Terminal Switch from a remote location via modem, and then access files on their work computers, even when a direct network connection is unavailable or impractical.

Secure passwords and a dial-back feature protect outbound SSH capability from unauthorized access via modem. In cases where outbound SSH capabilities are not needed or are undesirable, the feature can also be easily disabled via the Terminal Switch’s Network Configuration menu.

Intelligent Port Selection

Each of the Terminal Switch’s RJ45 format, RS232 serial ports can be individually accessed by number, name, or group via SSH or Telnet. The Terminal Switch also allows direct connections via TCP port assignments. Each serial port can be separately configured using simple menu driven commands to set port access rights, data rates, flow control and other operating parameters.

Data Capture Buffers

In addition to the comprehensive assortment of communications parameters that can be defined for each Terminal Switch serial port, ports can also be configured as “Buffer Mode” ports. When Buffer Mode is selected, the port can capture and store incoming data, such as error and status messages received from the attached devices. This “snapshot” of recently received data is stored in memory and can be viewed, saved or erased by the system operator at any time. Error and status messages can be sent to a remote manager via SYSLOG or SNMP trap; port buffers can also be configured to generate an alarm message to alert administrators when messages are received.

A comprehensive out of band management strategy is vital to network administrators who need quick command access to network components when normal TCP/IP communication is not possible. WTI’s Terminal Switch products will compliment your standard in band management tools by ensuring that secure, out of band access to network devices is always available, especially when you need it the most.

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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