A Console Access Server Allows You to Manage Remote Network Sites without Expensive Service Calls

A console access server provides network administrators with a single interface for management of remote network equipment sites. When a console access server is installed at a remote network site, administrators can use it to access console port command functions on remote devices, create outbound SSH/Telnet connections to other devices, collected error messages and other data from connected devices and monitor and record events and environmental conditions at the remote site. If the console access server also includes environmental alarms or event alarms, network administrators can also be automatically notified when critical conditions or events are detected at the remote network site.

Remote monitoring and alarm functions enable a console access server to constantly monitor rack conditions and then provide prompt notification when high temperatures, excessive invalid access attempts, power supply interruptions, loss of communication, ping command response failure and other user-specified events are detected. A console access server that includes monitoring and alarm functions essentially allows network administrators to keep constant track of conditions at remote sites, without the need to travel there in person.

Often, the alarm and monitoring functions that are provided by a console access server support to ability to automatically notify network administrators, enabling a rapid response when critical conditions are detected. Ideally, a console access server should be able to provide alarm notification via popular communication protocols such as email, text message, SNMP trap and SYSLOG message, and also include the ability to notify more than one person in the event that the primary contact is not available to respond when a suspect event is detected. When the console access server is used for data buffering applications, an alarm can also be generated to notify administrators and support staff when data has accumulated in a port buffer and is in need of retrieval.

It can also prove helpful if the console access server has the ability to log each alarm event, in order to create a record of noteworthy events, rack temperatures and other conditions. Event logging enables network administrators to review logged events in order to observe long term trends, recognize when cooling strategies are needed, detect impending power supply failures and keep track of user activities.

Obviously, the primary function of a console access server is to provide secure, remote access to diagnostic, troubleshooting and configuration functions on remote network elements. These capabilities are particular useful because they reduce or eliminate the need for expensive service calls to remote sites and increase network uptime by providing administrators with a means to quickly deal with problems remotely, without waiting for a service team to travel to a remote site. But monitoring and alarm functions can also be equally useful by allowing administrators and support personnel to review conditions at remote network sites and keep track of power interruptions, temperature trends and user events, and further reducing expenses by also reducing or eliminating the need for support personnel to travel to a remote site in order to check conditions that can be easily monitored by a console access server.

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