A Console Terminal Server with Event Logging Improves Remote Network Management

In many remote network management applications, a console terminal server does more than merely providing remote access to console port command functions. Often, the console terminal server also helps network administrators to keep better track of events and conditions at remote sites without the need to constantly send technicians out to check on the site in person. In addition to providing out of band access to remote network elements, a console terminal server can also monitor and log power interruptions, user activity, temperature trends, alarm events and other significant data concerning a remote network site that can help to give administrators a broader perspective of conditions and trends at a remote site in order to assist in planning for future needs and contingencies.

When a console terminal server includes the ability to log critical events and conditions, network administrators can use this data to get a much clearer picture of what is going on at their remote network installations. When events such as power interruptions, excessive invalid access attempts and communication problems and environmental data such as temperature trends are logged and recorded, administrators can review these logs in order to better define cooling and power supply needs, and also to determine when unauthorized users may be attempting to access console terminal server command functions.

Logged temperature data, with time and date stamping, helps network engineers and administrators to pinpoint times of the day or week when equipment racks may have a tendency to overheat and determine when additional cooling capacity might be advantageous. The ability to log user activity can also be helpful in determining when users are accessing equipment and functions that might not be appropriate for their job function, or to perform post-mortem examinations after a major network event, in order to determine what actions may have preceded a network crash or other disaster.

When a console terminal server logs alarm events, this provides network administrators with a more enlightened perspective of general trends that might be causing communication and power supply alarms to be tripped, and also provides a second chance for administrators to detect alarm events that might have been missed when they initially occurred.

In addition to providing valuable out of band management access to remote network elements, a console terminal server should also be able to serve as a monitoring device for remote network installations, that can help network administrators, IT support personnel and network engineers to be better informed regarding conditions at sites that are so remote, that travel to the site is either impractical or prohibitively expensive. A well designed console terminal server should both provide administrators with an avenue for out of band access to remote devices, and also help to keep administrators better informed, when power events, temperature trends, user activity, or other factors at a remote equipment site indicate problems that could potentially interfere with network communication.

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