A Server Console Switch Provides Communication When No Network Cable is Available

Often, the remote nature of a network equipment site makes it impossible to connect a network cable directly to the remote site. Although the remote network equipment site might include a LAN which allows communication between the devices at the site, outside users such as network administrators back at company headquarters, aren’t able to directly communicate with the devices at the site via network cable. In cases like this, sometimes the only way to establish communication with devices at the remote site is create a modem connection to a server console switch (http://www.wti.com/c-44-server-console-switch.aspx) at the remote site, and then use the server console switch’s outbound SSH or telnet capabilities to communicate via the LAN at the remote site.

In addition to providing secure out of band communication with remote network devices, a server console switch with outbound SSH/Telnet support can also provide a primary means of communication for extremely remote network applications when a direct network cable connection is not available. In this type of application, administrators and other users employ a dial-up modem or satellite modem to establish a connection with the server console switch at the remote network site, and then use the server console switch’s outbound SSH/Telnet capabilities to create a connection with the device of their choice via a LAN at the network equipment site. This allows secure communication with devices at an extremely remote network equipment site, without the expense and complication of running a network cable to the remote equipment site.

In applications where a network cable is readily available, a server console switch is generally deployed to provide out of band management access to network administrators who need to communicate with network devices at remote locations when network communication is down. In this case, the server console switch often resides on a secondary, maintenance network that is used only for administrative and tech support purposes. When the main/user network is down, this secondary network then allows administrators to communicate with devices at remote sites in order to perform diagnostic and troubleshooting functions in order to restore network communication. If a secondary network is not available, then network administrators will often also rely on communication via dial-up or satellite modem in order to establish communication with the server console switch. In either case, once a connection with the server console switch is established, administrators can employ outbound SSH or outbound Telnet capabilities to access console port command functions on various network devices at the remote site.

When most network users think of a server console switch, they generally think about the switch as an element of an out of band management function, that allows communication with remote devices when the main network has malfunctioned. But in addition to providing an alternative means of communication when the main network is down, a server console switch unit that includes outbound SSH/Telnet capabilities can also serve as a primary means of communication when the extremely remote nature of a network equipment site makes communication via network cable impractical and prohibitively expensive.

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