A Linux Powered Console Server Allows You to Manage Remote Network Devices Without Service Calls

One of the most aggravating problems that a network administrator is forced to deal with, is when a malfunctioning network element at a remote equipment rack suddenly stops working and takes network communications down with it. If the errant network element was located in the next room, or if you could communicate with the failed device in order to get it up and running again, then the solution would be pretty simple, but when a problematic router or misbehaving server at a remote network equipment site disrupts network communication and makes your life miserable, often the only way to correct the problem is a long, time-consuming trip to the remote site, or an expensive service call or truck roll.

That sort of thing can ruin a network administrator’s day, right? Well not exactly; not if that remote equipment rack includes a Linux powered console server. A Linux powered console server provides reliable, secure, out of band access to console port command functions on remote network elements, even when communication via your main network is unavailable.

In most cases, the Linux powered console server is either installed on a secondary maintenance network at the remote site or connected to an external dial-up or satellite modem in order to provide out of band management capabilities. Once the Linux powered console server is connected to a secondary network or modem, the individual serial ports on the Linux powered console server are then cable connected to serial console ports on target devices devices at the remote site. Once the Linux powered console server is installed and configured, tech support personnel can then establish an out of band connection to the Linux powered console server via secondary network or modem, and then connect to the serial port of their choice in order to communicate with malfunctioning network elements at the remote site.

This effectively provides network administrators with secure, reliable access to console port command functions on remote network elements, that can be used to invoke diagnostic and troubleshooting commands at remote devices when the main network is down.

In addition to providing out of band management access as described above, a high quality Linux powered console server will also include event alarms and environmental alarms which can be used to track potentially harmful conditions and events at the remote site, allowing administrators to detect and investigate potential problems at the remote site before they get bad enough to interfere with network communication. Features such as rack temperature alarms, ping response alarms, lost communication alarms and invalid access attempt alarms can grant network administrators with a much clearer picture of exactly what’s happening at the remote network equipment rack, without the need for constant trips or onsite personnel to keep an eye on the status of the remote site.

A Linux powered console server provides network professionals with a secure, reliable means to access command functions on remote network elements and track conditions at remote network equipment racks, even in cases when your main network is down or the site is located beyond the reach of network cables. This effectively eliminates the need for a constant operator presence at the remote equipment rack, and also enables administrators to quickly deal with problems at remotes sites without expensive, time-consuming service calls.

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