A Linux Powered Console Server Saves Time and Money

When minor problems at a remote network equipment site disrupt network communication, often the only way to restore communication is a service call to the remote site to deal with the problem in person. Although service calls to the remote network equipment racks provide a simple means to get your network back up and running again, service calls are also expensive and time consuming. Sending a service team out on the road is not only costly, but it also monopolizes key support personnel when they might be needed back at the central office. In addition to the cost of the service call, there’s also a built-in delay factor; before your service techs can even begin to deal with your network communication problems, sometimes they need to spend a day or so traveling to the remote equipment rack first.

A Linux powered console server provides a more cost effective and efficient means for dealing with problems with routers, servers, firewalls and other devices at remote network equipment sites, without the delays and expenses that are normally associated with service calls. When a Linux powered console server is installed at the remote network equipment rack, administrators and support personnel can create a secure, out-of-band connection to the Linux powered console server, and then use the Linux powered console server to access console port command functions on remote devices … without even leaving their office or getting up out of their chairs.

A Linux powered console server effectively eliminates the costs of sending a service team out on the road, and the delays that occur while you’re waiting for your service team to arrive on site. When problems at remote network equipment racks interfere with network communication, administrators and other support personnel can use the Linux powered console server to gain immediate access to command functions on troublesome devices, and start issuing diagnostic, configuration and troubleshooting commands before a service team could even load up their equipment and get ready to go.

In addition to providing out of band management capabilities for network administrators, a Linux powered console server can also be used to track conditions at remote network equipment racks, and to automatically generate alarms when specific, user-defined conditions are detected at the remote site. This allows a more proactive approach to managing remote network equipment, by keeping administrators better informed about conditions at the remote site, and enabling a more rapid response to unacceptable rack temperature trends, power supply problems, excessive invalid access attempts and other factors that could potentially be harmful to the stability of the network.

When a Linux powered console server supports monitoring, alarm and notification functions, the console server can be configured to monitor rack temperatures, power supply interruptions, lost communication, ping command response, invalid access attempts and other factors and then automatically notify the appropriate personnel when any of these factors exceed user defined critical thresholds. Ideally, the Linux powered console server should be able to notify multiple personnel when an alarm is generated in order to ensure that back-up personnel are notified in the event that the primary responder is not available. In addition, the Linux powered console server should also support several different notification protocols in order to meet the needs of a variety of different users. For example, if the Linux powered console server supports email, text messaging, SNMP traps and SYSLOG messages, this effectively ensures compatibility with the communication needs of most potential users.

Network administrators and vital support personnel usually have enough work on their hands without the need to run off on a service call every time a server or router at a remote equipment rack decides to hang up the entire network. A Linux powered console server provides a powerful tool for diagnosing and correcting problems at remote network equipment racks, without the delays and expense of an old fashioned service call. An intelligently deployed, full-featured Linux powered console server enables support personnel to solve most problems caused by problems at remote network equipment racks faster and more economically, and helps network administrators to be kept better appraised of conditions and events at the remote network equipment rack too.

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