A Multi-Level User Directory Can Simplify Console Access Server Management

In many out of band management applications, the console access server needs to provide different types of access rights to different types of users. For example, some users might need access to all devices that are connected to the console access sever, other users might only need access to one individual network element and others might be restricted to only being able to view the status of specific network elements that belong to their department or job function. In this type of application, where a variety of different users must share the console access server it’s important that the console access server includes a multi-level user directory that allows network administrators to grant different access rights to each user account.

A multi-level user directory simplifies the task of managing access rights for a wide variety of different users. A typical multi-level user directory allows network administrators to assign different access rights and command capabilities to each user account, based on the needs of the individual user. Ideally, the multi-level user directory should include the ability to select specific serial ports that each user will be allowed to connect to (with each serial port providing access to a different connected network element), and also some means to sort each user account into a pre-defined security level that automatically grants right to invoke appropriate access and status display commands. For example, the user directory might include a security level for administrators that allows access to all serial ports and commands, another security level for advanced users that allows access to all ports but limits command access, and another security level for basic users that only allows access to status display commands.

In many network applications, each network equipment site will include many different network elements that belong to an assortment of different departments within the company. For example, an individual equipment rack might include one server that belongs to the engineering department, another server that belongs the marketing department and a router that’s controlled by the IT department. In this case, a console access server with a multi-level user directory can help to ensure that each user is able to access the network devices that are appropriate to their department and function, while also preventing users from accessing devices that belong to other departments.

A console access server with a multi-level users directory simplifies the task of granting different access privileges to different users and departments, while ensuring that each user account is limited to serial ports and command capabilities that are appropriate to their job function. In addition, the multi-level user’s directory also enables administrators to easily add or delete console access server users accounts, when new employees join the organization or existing employees move on to other companies. This provides a huge improvement over more basic console access server products that either limit access to only one or two administrators, or require long, complicated configuration procedures in order to add users, grant access rights or define command capabilities.

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