Console Server Management and Event Logging

In applications that require management of remote network equipment sites, a good console server management unit needs to do more than merely provide secure out of band access to console port command functions on remote network elements. Often, a console server management unit must also serve as a means to allow network administrators to track events and conditions at remote sites, essentially providing the administrator with a way to examine temperature trends, power events and other important factors at equipment racks that are so remote, that the administrator cannot easily keep track of these conditions in person. In cases like this, a console server management ( unit that supports the ability to log events and environmental conditions can prove to be an extremely valuable asset.

When a console server management product includes the ability to monitor and report rack temperature, power supply interruptions, communication stability and device responsiveness, this helps network administrators to know when an IT support response is required in order to correct a potentially harmful condition. This works fine for individual instances where rack temperatures climb or a device ceases to respond, but it does little to help administrators to see wider trends or detect patterns that help to explain why individual events might be occurring. When a console server management unit includes the ability to log and display a history of conditions and events, administrators can review this information in order to get a broader picture of exactly what might be going on at a remote network equipment site.

The event logs generated by a console server management unit can be a great help in anticipating cooling needs, detecting times of the day when power supplies might be overloaded, or ferreting out rack devices that might be headed for a complete meltdown. Typically, a console server management log function can record and time stamp temperature readings, user activity, alarm events and other significant occurrences and then present that information as either straight data, or display the data in graphic format.

In addition to determining cooling needs or detecting possible power supply problems, the data that is logged by the console server management unit can also be used for diagnostic purposes, and is extremely helpful in detecting instances where user activity might have harmed network performance or where users might have gone beyond the bounds of their job description. When users change configuration parameters, disconnect ports or log in to the console server management unit, that data will be logged and available for future review in the event that a subsequent problem arises.

A good console server management unit should be able to provide network administrators with much more than out of band access to remote devices. When administrators are charged with the task of keeping remote network equipment up and running and available for use, a console server management unit should be able to provide time stamped records of events and conditions at the remote site in order to allow a proper perspective of exactly what has been going on at the remote site, and exactly what might have caused any problems that may arise.

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