What are the Advantages of a Serial Switch with Break Command Blocking Capabilities?

In addition to providing a solution for out of band management applications, serial switches are often used to provide a means for communication between various devices in a remote equipment rack. Often, two rack mount devices are connected to RS232 serial ports on the serial switch and then the serial switch is configured to create a connection between the two devices. This provides a convenient means to allow switching to back-up devices in the event that one of the connected serial devices malfunctions, but it can also create problems for devices such as Sun servers that respond to break commands by initiating a reboot cycle. One simple way to eliminate this problem is to choose a serial switch that supports break command blocking.

When the serial switch includes a break command blocking (or “accept break”) feature, any break commands that are transmitted via the serial switch will not be passed on to the target device. In addition, the break command blocking feature will also block the transmission of any electronic noise that might possibly be mistaken for a break command. This helps to minimize down time cause by unnecessary reboots, and helps to ensure that your Sun server is ready to be used when it is needed.

In serial switch products, the break command blocking feature can be individually enabled or disabled at each RS232 serial port on the serial switch. This allows network administrators to set up specific serial ports for use with devices that are sensitive to break commands, while leaving other serial ports free to transmit break commands in the event that they might be used by the attached device.

There are many different ways that a full-featured serial switch can help to maximize up-time at remote network equipment sites. The most common benefit of a serial switch, is to provide network administrators with an out of band management solution that allows administrators to deal with problems at remote sites without actually traveling to the site in person. But in addition to the convenient out of band access capabilities provided by a serial switch, many other serial switch features, such as break command blocking, environmental alarms and event alarms, can also help to improve the reliability of remote network equipment sites by preventing equipment problems before they effect network communication.

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