Why is Power Redundancy Such an Important Feature for Serial Console Servers?

A serial console server provides network administrators with a valuable tool for dealing with problems at remote network equipment racks, without the need for expensive truck rolls or excessive service calls to the remote equipment rack. When you consider the importance of this function, it makes sense to choose a serial console server product that includes power redundancy and power fallback features in order to help ensure that the capabilities provided by the serial console server will always be available when they are needed the most; even in cases where the primary power supply for the remote rack has failed.

Given the high value of the remote diagnostic and troubleshooting capabilities that are provided by a serial console server unit, it’s absolutely vital that the serial console server is always up and running, and ready to provide administrators with secure, out of band access to console port command functions on devices such as servers and routers at remote equipment racks. Even though network administrators can’t plan for every possible disaster that might befall a remote network equipment rack, it is fairly easy to plan for those inevitable power outages. If the network equipment rack includes both a primary power supply and a back up power supply such as a UPS, a serial console switch with power fallback and power redundancy features ensures that network administrators will still have access to out of band management functions, even during a power emergency.

Typically, a serial console server with power redundancy capabilities will include two separate power inlet circuits (one for connection to the primary power source and another for connection to the secondary power source), plus power supply monitoring and sensing features that allow the serial console server to quickly switch over to an alternate power supply when the unit detects that the present power supply has become unstable or is in danger of failing. When power supply abnormalities are detected, the serial console server should have the ability to rapidly switch over to the secondary power source without disrupting user activity. Ideally, the serial console server should be able to switch over to the alternate power source within eight to sixteen microseconds.

A high quality serial console server can provide valuable out of band management functions for administrators who are responsible for important network elements at remote equipment racks. But in order for these out of band management functions to be truly useful, the serial console server must include power redundancy and fallback capabilities to help to ensure that a routine power interruption won’t take the serial console server off line when it’s needed the most.

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