Console server management can often present a unique challenge, especially when managing remote network elements that are located at off-site data centers and faraway equipment racks. When managing remote devices, it’s often difficult to determine exactly what’s going on at the remote network equipment site, and almost impossible to spot equipment problems before users start to complain about lost services. There are a number of tools that can simplify the task of console server management for remote network elements, but a console server that includes a ping response monitor (or ping-no-answer alarm) is probably one of the most useful.
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The main purpose of a console server management unit is to provide network administrators with tools for managing remote network equipment sites without the need to constantly travel to those remote sites in person. In order to fulfill this role, obviously the console server management unit needs to support out of band management communication to allow remote access to console port command functions on offsite network elements. Although, out of band management capabilities are extremely important, it’s also useful if the console server management unit is to perform other tasks, such as rack temperature monitoring and alarm functions that help to provide administrators with a clearer picture of exactly what is going on at the remote site.
In many applications, a console server management unit needs to be able to perform multiple functions at the same time. It’s pretty much a given that a console server management unit will need to provide out of band access to remote network devices, but in addition to that important function it might also need to be able to monitor rack temperature, check devices for ping response and capture error and status messages that connected devices send out via console port.
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 (http://www.wti.com/c-40-console-server-management.aspx) unit that supports the ability to log events and environmental conditions can prove to be an extremely valuable asset.
When implementing an out of band management solution, it’s important to make certain that remote access to console port command functions is adequately protected. Obviously, this means that your console server management (http://www.wti.com/c-40-console-server-management.aspx) unit should include basic security features such as password protection. But in order to properly ensure that sensitive command functions are protected from unauthorized access, your console server management device should also support one or more of the popular remote authentication protocols.
The task of managing network equipment at remote installation sites can sometimes be difficult, especially if you don’t have a good idea of exactly what’s going on at the remote site. A console server management unit helps to ease some of this difficulty by providing network administrators with secure, reliable out of band communication with devices at remote network equipment sites, and if the console server management unit also includes rack temperature monitoring functions, it can further simplify out of band management by providing a clearer picture of environmental conditions at remote sites.
A Console Server Management Unit with a Multi-Level User Directory Provides Unique Capabilities to Each UserWednesday, April 13th, 2011
Sometimes, a console server management unit can almost be too useful for its own good. In many cases, once network administrators have installed a console server management unit as a part of an out of band management solution, other network professionals within the organization will discover that they could use out of band access to remote network elements too. A typical console server management unit can easily handle the extra user load, but then administrators are faced with the problem of restricting these additional users to appropriate devices and command capabilities. The most practical solution to this problem, is to choose a console server management unit that includes a multi-level user’s directory.
In most out of band management applications, a console server management unit is employed to provide remote access to console ports on critical network devices. This provides network administrators with a valuable tool for invoking diagnostic, troubleshooting and configuration commands at remote devices without actually traveling to the remote equipment site in person. Out of band access enables administrators to respond more quickly to network emergencies and reduces network downtime, but if the console server management product also includes a ping response monitor (or ping-no-answer alarm) then the console server unit can also automatically alert administrators whenever a target device fails to respond to ping commands.
In most out of band management applications, a console server management unit enables network administrators to establish out of band connections to console ports on remote network elements. This allows administrators to address problems at remote sites without actually traveling to the site in person. Most console server management products provide an excellent tool for dealing with network problems after they occur, but if the console server management unit includes features like a Ping Response Monitor or a Ping-No-Answer alarm, this allows the console server management unit to help administrators to address network problems before they get out of hand.
In addition to providing out of band access to console port command functions on remote network elements, a console server management unit can also enable network administrators to be better informed about events and environmental conditions at remote network equipment sites. A console server management unit can monitor rack temperatures, power conditions, communication status and user activity at remote sites, and log and time stamp data for later review.