In any network application that requires the management of network elements located at remote equipment sites, a good serial console server can provide network administrators with indispensable tools for monitoring and controlling conditions at the remote site without the need for a human presence at the site. The importance of the functions that are provided by a serial console server makes it doubly important that the serial console server will always be up and running and available for use when it’s needed the most.
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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.
In out of band management applications, a serial console server (http://www.wti.com/c-48-serial-console-servers.aspx) provides a crucial avenue for communication with remote network elements when the main network is not available. Considering the importance of this function, one can quickly see how vital the serial console server can be, especially during a network emergency, even when that emergency is caused by a power supply problem at a remote network equipment site. When power supply problems bring down network devices at remote network equipment installation sites, a serial console server that includes dual power inlets and power fallback capabilities can often turn out to be a lifesaver.
Not too many years ago, the only way to deal with a crashed server or router at a remote network equipment site was to send your tech support team off on a long, expensive road trip to the remote site, and when they finally got there, the problem could often be solved by merely entering a few simple commands via the console port on the remote device. Not only was this type of solution prohibitively expensive, but you were often left without network communication until the tech support team finally arrived at the remote equipment site and took care of the problem. Today, this type of solution to a problem at a remote equipment site has become increasingly rare, thanks to the out of band management capabilities provided by a serial console server.
In out of band management applications, it’s not surprising to see a serial console server connected to a wide variety of different devices that are accessible to a wide variety of different users and functions. Some ports on the serial console server might be used for modem communication, other ports might be used for data collection, others might need to allow access to serial console server command mode functions and others might need to deny access to command mode functions. For this reason, a well-designed serial console server will often include the ability to assign each serial port to a specific port mode in order to simplify the process of configuring ports for different functions and needs.
The task of adding a serial console server to an older/existing network equipment site can often be more challenging than adding a serial console server to a newer network equipment site. The reason for this is simple; most newer serial console server products feature RJ45 serial ports, while most older network equipment relies on DB9 serial ports. That’s why WTI serial console server products are available with either DB9 serial ports or RJ45 serial ports to simplify the process of adding out of band management capabilities to existing/older network equipment sites.
In an out of band management application, a serial console server (http://www.wti.com/c-48-serial-console-servers.aspx) performs an extremely critical function; serial console severs provide out of band access to console port command functions on remote network elements. Given the importance of this function, it’s mandatory that the serial console server is up, running and ready to use when you need it. With this in mind, it’s absolutely vital to choose a serial console server that provides dual power inlets and power fallback capabilities in order to ensure that a minor power outage will not deprive administrators of out of band access to crucial network elements in the event of a network outage.
In many network applications, it’s often important that every network element, including the serial console server (http://www.wti.com/c-48-serial-console-servers.aspx), is set to exactly the same time and date. Synchronization of clocks and calendar setting on network devices helps to ensure that any time stamped data generated by the synchronized devices in the network accurately reflect the same time and date settings. The most popular and reliable means to achieve time setting synchronization within a network environment is Network Time Protocol, or NTP.
In addition to providing out of band access to network elements, a serial console server (http://www.wti.com/c-48-serial-console-servers.aspx) can also be used to collect error messages and other data from connected devices. When an error message or status message is sent out via the console port on a connected device, an intelligently designed serial console server can store the data at a serial port buffer for later retrieval by administrators and others who need that data for diagnostic purposes. If the serial console server includes a buffer threshold alarm, it can also notify users when new data is received by the buffer or when the buffer is nearly full.