The task of managing network devices can often be a real pain in the neck … especially if the network devices in question are located in a remote equipment rack rather than in the room next door. When vital network elements are located at distant, offsite facilities, network administrators are presented with an entirely different set of challenges than would normally be seen if those same devices were located within arm’s reach.
Archive for the ‘server console switch’ Category
When implementing an out of band management solution for an offsite data center or remote network equipment rack, it’s best to include as many communication options as possible. The reason for this is simple; if problems with vital network elements at the remote site disrupt normal network communication, then you need an alternative channel of communication in order to be able to access the problematic network device and solve the problem without resorting to a service call. In cases like this, a server console switch with outbound SSH capabilities can provide network administrators with a versatile, alternative means of communication when normal network communication is not available.
Different models of server products will react differently when certain commands and characters are received via serial port. For example, when a serial port on a Sun server receives a break character, the Sun server will generally interpret the break character as a reboot command and will immediately enter a reboot cycle; disrupting communication, interrupting service and causing unnecessary delays while the server completes the reboot cycle. Obviously, this complicates the task of connecting a Sun server to any kind of device that routinely generates break characters along with other data.
When designing a remote network equipment site or off-site data center, it’s always important to ensure that IT support personnel in your central office have an avenue for out of band management of network elements at the remote equipment site. An out of band management solution ensures that even when your main network is down, tech support personnel will still be able to communicate with devices at the remote site without relying on expensive service calls and truck rolls. The most popular solution for providing out of band communication with devices at remote equipment sites, is to include a server console switch in the remote equipment rack.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell when a device at a remote network equipment site ceases to respond to communication. In cases of remote network equipment, it’s often difficult to determine if a device has hung or frozen until somebody needs to use it … and then it’s often too late. One convenient way to keep track of device status at remote sites, is to choose a server console switch (http://www.wti.com/c-44-server-console-switch.aspx) that includes a lost communication alarm.
Often, the remote nature of a network equipment site makes it impossible to connect a network cable directly to the remote site. Although the remote network equipment site might include a LAN which allows communication between the devices at the site, outside users such as network administrators back at company headquarters, aren’t able to directly communicate with the devices at the site via network cable. In cases like this, sometimes the only way to establish communication with devices at the remote site is create a modem connection to a server console switch (http://www.wti.com/c-44-server-console-switch.aspx) at the remote site, and then use the server console switch’s outbound SSH or telnet capabilities to communicate via the LAN at the remote site.
The task of keeping remote network equipment up and running at all times can sometimes prove to be quite a challenge. When a firewall or a server at a remote network equipment site decides to crash, right when you need it the most, network administrators need to have a back-up plan to get those troublesome devices back on line again, without waiting for a service team to travel to the remote site. In cases like this, a server console switch provides the quickest and most economical means for out of band management; allowing administrators to diagnose and troubleshoot remote network devices without the need for a long, expensive service call to a network equipment rack located two states away.
A Server Console Switch with a Power Cycle Alarm Helps to Track Power Conditions at Remote Network SitesFriday, April 22nd, 2011
The one thing that all server console switch products have in common, is that they provide out of band access to console port command functions on important network elements when your main network is unavailable. But in addition to out of band management applications, a server console switch can also perform other vital functions that can prove very useful to network administrators who manage remote network installation sites. For example, if the server console switch includes a power cycle alarm, this helps administrators to know when power supplies at remote equipment sites become unreliable and might be on the verge of failure.
When connecting a server console switch to a Sun server, it’s important to make sure that break commands generated by another attached device are not passed on to the Sun server. The reason for this is simple: a break command sent to the console port on a Sun server will cause the server to enter a reboot cycle, resulting in an unnecessary delay while users wait for the Sun serer to come back on line again. A server console switch that includes a break command blocking feature provides a simple yet effective means to prevent Sun servers from being accidentally rebooted in response break commands or electronic noise.
A server console switch that supports outbound SSH connections allows network administrators to establish secure out of band connections with remote network elements, and provides an ideal tool for communicating with remote devices in situations where normal network communication is not available. This can prove particularly helpful, both in cases where a secondary/maintenance network is not available, and also in cases where the remote network equipment site is so far off the beaten path, that a direct network connection is not practical.