Posts Tagged ‘terminal server’

Having Trouble Finding Cisco 2509 Units? Here’s an Alternative Out-of-Band Access Solution

Friday, November 15th, 2013

Although network engineers have long relied on the Cisco 2509 as a solution for out remote console access, Cisco 2509 units have become increasingly hard to find since it’s discontinuation as a product in 2004. A determined search might turn up two or three Cisco 2509 units here and there, but the task of finding sufficient quantities of 2509 units to support a large scale network application has become nearly impossible. Fortunately, WTI’s TSM-DPE series Console Access Servers provide a perfect drop-in replacement for the venerable Cisco 2509.

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Connect Remotely from Linux with Terminal Server Client

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Apparently, there’s a difference between terminal server and a terminal switch

I do a lot of remote work throughout the day and to make those connections I use different tools. Between LogMeIn and TeamViewer I have remote support covered. But when I need to connect to a machine such as a Terminal Server, where do I turn? Generally speaking I turn to the Linux tool Terminal Server Client (tsclient.) This tool makes connecting to unattended remote servers a snap — and it works with different protocols.

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Fail-Safe Power Redundancy for Out of Band Management

Monday, December 13th, 2010

A Console Server is a wonderful tool for out of band management. When remote network devices crash or lock-up, a Console Server provides an extremely convenient way too access serial port functions on remote devices in order to fix the problem. This works fine when the reason for the crash is a problem with a server or a router, but what if the crash was caused by a failure of the primary power supply?

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An SNMP Enabled Console Server – Centralized Management for Remote Network Sites

Wednesday, November 10th, 2010

Large, modern, corporate networks often include dozens of remote network equipment sites. Sometimes, these remote sites are located several states away; other times, they might be located on the other side of the Earth. With this in mind, it quickly becomes obvious that in order to maintain such a network, it’s vital for the network to include some sort of centralized management capability that allows network administrators to be kept informed of unit status at these remote sites. In many cases a console server that supports SNMP can provide an ideal solution for centralized management of remote network equipment sites in a large, far-flung corporate network.

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How Do You Communicate with a Network Element When the Network is Down?

Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Given enough time, just about any computer network will eventually crash; that’s just the nature of networks. Ideally, your network shouldn’t crash on a regular basis, but when it does go down, how do you communicate with remote network elements in order to get the network up and running again? In cases like this, obviously, you can’t communicate with a problematic, router, server or switch via a normal network connection … but that still doesn’t mean that communication with a remote network device is impossible.

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Why Does a Console Switch Need a Real-Time Clock?

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

The ability to accurately record the time and date is a vital feature for console switch products. When reviewing alarm records or scheduling actions, it’s extremely important to know that the console switch has accurately and reliably recorded the correct time and date. Without the correct date and time, much of the data that is recorded by a console switch can often be rendered more or less useless; if you don’t know exactly when a recorded event took place, it’s difficult to use that data for troubleshooting or scheduling purposes.

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Remote Management Tools for Blade Servers

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

When selecting a remote management solution for a blade server, it’s extremely important to choose a solution that provides full remote command access and power control capability. The reason for this is simple: a solution that provides both remote console port access and remote power control will allow you to perform most diagnostic, troubleshooting and management functions from a remote location, minimizing the need to travel to the installation site whenever the blade server hiccups or crashes.

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How Does an IT Manager Correct a Problem at a Remote Data Center without a Serial Console Server?

Wednesday, May 26th, 2010

Regardless of the type of network equipment in a data center or office, network downtime is inevitable. Minimizing this down time to reduce loss of revenue is essential to the functionality of a company working off of a network. While some networks are small and are contained within one facility, many have remote locations to control racks of network switches.

The job of an IT manager typically is to make sure that the network is up and running during a companies operating hours and to monitor the performance of network equipment. With the global economy growing however, more and more companies need their network equipment to be running around the clock.

If a network administrator does not have a serial console server installed, downtime means a lot more than logging in and rebooting. It means sending out employees to manually reboot and check on network equipment. It means someone on call at all hours of the day and the night.

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Serial Console Server Applications in the Defense Industry

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Normally, when we think of a serial console server, we picture a data center, equipment cabinets and some guy behind a desk monitoring it all. This stereotype usually holds true, but there are also many console server applications that most people aren’t aware of, such as using a console server in a missile launch system.

A missile launch system coordinates many complex issues; calculating trajectory, war head delay, GPS monitoring and the ability to make constant adjustments to the flight path. All of this data is fed back into a cabinet that controls the missile. If any one part of this missile control system is to lock up or need to be accessed for configuration, it is critical that missile launch personnel are able to gain instant, secure access to command functions on system components.

A remote console server can allow launch personnel to dial in via satellite to a remote missile launch platform, providing fast, secure access that can be used to perform instant problem diagnosis and correction. This is a critical ability in a combat situation, where system reliability and functionality are literally a matter of life or death.

This is a huge step away from the normal data center problems and equipment rack snafus that most engineers imagine when they think about console servers, but it’s also a real life application that shows the importance of a console server.

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Five Questions to Ask When Purchasing a Console Server …

Monday, May 24th, 2010

A console server or terminal server can provide secure, remote access to command functions on any network element that includes a serial console port, craft port or RS232 control port. There are many types and models of console servers on the market, which often makes it difficult to choose the right console server for your needs. Here are five questions to ask when selecting a console server:

  1. Does the Serial Console Server meet my requirements?
    The most important consideration when selecting a console server or RS232 server, is whether or not a particular model will fit the needs of your specific application. In order to ask this question, you must first make an assessment of the requirements of your application. Will the console server run on AC power or DC power? How many console ports do you need? How much rack space will the console server require? Does the application require RJ45 ports or DB9 ports? Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to choose a console server that perfectly fits your application
  2. Does the Console Server have the feature set that I require?
    It’s equally important to figure out the type of features and capabilities that you need in a console server. How important is security? Will event logging be useful? Do I need alarms to alert me when critical conditions are detected? Will users require different levels of command access? The answers to these questions will depend on the environment in which the serial console server will be installed; some applications require heavier security than others, while other applications may not require features such as event logging.
  3. How will a Remote Console Server work and be implemented in real life application?
    Before purchasing a console server, it’s useful to have a fairly good understanding of how the individual console server model will function. Sales people can often answer general questions about operation, but it really helps to be able to review a copy of the console server’s user’s guide before making a purchase; this will give you a clearer picture of the unit’s capabilities, ease of operation and provide a clear picture of how the console server would fit into your application.
  4. What are the benefits of adding a Serial Console Server to my application?
    Ideally, a console server should do more than merely provide remote access to command functions. There are many other potential benefits that a console server can provide. These benefits include reducing in the number of service calls to remote installations, the ability to monitor environmental conditions in equipment racks, the ability to check the “wellness” of network elements and the ability to log command events and user access. The nature of your application will be the main factor in determining whether or not these abilities will be beneficial to your application.
  5. What support and warranty do I get with the Remote Console Server?
    Given the critical nature of a console server, it’s important that the console server will be up and running when you need it. A warranty might seem like something that you only worry about when you need it, but a good, strong warranty can also be an indication that a company is willing to stand behind its products and that those products are built well enough that the company is confident in their performance. WTI offers one of the best warranties in the business; five years, free labor, free parts, free support, free firmware upgrades and fast replacement delivery all help to ensure that when you need quick, secure access to console ports on network equipment, it will be there. You can count on WTI products to serve your network management needs.

For over 30 years, Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) has been an innovator in the field of remote management for IT facilities. Our comprehensive product line includes a wide range of Serial Console Server products, Switched PDU products and Remote Reboot Switch products to provide secure, remote management of servers, routers and other devices.