Monday, December 21, 2009

Remote network console hardware options

There are a lot of good options available today in the remote network console management devices. I think the following are some pretty common manufactures out there and some brief thoughts on each, the opinions are my own so do your own homework!
On the high end is Uplogix who has tailored solutions for remote Cisco automated management and recovery plus remote console management. They have an excellent solution that is great for enterprise customers who need the sort of features and support that their product provides. As a result they have a tendency to be a more expensive solution but you get what you pay for in this case.

On the flexible and cool side is Opengear who have some of the most cost effective remote console management devices out there and they are also running open source code. They allow you to script and do lots of other nice things due to their openness. A great option for labs or if you have time to invest to write the scripts to automate things. So you can do much of what Uplogix is doing but you have to create it on your own. Their advanced console unit even includes storage space to store IOS images and configurations files.

There is also APC which has nice integration with their PDU solutions. They have been around a long time but their console management is only a portion of a much bigger solution so I don't think it gets as much attention as the likes of Opengear or others.

Avocent purchased Cyclades several years ago and Cyclades has been in use in data centers for years and years. Avocent has kept the Cyclades product line and has done a good job maintaining it. It is a getting a bit long in the tooth now but it is still an excellent console management device.

To round it out, Raritan, to be honest I haven't used them much and don't see them deployed very often as console management. I see them a lot for remote KVM. I am sure their solution is a workable one I just don't have any experience with it.
- Ed

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