March 23, 2004
- Ease of Use:
- Value for Money:
- Overall Rating:
It has good security features and flexible configuration options.
: There is no support for Mac servers.
: A flexible and well-designed unit that can manage servers and devices with equal ease.
This KVM switch, the Avocent DSR4010 is 1U rack-mount device offering connections to up to 16 servers per unit. Avocent have made it possible to connect existing legacy Avocent KVM switches from their Outlook and Autoview ranges to the DSR device, allowing up to 24 servers to be connected to each port. Servers and network appliances are connected to the switch using Avocent's DSRIQ modules, which are available for serial devices and servers (modules are also available for Sun systems). The DSRIQ modules provide whatever signal conversions are needed between the connected devices and the switch.
This allows Avocent to use any port for any of the supported connection types. The device is set up using a serial VT100 connection to make the preliminary configuration, and network speeds, IP addresses and subnet masks, SNMP details and security parameters can be set. After setup, the device can be administered through a local port using Avocent's graphical OSCAR system, which provides monitoring and control facilities and configuration options for any cascaded devices attached to the switch. It is possible to monitor and disconnect remote users, and OSCAR has a broadcast feature that enables keystroke sequences to be sent to connected servers simultaneously.
Remote switching is handled by the DSView software, which has three components, DSAuthentication, DSAdmin and DSView. These provide authentication, administration and remote control facilities. The DSAuthentication Service can only be installed on an NTFS partition, and requires Windows NT4 or better to run. This service, administered by the DSAdmin software, controls access to the servers and devices attached to the DSR4010 devices by referring to user permission lists to determine appropriate access. DSR devices can be added to the administration data, and the DSAuthentication service can be installed on a second server to provide a backup.
DSView is the remote control facility. It presents the user with an Explorer-like display of the devices and servers available, depending on the user's access permissions. When the user makes a selection, the system provides either a full screen graphical display or a telnet session, depending on the device being accessed.
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