Black Box Explains Console Servers

Console servers give network administrators a single point-of-control for managing a wide range of IT devices from anywhere in the world. A console server is a device that provides serial ports for remote access to serial equipment, such as servers, routers, switches, firewalls, and other critical remote equipment. The remote equipment can be accessed over a serial link, such as a modem, or over a network.

Network managers can use console servers to access multiple serial ports in order to change configuration parameters, reboot equipment, connect users to restricted ports, and a variety of other functions.

Console servers are more advanced than terminal servers and usually have SSL and/or SSH security features. They also have serial communication capabilities such as SSHD and Telnet.

Console servers also usually provide out-of-band management. This is useful when there is a failure of regular network communications —network administrators can still access and restore communications at the remote site. Console servers are extremely useful for controlling equipment down the hall, at branch offices, and in remote offices around the world.

Console servers eliminate “truck rolls.” These are expensive, time-consuming road trips to the remote site to do something as simple as rebooting a switch. In this respect, console servers give network administrators a great way to reduce operation expenses and to get the network up and running faster.