Remote Access Resolves SMB Computing Concerns

By SmallBusinessComputing.com Staff | Posted August 19, 2003

Remote management of voice and data equipment can solve a lot of problems for small businesses with limited IT staffing. By enabling communications equipment to be managed remotely, smaller businesses can rely on outsourced help or a few centrally located IT staff members to keep voice and data systems up and running. Remote management can also enable faster response times to service disruptions because IT experts need only travel to the nearest computer to diagnose a problem or reboot a piece of critical communications equipment.

Raritan Computer unveiled its new products this week, the Dominion KSX series, designed to provide integrated, cost-effective remote management capabilities to small businesses. The Dominion KSX amalgamates key management and control technologies for accessing, managing and rebooting remote servers and other IT equipment. Just one small box connected to the Internet offers multi-platform remote management of IT gear typically found in a business's equipment closet, including servers, routers, switches, PBXs, power supplies, and the like.

Starting at $3,395, the Dominion KSX lineup offers an affordable, plug-and-play, integrated hardware solution that enables remote management of routine IT maintenance tasks. Through the single appliance, IT staff can take control of key management systems. Because critical equipment can be managed from a company's main office or from wherever its IT experts are located, small businesses can save on travel time and reduce downtime when problems occur.

A single Web-based log-on provides IT managers with a real-time, graphical view of all the IT equipment connected to the Dominion KSX. The device provides direct access to remote equipment in order to troubleshoot, configure and maintain systems, as well as recycle power and reboot essential gear. The Dominion KSX includes an integrated modem for emergency access when the IP network is down or is not an option. Raritan's dynamic video-compression algorithm and powerful frame-grabber technology enables the Dominion KSX to out-perform nearly any other IP-based alternatives — even in extremely low-bandwidth environments.

"The KSX provides everything needed to securely manage all devices and servers at remote offices with the convenience of one 'plug and play' box," said Ching-I Hsu, Raritan Computer president and chief executive officer. "The KSX solution addresses real-world environments where servers with multiple operating systems — NT, UNIX, and Linux — and an array of IT equipment coexist in branch locations."

Atlantic Container Line (ACL), a leading cargo carrier between North America and Europe, uses the Dominion KSX to manage its far-flung seaport terminal in locations like Halifax, Baltimore, and Portsmouth — all from the company's headquarters in New Jersey, where its IT staff is located. In the future, ACL plans to extend its remote management capabilities to offices in European ports.

"The Dominion KSX is helping us ensure that our terminal offices always have access to mission-critical cargo information residing in our data center," said Tony Greco, ACL general manager of IT.

"The KSX not only enables us from headquarters to maintain the network and firewall equipment at remote sites, but also to keep the servers running our applications healthy," Greco explained. "In the past, our IT personnel either traveled to the remote terminal offices or they tried using remote-control software, which is very limiting and not always successful. The Dominion enables us to manage our equipment at remote sites as if we were there. We even tested the Dominion KSX using its dial-up modem and the performance was great."

The Dominion KSX leverages Raritan Computer's field-proven technologies for managing data centers, including keyboard/video/mouse controls and power management. Additional Dominion KSX features include:

  • Remote access for full BIOS-level and keyboard/mouse control of Windows, Sun and Mac-based computers.

  • Remote Serial console access to control any serially managed devices, such as routers, hubs, switches, modems, point-of-sale systems, private branch exchanges (PBXs), asynchronous transfer mode switches (ATMs), process controllers, environmental monitoring, as well as UNIX and headless Sun servers.

  • Remote power control of up to 20 individual power outlets (using Raritan's power strip) enabling administrators to monitor the status of power and cycle power to any attached remote equipment through the Dominion KSX's integrated power control interface.

  • The integrated, single-box solution is priced at a fraction of the cost of assembling separate solutions and offers the added advantage of a single sign-on and unified interface for all remotely connected devices.

The KSX is available in two models: the KSX440 has 4 KVM ports, 4 serial ports and one power control port and is priced at $3,395; the KSX 880 has 8 KVM ports, 8 serial ports and one power control port and is priced at $3,995. Both models have an integrated modem, local admin ports and provide keyboard/video/mouse access in a server closet or rack. No additional software, servers for authentication or other equipment is required to deploy the system. The Dominion KSX series — available worldwide this week — can be obtained through Raritan's authorized resellers.

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