by February 22, 2006 0 comments

Imagine that you have your data center in Mumbai, and your
offsite disaster management site in Chennai. You also have another branch office
in Delhi. Now, how would you monitor and manage the servers across all these
locations? One is through remote VPN connectivity, but that would require
connecting to each server individually and would be fairly time consuming.
That’s where this KVM switch becomes useful. It’s a 16-port network KVM
switch from Aten, which can be cascaded with up to 8 such boxes, so that you can
manage up to 128 machines remotely.


Rs 1,26,000 (1 yr warranty)
System administrators
16-ports, can cascade upto 128 ports. Supports 128-bit SSL
Pros: Very easy to manage and configure. Simultaneous monitoring of all 16-ports
Cons: Un-synchronized OS and device mouse cursors can be annoying sometimes
Cubix Micro System, New
Delhi Tel: 9350173310
RQS# E22 or SMS 132202 to 9811800601

The box can work as a standard KVM switch where you can
connect all servers/machines to it and then fix just one monitor, keyboard and
mouse to its output port and use them by one-by-one switching to the PC.
Additionally, if you provide an IP-address to the box, you can also access it by
using any SSL supporting browser and then access all the servers/machines from
there. The device has two sets of clients. One is for Windows and the other is
platform-independent (Java-based). The Windows client provides you with a few
more features than the Java-based one, such as monitoring all 16 machines
simulations simultaneously. But the Java-client makes this device usable from
virtually any OS. For that, all you need is a browser with Java runtime

Configuring and using this device is a breeze. It took us
around 20 minutes to unpack the device and configure it for the first time with
6-machines connected to it. And most of the time is spent in just connecting the
cables to the machine and the box. So you can imagine that the actual
configuration needed for the box was not more than 5 minutes or so. To configure
the device, all you have to do is to connect a monitor, keyboard and mouse set
to its output port and a network cable to its 10/100 Mbps Ethernet port. After
the connection, just switch on the device and you’ll be prompted with an
On-screen Display from where you can set all the necessary settings such as the
IP-address of the box, the Hot-key settings and the logging options. Now just
click on any machine on the first tab of the menu and you will get a full screen
view of that machine. You can also click on the array button to simultaneously
monitor all 16 machines. To access it over the network, you have to go to
https:<ip-address-of-the-box> link and then click on either the Windows
client or the Java client link, depending on which OS you are using.

The device lets you simultaneously monitor 16 different machines from one single console

One small bug, which we found in this device, is that when
you access it remotely using which-ever client, you will see two mouse pointers.
One is of the remote machine’s OS and other is of the device itself. And
sometimes (mostly) both the pointers are not in sync. This might make the usage
of the device slightly annoying at times. The device treats this as a known bug
and provides you with a Hot-key which is supposed to synchronize both pointers.
But in our test, the synchronization only lasts for some time and both pointers
separate gradually. The security, authentication and encryption options that
shipped with the device are really impressive. For example, the KVM provides a
two-level password login for administrators, a 128-bit SSL encryption and an
automatic logout for idle sessions.

Bottom Line: If you
need to remotely manage all your servers, right down to the BIOS level, then
this is a great choice.

Anindya Roy

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