When used in conjunction with Cyclades console servers and power management products, it provides companies with a complete out-of-band management solution to remotely access, maintain and control network nodes -- even when the network is down.
"The AlterPath KVM, designed from the ground up for the data center, is the perfect solution for IT professionals who require a KVM solution that fits in the same security and management model used for Sun and Linux/Unix servers," said John Lima, president of Cyclades. "Console servers, such as Cyclades TS and AlterPath ACS models, manage most data center equipment, but KVM is necessary to manage Windows-based servers. Adding the AlterPath KVM to our family of out-of-band management products that work across multivendor platforms and operating systems, Cyclades is bringing further integration, consolidation and automation to the data center."
The AlterPath KVM uses CAT5-based cabling, simplifying system setup. Such cabling allows for the use of existing cabling infrastructure in the data center along with cleaner cabling assembly and access to servers located up to 500 feet from the KVM switch.
Security features include server-based authentication support for RADIUS, TACACS+, LDAP and Kerberos, user access lists per port and user access logging. In addition, the AlterPath KVM also has event logging capabilities, allowing the organization to audit its usage and identify who accessed which KVM ports at what time and date. This helps the organization track how server issues are being handled by their system administrators, and analyze problem-solving policies for future improvement. Cascading support with centralized port management allows the AlterPath KVM to increase the number of managed servers without losing the initial investment or the advantage of centralized configuration and access interface. Data center managers and system administrators have greater control and the ability to expand their coverage as the data center grows, respectively.
For example, in large data centers with hundreds of KVM switches that support user authentication using locally-stored passwords, each time a new user is created or removed, the system administrator has to manually reconfigured each device. Security is compromised if he forgets or misconfigures any device. With server-based authentication, the administrator updates a single centralized database and all access devices consult that database using RADIUS or LDAP.
"Some KVM vendors offer server-based authentication, but customers must buy complex software that costs tens of thousands of dollars," said Lima. "The hardware isn't designed with this feature in mind so software that resides on a server is necessary."
Instead of using proprietary software technologies, the AlterPath KVM leverages Open Source software (Linux), giving users the freedom to customize its operation, including modifying or adding features as needed. Because it is platform independent, it can be used with other vendor's products as part of a data center's out-of-band management infrastructure.
"The AlterPath KVM has a feature set unmatched in the analog KVM industry, making it perhaps one of the best enterprise analog KVM solutions available today," said Lima.
The AlterPath KVM, which comes in 16 and 32-port models that fit into 1U of rack space, is available worldwide after November 15 for an MSRP of $1,995 and $2,995, respectively.
Cyclades is a data center management company providing out-of-band solutions, including console access, power control, KVM and systems management, that minimize unplanned downtime. Its AlterPath(TM) family of data center products and solutions enable remote, secure and centralized management of servers, network equipment and automation devices, minimizing human intervention and decreasing maintenance costs. Cyclades' advantage is in providing scalable products leveraging Linux technology for flexibility, ease of customization and a high level of security. Headquartered in Fremont, Calif., Cyclades has offices located throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Australia. Cyclades can be reached at 888-292-5233 or on the Web at www.cyclades.com.
About Out-of-Band Management
Out-of-band management provides an alternative route to network infrastructure that is independent of the data network (WAN and/or LAN). Instead of relying upon network protocols as "in-band" management solutions do, out-of-band management uses direct physical access provided by the console ports of equipment to only address infrastructure (hardware failures, low-level configuration problems, OS failures, etc.) -- not application -- problems. The combination of Cyclades out-of-band solutions with in-band solutions ensure total coverage of network monitoring and management needs and allow IT professionals to respond to critical events in any circumstance.