SUMMARY: Console Servers

From: Bob Kryger <>
Date: Thu Jan 10 2002 - 10:24:02 EST
A number of solutions and suggestions were submitted, and everyone seems to 
have a favorite technique to deal with this.

I am going to be going with Cyclades for the port density and price/port. I 
also like that it is an embedded Linux solution and the tools are all 
familiar to me.

Also highly mentioned were
         LightWave (now a division of Lantronix)
         Perle (purchased Chase)
         Cisco router w/ Async card
         Portmaster (formerly Livingston)
         Bay Networks (Nortel) Annex terminal server. Used by Sun in 
cluster configurations

Roll-your-own made a good showing. Both the Sun w/ async card and Linux w/ 
Digi, Control, card versions.

Also mentioned was a GPL package called conserver ( which 
should work with many of these which I will be looking at.

My observations:
         1 Lightwave Console Server 
                 I actually have one of these today, I simply need more 
ports. Large footprint [rackprint?] (4U for 32 ports) box w/ proprietary OS 
that is functional, but limited. Good points are that it supports multiple 
'terminal' connections so you can connect many terminals (or 
administrator's system serial ports) to the system, leaving the LAN 
unnecessary in some cases. This is a cage and card expansion system so you 
can start with a few ports and expand (4 ports per card) as needed to 32 
ports total. They only support telnet at the moment, and there is no remote 
authentication supported. I understand that they are working on this. Also 
to configure, you need to connect via a totally separate serial port which 
cannot be used for terminal or console service, even to add users and add 
port configurations, what a waste. It is also a pricey solution at about $8000

         2. Lightwave 
                 Interesting product, supports much of what I want but 
there are only 16 and 24 port versions. The price is a little higher as 
price-per-port. They are building in support for LDAP and NIS for 

                 Rumor has it that they are discontinuing their console 
server product. Since they now own Lightwave it seems just like a 
reshuffling to me. I have never been impressed w/ their equipment.

         4. Perle. CS9000 Console 
                 Has many interesting features. Came down to price/port and 

         5. Cisco. Didn't consider, simply on pricing concerns.

         6. Nortel/Bay/Xyplex Annexx terminal servers. Have used these many 
times in the past. Last time was about 3-4 year ago. When I tried to order 
it the Nortel sales rep had no clue what I was talking about and didn't 
even know they had such a product. It hadn't been upgraded in anyway since 
I worked with them in the early 90's

         7. Roll-your-own. Too much work for me right now.

Bob Kryger,
AIM: BobKryger, KrygerFamily
Office: 212-813-8677
Cell: 203-981-4018
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Received on Thu Jan 10 09:25:14 2002

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