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Console Server Buying Guide

What is an IP Console Server?

IP Console Servers enable remote access to and control of all network devices within IT environments, such as serial- and network-connected servers, routers, network switches, KVM switches, firewalls, UPS systems, power distribution units (PDUs) and other devices.

How does an IP Console Server control network devices?

By providing remote in-band (via Ethernet) and out-of-band (via modem/serial port) IP network access, IP Console Servers allow you to consolidate network device management using a local console, network connection or dial-up connection. In addition, you can access all your devices securely using encryptions, remote authentication, multi-level access rights and detailed logging.

What are the most common IP Console Server applications?

Console Servers are usually mounted in rack storage units located in server rooms and data centers that are commonly in remote locations—across campus, in another city, overseas. By providing secure, remote access and control of connected devices, network personnel can benefit from consolidated device management anywhere in the world while reducing operating and equipment costs.

When selecting an IP Console Server, there are three main questions to consider.

How many IT sites do you have?

By "IT site", we are referring to any rack enclosure, data center, computer room or storage closet where network equipment exists.

How many network devices (routers, switches, PBX, etc.) are at each site?

Count the number of network devices you want to monitor and control via console servers.

Of that number, how many devices at each site are equipped with console port access?

For example: 12 console port-equipped devices at each of four sites mean that, in all, you need four IP Console Servers (one for each site), with a minimum of 12 ports each.

Other Considerations:

FIPS Compliance

The Federal Information Processing Standard 140-1 (FIPS 140-1) and its successor FIPS 140-2 are United States Government standards that provide a benchmark for implementing cryptographic software. This is something to consider when configuring console servers and power management software in conjunction with network equipment security.

Temperature/Humidity Sensor

An ENVIROSENSE module (when used with Eaton Internal or External SNMP/Web Cards) provides remote temperature/humidity monitoring and a dry contact interface to control and monitor alarm, security and telecom devices.

Internal vs. External Modem

IP Console Servers are designed to support in- and out-of-band access. If you need out-of-band access, you'll also need a modem to connect over a phone line. Select console servers include an internal modem, while others provide a modem port for connection to external modems.

Other features to consider include internal flash memory, a redundant power supply, built-in thin client for enhanced equipment access, and enhanced UPS/PDU Management Software and LAN support.

Find the perfect Console Server for your specific application.

Eaton B096-016 16-Port Serial Console / Terminal Server Management Switch

Provides secure in-band and out-of-band remote access to your serial- and network- connected servers, routers, switches, firewalls and other rack -mounted equipment. Minimize downtime by accessing various connected devices over a serial link or network without physically being nearby. Highly advanced security ensures only qualified personnel can access on-site infrastructure when your primary network is down.

Need help with your purchase?
We're always available to help with questions, including product selection, sizing, installation and product customization. Call us at +1 773-869-1776 or email