>> Can you be more specific in what you want to accomplish. As is, I can only
>> state some console server vendors:
>> Lightwave Communications
My shop has been using numerous Lightwave 3200's for quite awhile now. For the
most part they have been great, but there a few things that slowly starting to
1) Cost - A fully loaded 3200 is around $10k
2) Stability - Occasionally the Console Server becomes unreachable via the
network, you either to have to wait for it come back or bounce it.
3) Ease of Use - While it provides a UNIX-esque environment, some of the
commands are strange. Also the management interface is hard to use and
for whatever reason it *feels* slow, like it is operating over a 1200bps
connection irregardless if you are using it over the network or over serial.
4) Scalability - I wish they either made a 64 or 128 port version, or allowed
some type of daisy-chaining where you could connect multiple boxen to form
one big "logical" console server.
5) Managability - Each console server only supports local authentication, there
no support for NIS/NIS+/LDAP. This gets to be a royal pain when you have
several two or more console servers and lots of admins.
6) Upgrades - I spoke to my sales rep last February about any upcoming features
and he mentioned they were in the process of adding SSH support. It is now
a year later and the latest updates don't specifically mention it.
7) Connectivity - You can have a maximum of 17 concurrent users. There are 4
slots reserved for network/terminal cards (which support 4 users each) and
there is an optional modem card (1 user). The thing that bugs me is that
network card can only support up to 4 concurrent users. Whether this is a
hardware or software limitation I don't know. Our standard configuration is
3 network cards + 1 terminal card. If 4 users are connected to network card
"A" and a 5th user tries to connect, she will get a "Connection Refused"
error. She then needs to try the "B" and "C" IP addresses to try to
connect. Yes, I could very well put these behind a Local Director, but I'd
prefer the console server handled this by itself.
8) Security - Having to use telnet on the console server kinda negates using
SSH everywhere else. SSH2 support would be really swell.
Enough ranting for now, =). Yes, I realize Lightwave has a newer product out
(the SCS1620 I believe) that addresses a lot of the issues I've pointed out.
But considering my company has already bought at least 8 of the 3200's, I don't
wanna throw them out.
I might try a Cyclades for our smaller remote sites and see how it works.
Hope this helps,
fortezzo at coserv dot net
If you have any trouble sounding condescending,
find a Unix user to show you how it's done.