Perle Systems Application Note
More and more students, year after year are attending and graduating from Universities. This ever-increasing accessibility to a University education brings with it a requirement for a multitude of new Courses and Facilities. Universities are expected to keep at the forefront of technological developments offering for example Wireless Hot Spots in dormitories as well as libraries, in cafes and lecture theatres, internet access everywhere on the campus etc.
IT applications throughout the University campuses are more and more in demand. A large University with a mixed Unix, SUN and Windows environment, consisting of over 70 servers, switches, and other network equipment and applications, spread over 4 campus locations was finding the pressure of maintaining a 24/7 service challenging.
The Network Administrator explains, “In order to perform any server related activity, our IT staff had to travel to site and physically be in front of the server, switch or application that required attention. The everyday management of the server network was a complicated and time consuming task.”
"We were aware of the existence of remote access network management solutions, but had never seriously researched these, due to budgetary constraints – we were under the preconceived impression this type of technology was out of our financial reach."
With the constantly increasing number of applications and therefore number of server requirements, the existing way of managing our networked applications was becoming all consuming and no longer viable. “The team was working flat out trying to maintain a scalable infrastructure, whilst implementing new services and applications on a regular basis” says the Network Administrator.
It was time to research a remote management solution. After testing numerous products, the University decided that the Perle IOLAN Secure Console Server (SCS) was the product that best met and exceeded their requirements. Console Servers provide secure remote access to Unix, Linux, Windows Servers and any device on the network with a console port. Network Administrators are able to perform secure remote system management and out-of-band management of their IT Systems from anywhere in the world. The team would be able to remotely control, monitor, diagnose and troubleshoot equipment over the network or the Internet.
Up to 48 applications were connected to each Perle IOLAN SCS Console Server, enabling Administrators to have access to a Systems Console from anywhere on the local network, or via dialup connections, as if they were locally connected through a direct serial console port connection.
"The Console Server solution was easy to install, set-up and use – we have never experienced any problems with the devices. Integration into the network was seamless – the ongoing day to day infrastructure was not disrupted at all," says the Network Administrator.
Given the flexibility of Perle’s IOLAN SCS range, with the growth of the Universities IT System, additional Console Servers can be added and integrated.
The Network Administrator adds, “We have been able to increase efficiency by saving time – which ultimately saves us money”.
A secondary requirement in our increasingly security-focussed culture, was to ensure that the remote access to the Universities IT applications was secure. The Perle IOLAN SCS Console Server, ensures that data mangement information is protected through standard encryption tools such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Secure Shell (SSH). Access by authorised users is assured via authentication schemes such as RADIUS, TACACS+, LDAP, Kerberos, NIS and RSA Security’s Secure ID tokens. Network administrators are able to encrypt all information and rest assured their network is safe and accessible only to authorised personnel – by creating personalised user accounts via the IOLAN SCS.
"All in all, " concludes the University Network Administrator, "Perle was able to deliver the access, security and management functionality we were looking for."
Perle IOLAN Console Servers additionally offer the following features and benefits, important to the management of University network infrastructure:
Servers / Data center management
Our wide range of 1 to 48 port Perle Console Servers provide data center managers with secure remote management of any device with a console port. Plus, the only truly fault tolerant Console Servers on the market.