IOLAN+ Terminal Server Retail Distribution Centre


Expanding distribution operations with a need to extend the life of serial-based equipment


Many distribution operations today have a significant amount of financial resources invested in serial-based packaging and sorting equipment. At the same time, the move to centralized management of data has created a growing need for operations to communicate with host software applications using Ethernet-based connectivity.

Transitioning to Ethernet-based equipment however is an extremely costly and time consuming proposition, especially when existing equipment has not reached the end of its useful life and has not been in operation long enough to deliver a substantial return on investment.

The problem becomes increasingly challenging for growing distribution operations that have neither the time nor the resources to engage in wholesale replacement of existing equipment. Rather, what is needed is a cost-effective and easy means to bridge the gap between legacy equipment and the required Ethernet connectivity.

This not only helps to extend the life of the equipment, it also provides operations with the time needed to plan for conversion to Ethernet when the time is right and not before.

An added challenge in achieving this connectivity is the sheer volumes of equipment that can be operating within a large-scale distribution centre. Connecting each device directly to the computer requires extensive wiring and multiple connections, adding unnecessary costs and complexities to the issue.

The Solution

Perle’s IOLAN+ range of terminal servers are the ideal choice for meeting serial connectivity needs of today, while an organization lays the foundation for future deployments. This versatile serial to IP technology is designed to excel in both terminal server and remote access applications, providing flexible and robust "plug and play" connectivity for distributed Windows, Linux and UNIX environments.

Usable wherever serial devices need to be connected to LANs, IOLAN+ units are available in 2, 4, 8 or 16 port versions with DB25 or RJ45 presentation options. Each serial port is capable of continuous bi-directional speeds of 115.2 Kbps.

Easy to configure, the IOLAN+ terminal server delivers highly efficient port cost management for optimized resource management. IOLAN products also have an outstanding track record for delivering high availability and reliable performance for the capture, monitor, transfer and display of data anywhere on an Ethernet LAN.

IOLAN technology delivers a number of advantages to distribution center operations:

  • Longer equipment life – Serial connectivity allows operations to extend the life of older equipment while keeping pace with current technology needs
  • Investment protection – IOLAN+ IP serial servers allow organizations to postpone wholesale replacement of equipment and maximize current investments
  • Flexible network design and deployment – Available models include 2, 4, 8, or 16 surge protected serial ports with a maximum speed of 115.2 Kbps
  • Versatility – IOLAN+ provides reliable data capture and transfer in remote and fixed environments
  • Compatibility – Devices accommodate both 10/100Mb network connectivity to support old and new networks
  • Ease of integration – IOLAN+ has built-in support for modems, terminals, printers and other serial devices
  • Interoperability – Devices support TCP/IP-based protocols such asTelnet, PPP, SLIP and CSLIP
  • Seamless remote access – IOLAN+ offers dial-in and dial-out support for UNIX, Linux and Windows-based networks
  • Ease of installation – Models are available in compact desktop, wall or rack versions
  • Easy upgrades - Free firmware upgrades via FLASH
  • Security and peace of mind – Backed by Perle’s Lifetime Warranty

Perle is committed to supporting distribution operations in delivering solutions that will extend the life of equipment and maximize return on investment.

The IOLAN+ family is one of a selection of Perle solutions that are designed to help customer meet their data capture and delivery needs.

Customer: A large and rapidly expanding retail distribution operation

Locations: 29 distribution centres and growing

Technology: 60 serial-based sorting units and 120 packaging units with EIA/RS-232 and EIA/RS-422 interfaces

Challenge: Extend the life of legacy systems while providing Ethernet connectivity with a host IBM TTY system

Solution: Create a serial to Ethernet bridge by deploying the 4 port IOLAN+ serial servers connected to the sorter devices and 4 and 16 port IOLAN+ serial servers connected to the packaging machines. This facilitates Ethernet connectivity from host to individual serial port connections at both sorter and packing machines

Results: Cost-effective serial to Ethernet connectivity for legacy sorting and packing equipment without the need for replacement. Significantly reduced cabling and infrastructure change requirements. Minimal disruption with capacity for expansion.


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