Fortify top-of-rack designs with PoE management

Top of rack management solutionsOne of the most common data center designs include “Top-of-Rack” switches to terminate fiber links to the rack and deliver Infiniband and 10 GigE links locally.  This solution keeps the bulky copper cabling inside the rack and ensures the infrastructure is future proofed, sustaining transitions to 40G and 100G in the future.  Terminating fiber connections only at the rack can cause a complete lack of visibility if the problem is the top-of-rack switch.

Recently, one of our customers solved this issue by deploying an Opengear ACM5504-2-P PoE console management solution to gain remote visibility into the rack during an outage.  This implementation requires a copper link that terminates at a core switch delivering a PoE connection to the PoE powered Opengear ACM5004-2-P.  The ACM5504-2-P is cost effective way to gain complete visibility into racks that utilize top-of-rack designs and extend both Ethernet and serial console connectivity without relying on power from the rack.

The ACM5504-5-P has two network interfaces, one PoE (IEEE802.3af compliant) primary connection and a Secondary 10/100Base-T non-PoE link to serve management traffic to TCP based management interfaces. Also included is 4 RS-232 serial console ports that provide connectivity to the top-of-rack console management interface and other devices in the rack.

Not utilizing the console port on a top of rack switch is a gamble, considering the value it provides with instant triage and problem remediation within seconds of a network issue.  Implementing smart console management solutions ensures complete visibility and remote access when it is needed most.