Is it Time to Replace Your Legacy Terminal Servers?

WHY OUT-OF-BAND TERMINAL SERVERS BECOME GHOSTS

BackgroundIt is not uncommon to see remote access solutions (terminal or console servers) still in the racks years after they were last upgraded or even covered by warranty.  There are several reasons for these “ghosts” or “zombies” as they are sometimes referred to:

  • The longevity of some of these devices – they just keep going and going
  • They are not used on a daily basis
  • They span projects and moves/changes and fall outside regular refresh projects

WHAT HARM CAN A GHOST DO? – LOTS

All too often we talk to customers who have legacy serial console servers but have not upgraded them in years. This presents some challenges: 

  • Security – vulnerabilities in outdated security components can be leveraged by hackers
  • Vendor support – lack of support,warranty and upgrades – out of compliance with life cycle policies
  • Availability: the technology may not be there when you need it most

Security:  Many legacy serial console servers may still be in operation but because of waning vendor support or the age of the equipment the units now pose a security liability. Most out-of-band devices are built using Open Source components.  From time to time security vulnerabilities may be discovered in these underlying components.  A legacy or unsupported device may not ever get the critical updates required to fix these problems.

Vendor support: Older devices can also lack features admins need for today’s tasks.  Changes in your company’s network standards may mean that the legacy device will not be compatible when network infrastructure is upgraded. Lack of warranty, technical support and maintenance releases may conflict with your IT life cycle policies.

Availability:  Out-Of-Band management is a critical factor in assuring quick response time and limiting downtime. When you need it you need it in a very big way. It has to be there and it has to be reliable when you need it the most.

ARE YOU READY FOR AN UPGRADE? 5 QUESTIONS TO ASK YOURSELF

time to upgradeIt is tempting to gauge the need to replace old equipment by frequency of use but that does not apply well to Out-Of-Band applications. Here are some critical factors in deciding if the time has come to upgrade or replace your existing solution:

1. Availability  – will it be there when you need it?

2. Security  – when was the last security update available?

3. Vendor focus – is the vendor still laser focused on serial console servers?

4.  Form factors – are you limited by cables and adapters? Is copper becoming an issue?

5. Features – do the features match your current tool set and goals?

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE OPENGEAR TRADE IN PROGRAM

The Opengear Avocent Trade-in Program makes it easy to transition to the latest, most reliable access to Network Infrastructure Equipment, it will save money, time, and avert disaster!  Follow this link for additional details on the Program http://opengear.com/solutions/avocent-cyclades-trade-program or email tradein@opengear.com with questions.

WHY OPENGEAR IS THE LEADER IN OUT-OF-BAND MANAGEMENT?

Opengear is currently producing our fourth generation of serial console servers.  Its what we do – its all we do.

Our products are highly available and very secure.

The feature set is built around feedback from customers and based on their needs for today and tomorrow.

We have an active development cycle and road map.

We have form factors to make the transition painless and transparent.

 

Dan Baxter – Senior Sales Engineer