New Device Servers Provide Remote Management And Control Of Embedded Windows, Web-Based And Legacy Serial Equipment With Iron-Clad Security

Opengear Inc., a quality supplier of console server and remote management solutions, today announced the availability of Opengear’s Secure Device Server line. The SD4002 2-port unit and SD4008 8-port unit are the first secure device servers to offer the highest level of security together with an ability to control any device with an RS-232/422/485 serial port or Ethernet interface. 

Utilities, refineries, factories, processing plants and health clinics use an array of devices in their control systems to digitally automate tasks and monitor critical information such as pressure, temperatures, speed, vital health statistics, etc. Today’s control systems are sophisticated and are habitually connected to the broadband network infrastructure. However, most device servers are only capable of coupling 10 to 20 year-old legacy serial devices (meters, SCADA appliances, PLCs and sensors) onto an IP network. They can’t connect to modern network devices and don’t provide strong security. 

“Management solutions that handle only text characters simply do not meet today’s need,” said Bob Waldie, CEO and Chairman of Opengear. “The modern machines have sophisticated embedded Windows or Linux operating systems, and they require sophisticated management tools that have graphical console management as well as text capabilities. The SD4000 is the only solution that offers secure local and remote VNC, Remote Desktop, HTTP and telnet access over the network or serial lines.” 

Waldie continued, “Control engineers who use old serial to Ethernet device server products that lack rigorous authentication, encryption and tunneling unnecessarily put their enterprise security at risk.” 

Opengear has embraced the next generation of control devices, and its SD4000 family of products enables managers to securely access and control modern appliances. These devices offer a graphical or text console user interface, and the control information can be transmitted over IP with strong authentication and data encryption. Many devices are now based on embedded Windows, which can create as many headaches as it does benefits. Not only are these critical systems vulnerable to external Internet attacks, they can be compromised by computers on internal networks that may have been infected with viruses, Trojans and worms. Opengear device servers remove security gaps by leveraging the same high-level data transport and security standards used to securely manage global data centers of all sizes. 

In addition to the ability to access, monitor and manage these devices both at the local site and over Internet, Opengear is the only device server supplier to provide secure text and graphical console access through secure, low bandwidth VNC, HTTP and Windows Remote Desktop access. Opengear’s Secure Device Servers also provide Serial over IP transmission, which are standard in all device servers. For the first time, control engineers can remotely control PCs, Windows embedded machines and browser controlled appliances on the factory floor as if they were sitting in front of their office computer. Using tunneled VNC and Remote Desktop, Opengear’s SD4000 Secure Device Servers securely manage distributed Windows PCs and embedded PC devices, while it’s VNC-over-serial and RDP-over-serial functions enable remote access of PC appliances via RS-422/485 lines. Leveraging the HTTP support, individuals can control both the network infrastructure (switches, firewalls) as well as other appliances (security and power switches.). 

Both the SD4002 and SD4008 are configured for remote access via a dial-up modem, the Internet or at the local site through a local network or serial connection. Opengear places a priority on security with encrypted access to all remote applications by using 128-bit AES encryption. They also provide a variety of filtering, access logging and alerting capabilities including offline archived console logs and restricted IP address, password or account access. 

The SD4000 Secure Device Servers are optimized for stand-alone device management. Using a simple Web browser interface, users can easily configure the appliance, set security levels and access the ports. The user can also interface directly at the command line with the embedded Linux kernel. With its secure tunneled HTTP, RDP and VNC support, and its rich set of serial port communications features, the SD4002 and SD4008 are perfect for central and off-site management and control.

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About Opengear

Opengear delivers secure, resilient access and automation to critical IT infrastructure, even when the network is down. Provisioning, orchestration and remote management of network devices, through innovative software and appliances, enables technical staff to manage their data centers and remote network locations reliably and efficiently. Opengear’s business continuity solutions are trusted by global organizations across financial, digital communications, retail and manufacturing industries. The company is headquartered in New Jersey, with R&D centers in Silicon Valley and Brisbane, Australia. For more information please visit

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