Avocent's DSR 1021 KVM unit is 1U rack-mount device offering remote control capabilities for a mix of up to eight devices over an internet connection, with a serial port for an external modem.
Devices are connected to the switch using an appropriate Avocent DSRIQ module. These are available for serial devices as well as servers, and modules are also available for Sun systems. These modules carry out signal conversions between the connected devices and the switch, and allow any of the switch's eight 10/100 Base-T Ethernet ports to be used for any of the supported connection types.
The initial setup procedure uses a serial VT100 connection to configure network speeds, IP addresses and subnet masks and other parameters such as SNMP details and security settings can be set at this stage. The device can then be administered through a local port using Avocent's graphical OSCAR system. OSCAR allows the administrator to monitor and disconnect remote user connections.
Remote control is handled by Avocent's DSView software, licensed separately, which provides authentication, administration and remote control facilities. The first, DSAuthentication, can only be installed on an NTFS partition, and requires Windows NT 4.0 or better.
DSAuthentication's database holds details of users and all the connected Avocent KVM switches, as well as details of the devices attached to each of them.The DSAuthentication database can be installed on a second server to provide a backup. The database and its associated services are administered by the DSAdmin software, which allows new DSR devices to be added to the administration data as required. The remote control facility is provided by the third software component, DSView.There is also a web access interface to provide similar remote access facilities through a configured web server.
Since we reviewed the product, Avocent has launched DSView 3, which removes the need for the separate authentication module and adds useful replication, redundancy and security features as well as improved management.