Network Computing is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Review: Cyclades' AlterPath KVM/net Switch

Remotely and securely accessing critical servers in your data center shouldn't be difficult--ever. Cyclades' AlterPath KVM/net switch is a 1U appliance that aims to give administrators secure access to the KVMs (keyboards, video and mice) of remote servers. I tested it in Network Computing's Syracuse University Real-World Labs® and found it to be a dependable device that requires virtually no setup.

Remote in-band access typically is built into most operating systems, but these tools fall short when the OS is having problems. KVM/net lets you work with every aspect of your server--from configuring BIOS, POST and RAID controllers to managing intelligent Cyclades power strips--up to 500 feet away.

Cyclades uses a Linux OS, giving the KVM/net a stable and secure environment that integrates easily with most networks' authentication methods, including RADIUS, TACACS+, LDAP, NTLM and Kerberos, and even two-factor authentication such as SecureID. When those methods are unavailable, it falls back to checking against its locally stored user accounts.

The appliance is available in two versions--one for 16 servers and one for 32 servers. Multiple units can be daisy-chained to control up to 1,024 servers as if they were a single unit. And the appliance is virtually bulletproof: It contains no moving parts other than a fan to cool the processors.

Test Run

  • 1