Dominion Over Remote Offices

Raritan's appliance offers centralized remote management.

September 15, 2003

3 Min Read
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Central Solution

Raritan Computer Dominion KSX440

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The Dominion KSX is available in two models: one supports four servers and four serial devices; the other, eight servers and eight serial devices. Everything from Web servers to routers to PBXs are manageable from the Java-based console, regardless of their OSs or applications.

The Dominion uses high-efficiency video compression so that display and control interfaces perform smoothly, even at dial-up speeds. Additionally, Dominion uses 128-bit SSL encryption, and supports TCP/IP, UDP, RADIUS, SNMP, SNTP, DHCP, PAP, CHAP, HTTP and HTTPS. The appliance uses multiple user profiles and event logging to ensure that the environment is controlled with role-based granularity.

Java Headaches

I tested the Dominion KSX in our Real-World Labs® at Syracuse University. To sum up, this is one sweet management tool, but if your browser's Java isn't balanced just right, you'll be endlessly frustrated.The Dominion KSX is easy to set up and use--the physical connection of devices to the KSX is intuitive, and the supporting literature is excellent.

I assembled a robust facsimile of a branch office under Dominion's control in minutes, with user profiles for administration of servers, switches, a router and a wireless access point. Getting the box live on the network was simple, and with help from Raritan's technical staff, the Java beast in my Windows XP laptop was tamed. The first over-the-network views of my network were striking, and the video quality and mouse/keyboard response was outstanding. I tested the box at both 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps at either end of the session on the same LAN segment as my PC, through my ISP connection (15 total hops), from a wireless hotspot and via 56-Kbps modem. There was only the slightest perceived latency over the modem during the HTTPS sessions.

Business as Usual

The remote client software used to connect to the Dominion KSX is laid out well, with easily navigated table-of-contents views for each KSX in use. In one glance, an administrator can see the deployed Dominions and attached devices, and easily launch to each. From there, the tasks that can be performed are limitless. I patched an old Windows 98 machine, checked associations on a wireless access point, put access-control lists on a router to defend against the latest worms, and rebooted a Linux machine in various sessions to simulate the day-to-day needs a KSX might address. All tasks were performed easily, securely and efficiently, and in a single session.

Lee Badman is a network engineer at Syracuse University. Write to him at [email protected].

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