EmergeCore Offers 'IT in a Box'

The IT-100 server has core network functionality built in.

August 19, 2003

3 Min Read
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e-mail. The problems were attributed to the software version I received, and I have not had any similar problems since I upgraded.

The system comes with an intuitive management interface and an Express Setup option that walks you through domain configuration. You can rerun this setup tool or manually configure more domains to run on the same IT-100. This "multiple domains, one box" feature is useful for service providers. Enterprises using two different domains for business can take advantage of it, too.

The Web page generation tool churns out template-based Web pages without much customization. In fact, the layout is set in stone, and you can modify only a portion of the text presented to the user. This is a problem if you have no other way to upload Web pages, but the built-in FTP server will let you place uploaded files into the Web directories as well, letting you develop entire sites and place them into the user Web space. This may seem like extra work, but it is no different than deploying Web pages to a remote Web server.

The IT-100 does not let you share files between the wireless AP (access point) and the hub because the two must be on separate subnets. This artificial limitation dissallows a VPN (due to network address translation), printing and file sharing between the two connections. EmergeCore needs to change this to make the AP useful in a wired environment.

Additionally, the device lacks a real telnet or console interface. With an enterprise-class product, you should be able to log into a console and manipulate the system. The IT-100's console interface is trapped in "stupid user" mode; it only lets you view (but not edit) the IP address information, reset the administrator password and restore the system to factory defaults. This meant I could not enable the firewall, DHCP server or DNS from the interface.

Finally, the IT-100 won't let you share printers. To get around this, you can share a printer off another local machine or use an HP JetDirect-style device, but I'd like to see EmergeCore add this functionality.

You can enable and disable some of the IT-100's functions. For example, you can turn off the wireless AP for offices that don't need it and still have it available for future use. The office staff can add and remove users through the interface, or you can connect via a Web browser and do it yourself. Windows file sharing is useful, and the IT-100 provides plenty of room to share files: I figured about 15 GB of the hard drive could be used for this purpose if you do not build too many custom Web pages.Don MacVittie is an application engineer at WPS Resources. Write to him at [email protected].

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