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Avocent introduces new products to improve manageability of servers

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Avocent Corporation has expanded its MergePoint 5200 family of service processor managers. The new MergePoint 5224 and 5240 appliances will be used to control service processors found in nearly any server. The purpose of service processors is to help manage servers independent of the main processor, for control of such important functions as power, hardware monitoring and alerts.

Avocent enables IT administrators to manage multiple service processors in Windows, Linux and Unix servers from a single console via the company’s centralised management software.

IDC forecasts the number of servers worldwide will jump by nearly 50% in the next few years, from 24m in 2006 to 35m in 2010. As system administrators are tasked with supporting this growth, tools that streamline and enable remote management capabilities will be essential. Nearly all servers shipped in the last few years have service processors and are based on either the IPMI standard or proprietary technologies, including the HP iLO, Dell DRAC, IBM RSA II and Sun ALOM.

DSView 3 software provides single console access and control of servers, embedded technologies, serially based devices including routers and hubs, power-control devices and environmental monitoring equipment.

Reducing costs

Service processors requiring a dedicated Ethernet port come with a high price tag that often makes their deployment cost prohibitive. The MergePoint 5224 and 5240 appliances consolidate service processor Ethernet ports, requiring only a single external IP address and Ethernet switch port for all connected devices, significantly reducing deployment costs.

Increasing security

Service processors’ lack of built-in security support often required by enterprises can also be a significant barrier to adoption, but the MergePoint 5224 and 5240 appliances’ authentication, authorisation, and accounting (AAA) security features along with the transparency provided by its DirectCommand feature deliver robust AAA for service processor access. Users are able to leverage all of the functionality available from the service processor without any compromise to security.

Transparent access

Along with its extensive support for multiple service processor types, the new MergePoint 5224 and 5240 appliances also include a new DirectCommand feature enabling seamlessly communication with and control of any service processor through its native user interface. Currently available for DRAC, iLO and RSA II, DirectCommand enables transparent access to service processors out of the box. Other service processors can be integrated through a easy-to-use Web configuration interface.

Avocent has also introduced an upgrade to the existing MergePoint 5200 appliance which addresses management for deploying service processors that use a shared Ethernet port. The new version includes a number of features incorporated to make the deployment and consolidation of service processors faster and easier than with any other solution.

The Avocent MergePoint 5200 family of appliances, DSR KVM over IP switches, ACS console managers, PM power devices and some third-party intelligent power distribution units and environmental monitoring equipment all can be centrally managed via DSView 3 software, simplifying the management complexity of heterogeneous IT environments.

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