I'm just back from the USENIX LISA '10 conference (San Jose, CA). OpenGear was there (for their third year), but they were the only Console Server vendor in the hall. As a result, they got a significant amount of mindshare from the attendees. I spent a good deal of time asking questions, and I'm happy to say that they had sent some technically-deep folks to staff the booth. (They also have a lot of Conserver experience, which qualifies for extra points in my book. ;-) I wish more vendors would have come to the LISA conference. With a great international draw, the LISA attendees have significant technical depth and come from some very large corporations. It would seem to be a fertile ground to collect contact info, and provide information to be carried back to universities and big corporations. We'll see you next year in Boston, right?
It's another example of Moore's Law... even in the last year, there are fewer Console Server vendors (Emerson acquired Avocent (who had acquired Cyclades...)), and OpenGear has made many significant improvements in their hardware and software. But, more important to me, is that OpenGear has continued to be attentive and responsive to their customers, not only for me!
What's in it for you, as a Console Server user/customer? Plenty! Customer needs have driven them to provide some really interesting new hardware this year, and they have also given customers the option to use the OpenGear RJ-45 wiring scheme, or order hardware matching the Cisco/Lantronix/Sun symmetrical RJ-45 scheme. Thanks to Jared Mallett and Todd Rychecky for sharing good info with booth visitors, here's some of what I heard;
They have upgraded the CPU and storage in their smaller devices!
They have a 4-port model, running on DC power...
Some smaller units have 2 network connections (dual Ethernet, or Eth and G3 cell modem!)
They have also made provisions for external FLASH for logging, etc.
Security improvements include Single Sign-On, and FIPS 140-2 Crypto module
Participating in the RSA Secured Partner Program SecurID integration
Two weeks ago, I learned of a project that wanted a 4-port device... last week, OpenGear showed me their Dual Ethernet 4-port device, shipping by default with Cisco RJ-45 wiring. Problem solved!
As we approach the holiday season, the daylight gets shorter, and (with the holidays, and folks taking extra time off) the calendar itself seems to get shorter, and deadlines start to loom large. If you need console servers, take a look at OpenGear, and see if you can find what you need quickly.
Happy holidays! -Zonker-