Review: An IP KVM for Servers Not Out of the Closet
At a Glance
The most welcome improvement in the SpiderDuo is the pass-through console port. Now when we're using the IP KVM in the data center, we don't lose local console capabilities for that quick command to remount a drive array. The SpiderDuo also delivers crisper video and faster screen refreshes than the original, and the cables (PS/2 or USB) are modular instead of fixed. Thanks to better plastic and sturdier cable connections, the unit no longer threatens to break in my bag.
Lantronix provides a free Windows application, SpiderView, for accessing and managing multiple Spiders. An iGoogle widget is also available to leverage the cloud. iGoogle can display thumbnails of multiple spiders in a single browser window, so instead of an amazingly expensive media switcher, you can have a mini-NOC anywhere you can bring up iGoogle.
You can manage multiple SpiderDuos from a single Windows GUI (included with the KVM) or from an iGoogle widget (above) available for free download from the Lantronix website.
The SpiderDuo is a standard toolkit item and a handy way to make sure I can access the console of IT closet servers, including localized DHCP/DNS servers, scientific logging servers, and perhaps even the embedded servers we put into pressure housing under the ocean. At $385 per unit, the SpiderDuo is getting very close to the per-port price for Avocent and Raritan -- especially if you include the cost of an aggregating controller server like Avocent's DSView or Raritan's Commander. If Raritan could figure out a housing shape that also helps organize server cables, we'd be golden.
Lantronix SecureLinx SpiderDuo at a glance
|Browsers: Internet Explorer 6.0, Netscape 5.0, Firefox 3.0, Safari 2.0, and later versions
Operating systems: Windows 2000 and later, Unix, Linux, Mac OS X
Other requirements: Sun Java 2 runtime, Telnet/SSH client for command-line access
This article, "InfoWorld review: An IP KVM for servers that haven't come out of the closet," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Follow the latest developments in systems management, servers, processors, and other hardware at InfoWorld.com.
Read more about networking in InfoWorld's Networking Channel.
Brian Chee is a senior contributing editor to the InfoWorld Test Center and the founder and manager of the Advanced Network Computing Laboratory at the University of Hawai'i School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology.
|Test Center Scorecard|
|Lantronix SecureLinx SpiderDuo||9||8||9||9||9||10||8.9 Very Good|
Review: An IP KVM for Servers Not Out...