I'm looking for a simple way to manage remote server and network equipment. Currently, we use Dell servers that I manage remotely by using each system's Dell Remote Access Card (DRAC) and Terminal Services. I use a modem connected to remote routers for out-of-band access. The DRACs and modems work, but tracking all the IP addresses and phone numbers for all our equipment is cumbersome. Do you have any recommendations for keyboard/video/mouse (KVM) over IP?
Most major KVM vendors offer KVM over IP. A few also provide serial-device and power-management options.
My experience with KVM over IP is limited to products from Raritan Computer; comparable products are available from other vendors (for some examples, see Buyer's Guide, "KVM over IP Solutions," February 2003, InstantDoc ID 37595). For managing small branch offices, I use a Raritan Dominion KSX, which is available in a 4-port (the KSX 440) or 8-port (the KSX 880) version and lets me control as many as 8 servers and 8 attached serial devices (e.g., routers, switches). Performance over the built-in modem is slow for servers and reasonable for serial devices. Performance over IP is on par with what Terminal Services provides. The Dominion KSX also offers power-switch options that let you remotely manage server and device power. Raritan recently released a new product, dubbed the CommandCenter, which provides a consolidated point of access for all the devices that you have attached to a Raritan KVM switch. This product could be useful in a distributed office or enterprise environment that uses several KVM over IP switches.