Sentinel - Networks Simplified
  • Dual Ethernet Console Access

    Dual Ethernet Console Access

    For simultaneous operation or automatic failover

Why Dual Ethernet Console Access is a Must

If you have shopped for network equipment lately, you have most likely noticed that many network devices are now available with dual Ethernet ports. While the presence of an additional Ethernet port can obviously serve to improve the reliability of communication with critical network elements, many network users often are unaware of other advantages that can potentially be provided by a dual Ethernet device.

When dual Ethernet devices are deployed in a large data center or network equipment facility, the most popular applications are as follows:

Network Failover - Provides network failover/fallback capabilities to ensure that critical network elements will still be accessible in the event that the primary network fails

Network Redundancy - Allows communication with the dual Ethernet device via both a production network and a maintenance network, thereby reducing traffic/load on your production network and providing two separate avenues by which the device can be accessed.

Network Failover Applications
In IT industry applications, the most commonly encountered implementation for dual Ethernet devices is to provide automatic failover/fallback capabilities for critical network elements. In this case, a dual Ethernet device such as a DSM Console Server is connected to both a primary network connection and a secondary network connection; the same IP addresses and other network protocol are then assigned to each of the two available Ethernet ports. If either network connection fails or becomes temporarily unavailable, this allows the dual Ethernet console server to automatically fallback to the other Ethernet port, ensuring that the device is always accessible when needed, even when the primary network has failed.

For example, if your network includes a console server or terminal server in order to allow console port access to maintenance and configuration functions on various devices within your network, it is important that the console server is always available; especially in the event that network communication problems arise. A Dual Ethernet console server can be connected to both the primary network and secondary network in order to provide an alternate route to command functions when the primary network is down, ensuring that critical command and configuration capabilities are available when they areneeded the most. This means that when the primary network fails, the Dual Ethernet console server will automatically and seamlessly switch over to the secondary network, allowing technicians to access the console server and then communicate with various connected remote devices via the secondary network in order to check status, change configuration parameters or attempt to rectify the problem that caused the primary network to fail in the first place.

Network Redundancy Applications
In a network redundancy application, a dual Ethernet device is connected to two separate networks in order to reduce traffic or load on one of these networks. This capability can be extremely handy in any case where two networks are present and there is a need to reserve one of those networks for maintenance and service functions. Typically, a network redundancy application will include both a production network that is generally employed by only end users and a maintenance network that is primarily used for configuration purposes, firmware upgrades and other network maintenance related tasks.

In Network Redundancy applications, each of the two available Ethernet ports on the dual Ethernet unit is connected to a separate network, and unique IP addresses are assigned to each Ethernet port. This effectively allows users on both networks to easily access the dual Ethernet device in order to communicate with devices on either of the two networks.

This type of network configuration provides end users with prompt access to various devices and services on the production network while simultaneously providing technicians and service personnel with a maintenance network which allows them to upload firmware, diagnose problems with network elements and tweak configuration parameters without overburdening or slowing the production network.

In this case, a network element such as a DSM Dual Ethernet Serial Console Server can be connected to both the production network and maintenance network in order to provide end users with access to various devices on the production network, while also allowing network techs to access these devices in order to reboot unresponsive units or access console port functions on remote units without putting undue load on the production network.


Diagram showing the DSM Serial Console Server in a Dual Ethernet Failover Scenario
Diagram showing the DSM Serial Console Server in a Dual Ethernet Redundancy Scenario

Serial Console Servers

The DSM Serial Console Servers provide a reliable way to securely access, manage and troubleshoot multiple IT devices from a central site.  They allow access to routers, switches, firewalls and other remote network devices, either serial-over-IP across the network or with direct, out-of-band dial-up access when the network has failed.

small-arrow.png Full Redundancy with Dual Ethernet Interfaces for primary and secondary network connection
small-arrow.png Direct, Dial-up Emergency Access with an Integral Analogue or 4G Cellular Modem
small-arrow.png Power Redundancy to ensure uninterrupted access if the primary power fails
small-arrow.png Easy Troubleshooting and Proactive Alarm Notifications


Find out more

Photo showing the front and rear of the DSM-24 Serial Console Serv24