Raritan Introduces Economical KVM-over-IP Switches for SMBs

Paul Mah
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Raritan last week unveiled a new family of KVM-over-IP switches that the company says are specifically designed for small and mid-sized businesses. Depending on the specific model, the Dominion LX lineup can manage between eight and 16 servers, with either one or two simultaneous remote users for non-blocking access. One user can also be connected via a local console. The company says that multiple units of the Dominion LX can be cascaded to manage up to 256 servers.


Usually found only in data centers, KVM appliances have traditionally been priced in the region of multiple thousands of dollars. Hence, it is no surprise that the average SMB does not have the budget to purchase KVM devices, much less more expensive KVM-over-IP models that allow access over the Internet.


To gain remote access, most small and mid-sized businesses rely instead on software agents such as VNC (Virtual Network Computing) or RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) to facilitate remote access. But though these software approaches work well for regular maintenance, the continued ability to access such systems relies on the assumption of a normally functioning system.


A severe hard disk failure, for example, may well render a server unbootable - necessitating a costly on-site visit. In the same vein, a compromised server may be configured to reject incoming remote control requests, resulting in same inconveniences.


As an agentless appliance that pipes keyboard, video and mouse (KVM) communication via a secure tunnel, KVM-over-IP switches are not reliant on health of an operating system. This means that they can be used to manage operating system upgrades and installation of major system patches from a remote location. They also make it possible to quickly toggle between multiple servers to access the BIOS, the Boot.ini menu and even Windows Safe Mode.


According to information supplied by Raritan, far from being a cut-down product, the Dominion LX comes with advanced functionality such as browser-based GUI, 1920x1080 HD-quality video support and Universal Virtual Media support to mount media devices on remote servers. Moreover, 128-bit and 256-bit AES encryption helps ensure that all remote sessions stay secure.


There are three models currently available in the Dominion LX lineup: the DLX-108 (1 local user, 1 remote user, 8 KVM port), the DLX-116 (1 local user, 1 remote user, 16 KVM ports) and the DLX-216 (1 local user, 2 remote users; 16 KVM ports).


The Dominion LX will be available worldwide starting from Oct. 31 at a U.S. list price of $925. In the meantime, you can check out its product page and the official press release here for more information.

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