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Lantronix launches First Distributed KVM over IP Solution

Lantronix, Inc. announced the SecureLinx Spider, the industry's first IP based "Distributed KVM" (keyboard, video and mouse) remote server management solution. Spider is a cable-friendly, single port, KVM to IP converter small enough to be held in one hand. The Spider compresses video, keyboard and mouse signals, sending them over the network or Internet to a remote PC or handheld device running industry standard Web browsers. The user has secure, real-time control of the remote server including full administrative privileges, operating system and system BIOS access, as if he or she were sitting directly in front of the server.

Spider supports remote management of Windows-based and Linux/Unix servers, without requiring additional client software or an external power supply. The SecureLinx Spider completely eliminates traditional CAT5 cable length limitations and is ideal for spacially and operating constrained environments, in locations with isolated or widely distributed servers such as test-labs, campuses and multi-floored facilities.

Today's traditional KVM over IP switch technology is principally focused on supporting a centralised IT infrastructure, providing a limited number of remote user channels for a larger set of attached servers. This configuration forces users to purchase bulky 16 or 32-port rack mount hardware for each physical location and often results in accessibility limitations where IT administrators are "blocked" from accessing critical servers once the number of supported remote user channels has been reached. These traditional KVM switches take up valuable rack space and require proprietary dongles or cables with severe length restrictions, typically ranging from 50 to 150 feet from server to KVM switch.

By contrast, the SecureLinx Spider is a "Distributed KVM" solution that overcomes these limitations. Spider is designed to meet the specific needs of geographically distributed IT operations such as regional corporate offices, branch offices, kiosks and small to medium-size businesses. Spider provides cost-effective scalability, allowing administrators to easily add incremental ports as their needs require. Users have dedicated "1-to-1" remote access to a single server. Because of this level of guaranteed access, the effective price-per-remote server is considerably lower than standard IP-enabled KVM switch offerings.

"With the new SecureLinx Spider, Lantronix has initiated a paradigm shift to distributed KVM matching the evolving structure of IT services in support of business operations," said Jeffery Nudler, senior analyst, Enterprise Management Associates. "The Spider's features, performance and price will certainly have significant impact on the market and set a new bar for OOBI (Out of Band Infrastructure) solutions to come."

"With over 8 million branch offices and small-medium size businesses in the US alone, it is clear that IT operations will continue to be challenged to support geographically dispersed environments," said Marc Nussbaum, CEO of Lantronix. "Although Lantronix has offered traditional rack-mount KVM solutions, our research indicated we needed a breakthrough to address the growing number of geographically dispersed applications. As a result, we are introducing a new category of remote management equipment specifically targeted to solve the problem of access, maintenance and control of distributed Windows-based servers. The addition of Spider to our SecureLinx product family gives system administrators secure, 24x7 non-blocking access to IT equipment anytime from anywhere around the world."

Spider's unique dual Ethernet port design coupled with Lantronix SwitchPort+™ Technology provides a flexible and cost-effective "add as you grow" scalability, allowing multiple units to be cascaded together. Small enough to be cable-supported from the back of a server, this zero footprint ("Zero U") unit frees a rack-mount slot for other uses. Its innovative low-power design allows the Spider to be server-powered from two USB connections or one USB connection plus the PS/2 keyboard and mouse ports.

"SecureLinx Spider offers our customers the features they need to effectively manage their mission-critical systems remotely," said Dan Nickel, owner of Southern California-based NiTech, an IT reseller and custom integrator. "We can now bring our customers a true distributed KVM solution that can guarantee non-blocked access to their servers at an unbelievably affordable cost-per-remote user. Being able to deliver this access and all the other features in such a tiny, server-powered package is a huge advantage over the traditional KVM switch. It's a great addition to our product portfolio and provides the ability to deliver the functionality our customers need."

The Spider includes a full range of software and security features such as RADIUS, LDAP and Active Directory remote authentication support. It also provides encryption of keyboard, video and mouse data for added security. It is a completely self-contained solution with a powerful ARM-based processor, on-board memory (Flash, Video and CPU SDRAM), secure operating system, web server, video encoder, and embedded Ethernet switch with built-in support for Virtual Media. Spider requires no client software and provides superior video quality and exceptional mouse tracking performance.

In addition to the keyboard, video, mouse, and primary Ethernet ports, Spider includes a serial interface and second Ethernet port, allowing a hardware connection to all commonly used OOB (out-of-band) management interfaces. All OOB interfaces can be accessed from one IP connection. As part of the award-winning SecureLinx family, Spider can be easily integrated into a total remote OOB management strategy including serial console management (SecureLinx SLC), remote power management (SecureLinx SLP), and consolidated management access including auto-discovery, consolidated logging and logical device grouping (SecureLinx SLM).

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.