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      Avocent/Cybex DSR2161 KVM Review

     
     
     Date: February 10th, 2002
     Type: Review
     Supplier: Avocent
     Author: mayhem
     

    Setup
    The first thing you want to decide before setting this unit up is whether or not you want to put it in a rack along with your servers or separately somewhere else. If you choose to mount the DSR unit in a rack then you will need to remove two screws from each side of the unit (either the front two or back two, depending on which way you want the unit to sit in the rack) and then screw the two brackets firmly into place, as shown below.

    Before you setup all your servers to connect through the DSR2161 you will need to configure it, this is done by connecting the null modem cable to an available COM port on your PC and then connecting it to the Configuration Port on the back of the DSR unit. Using HyperTerminal start a new connection called DSR2161 with the terminal set to 9600 baud, 8 bits, 1 stop bit, no parity and no flow control. Once you have connected the cable then turn on the DSR unit, for about 30 seconds the PWR indicator will flash and then when it stops wait 10 seconds before the pressing ENTER on the Avocent DSR Console.

    When the DSR Console Menu displays you can make the necessary setting changes to the unit, firstly set your network speed, give the unit and IP address and enter the Default Gateway, once this is done apply the settings and wait for the unit to reset itself with the changes. There are many other settings which you will need to modify, such as set a Security Password and then enable all the necessary Security options that you require.

    Console Setup of DSR2161: DSR Ready | DSR Menu | DSR Save Network Settings (click link to view the images)

    The following diagram is from Avocent/Cybex and illustrates a typical network setup using the DSR2161 KVM. In this setup there are 16 rack mounted servers all connected to the DSR2161 via the DSRIQ and CAT5 cables, one analog connection (direct) is setup with a monitor, keyboard and mouse for the server room. There are then two other connections possible to any of the servers through the DSR2161 unit from any machine using TCP/IP on the Local Area Network (LAN).

    To connect all the cables to the DSR2161 unit the following diagram explains what each of the plugs on the back of the unit are used for set it up.

    Once all your systems are connected to the DSR2161 and ready then all you need to do is boot up all the systems and then install all the necessary software as in the User Manual and Quick Install Documentation.

    Installation
    There are three main software applications that you must install for the DSR unit, they are:

    DSView - displays a listing of servers that an individual user can access. The DSAuthentication Service will check your NT Domain credentials and provide a list of servers available to you. There is a refresh option in the event that a new server is added, changed or deleted. Once you have selected a server from the list, the video of the selected system will be displayed in a Session Window on the user monitor. DSView can be installed on any PC running a Win32 platform.

    DSAdmin -is the administrative front end for the DSAuthentication Service. It controls user information and access levels. DSAdmin can be installed on the same machine as the DSAuthentication Service or a separate machine and connect to the DSAuthentication Server through the network.

    Setting up a new DSR2161: IP Address | Port Names | Properties (click link to view the images)

    DSAuthentication Server - manages the level of access users have to system servers as well as the topology and connections for the system. For each attached computer, the DSAuthentication Service also stores pertinent system information in a database for easy retrieval by system administrators. (This requires installation on an NTFS partition)

    To convert a partition (FAT32) to NTFS follow these steps:

    • Start -> Run: cmd
    • convert c: /fs:ntfs (just substitute c: for the drive you want to convert)
    • Reboot your machine for the process to begin
    • Your done :)

    Once they are installed you will need to set each of them up as necessary to configure the IP address, setup Port Names and all other custom settings for your Network and Server configurations.

    NEXT: Testing and Conclusion

     

      Supplier Information

     
    Avocent provide a large range of networking products, for the home user to large scale enterprise solutions. If you would like to purchase a Avocent/Cybex KVM or any other product then please drop by their website for more information on specifications of their product lines and to place an order. You can find all the details on products on their site http://www.avocent.com/.

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