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      Avocent/Cybex KVM AutoView 400 Review

     
     Date: October 8th, 2001
     Type: Review
     Supplier: Avocent
     Author: Xtracable

    One of the major problems in the IT industry is the number of computers that you have to monitor at any one time. A company may have two file servers, a proxy server and maybe a webserver in the one server room, to add a monitor, keyboard and mouse to each of these computers just creates a mass of cables and hardware. So the best solution is to use a KVM to switch ONE monitor, keyboard and mouse between all your servers and computers.


    Cybex has a range of products to do just this. The Cybex AutoView 400 is an 8-Port KVM that has a huge range of features such as:

  • PC selection from the push of a button.
  • Scan mode to run through each PC at a set time interval
  • Support for two simultaneous users, this second user can be up to 500 feet away from the AutoView system
  • On-Screen display, allowing you to select the computer you wish to control from an On-Screen menu
  • Multi-user security
  • Flash upgradable software
  • Expandable for up to 64 computers
  • Small footprint to make it ideal for rack mounting.
  • Colour coded cables and plugs for easy installation
  • Support for VGA, SVGA, XGA and XGA-II
  • Plug and Play
  • Supports any operating system you may run
  • Supports PC/AT, PS/2, USB and SUN workstations

    Initial Package
    The AutoView 400 is about the size of a 1 unit rack mount switch or hub
    . It looks very neat and professional and its simple design doesn't make it standout. It is shipped in two boxes one for the KVM / Remote station and the other for the cables that you ordered. There are four different sets of cables one for IBM PC/AT, one for PS/2, one for Sun workstations and the other is for USB machines


    Above is a photo of the Four different types of leads that came with the AutoView

    Setting It Up
    The first thing you will need to do is unplug any keyboard, video or mouse cables from the back of your systems in order to make way for the AutoView cables. I recommend you power down all machines if you can, just makes the process easier and prevents problems
    .

    Now you need to select the correct cables for your systems ether PC/AT, PS/2, Sun or USB. The cables are very neat with one 25pin D-Shell that plugs in to the back of the KVM which runs along a single cable to the computer then splits into video, keyboard and mouse plugs. The plug are fairly lengthy so that they will fit any computer be it mini or full tower. Then simply plug you keyboard, monitor and mouse in to the back of the KVM where it says local user. The KVM also requires power which is supplied through a standard computer IEC lead.

    The above is the setup with one computer plugged in. All up it is a pretty straight forward and easy installation. Bellow is the back of the KVM with all computer plugged in. The standard cables are about 2 1/2 meters long so you can place the KVM out of the way in a rack or somewhere similar.

    As you can see below, the AutoView 400 does not come with rack mount hardware but it is the perfect size to sit in a rack/cabinet on a shelf or on top of another item.

    One of the best features of the AutoView 400 is ability to have a remote station or user up to 500 feet away from all of the computers. This would allow an IT administrator to monitor, update and configure all the servers in there server room from the convenience of there desk. The remote station runs over a length of standard CAT5 network cable. It is a small compact unit that could be placed anywhere on a desk and you simply need to plug a monitor, keyboard and mouse in to it then connect it the the AutoView 400 with a piece of CAT5 network cable. It is then just a matter of selecting the computer you wish to control via the On-Screen menu and you are away controlling a computer that could be in another room!

    The AutoView 400 on screen menu allow the administrator to set up things like the security features, scan times, channel names and configure the AutoView 400. Below is a photo of the On-screen menu.

    The administrator can define up to four users that can be restricted to access only allowed computers on the AutoView 400. Each user has to login to gain access to the computers that the administrator has allowed then to. Below is a photo of the Login Screen.

    NEXT: Testing and conclusion

  •  

      Supplier Information

     
    Avocent provide a large range of networking products, for the home user to enterprise solutions. If you would like to purchase a 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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