TeleReach Eases Management

By Francis Chu  |  Posted 2002-05-13 Print this article Print

Raritan Computers Inc.s TeleReach is the first of a new breed of remote access appliances eWeek Labs has seen that uses KVM-over-IP technology to encapsulate and compress digitized analog keyboard, video and mouse signals into IP packets and send them over Ethernet.

Leveraging KVM switches ability to access multiple systems from a single monitor, keyboard and mouse, devices with KVM-over-IP capabilities offer IT managers great flexibility for remotely managing large groups of servers beyond the data center and over the Internet.

In our remote tests, the TeleReach device showed some important advantages over traditional remote access software, such as Symantec Corp.s PCAnywhere and similar products. For example, the TeleReach appliance doesnt require software agents to be installed on the servers and has less performance overhead because the servers are unaware of the KVM appliance.

In addition, the TeleReach is hardware- and operating-system-independent, as long as the servers KVM outputs are compatible.

The biggest trade-off is the price—the TeleReach costs $7,895 for the four-port model, and sites must purchase standard KVM switches for scalability. By comparison, most remote access software costs less and can accommodate network growth more easily.

In eWeek Labs remote tests using a Windows 2000 desktop, we securely connected to a TeleReach appliance at Raritans Somerset, N.J., headquarters over the Internet using either a standard Web browser such as Internet Explorer or the TeleReach Control software. To ensure confidentiality, we had the option of securing all remote sessions via Secure Sockets Layer, which supports 128-bit private-key encryption.

The TeleReach appliance was connected to Raritans Paragon KVM switch system and hooked up to several computers, a Sun Microsystems Inc. Ultra 5 server and another TeleReach appliance. Using the Web browser or the TeleReach client, we connected to and gained full control of these systems, which were running Windows Millennium Edition, Windows NT, Windows XP, Linux and Solaris, with minimal latency.

The low latency might have been due to the fairly fast Internet connection at the Labs facility. To gauge the TeleReachs capabilities under less-than-ideal conditions, we configured the session to run at lower bandwidth. The console (in our case, a PC) had lower resolution and less color in this scenario, but TeleReachs proprietary compression algorithm kept the performance from dropping dramatically.

The TeleReach device allowed us to control four consoles simultaneously. As many as eight concurrent users can log on to control systems.

This appliance also has built-in redundant power supplies (a first for this kind of device) and provides a dial-up modem for backup remote access.

Technical Analyst Francis Chu can be reached at


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