The Global 2X2X16 Console Manager (GCM16) and Global 4X2X32 Console Manager (GCM32) are the next generation digital keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) console managers that provide KVM-over-IP and serial console management technology in a single appliance. Either console lets you access and manage all servers remotely, even to the system BIOS, using your existing IP infrastructure.
Details about the features of the GCM16 and GCM32 are as follows:
Number of local concurrent users:
The GCM16 and GCM32 console switches enable one or two local user to access any attached servers. If the target device is currently in use, the user attempting to gain access will be given an opportunity to force a connection to the device if their preemption level is equal to or higher than the current user’s level. If the user attempting to gain access has a lower preemption level, the active user will be asked if they wish to give up control to the new user (a timeout is also configurable).
The GCM16 and GCM32 both support two independent local users as shown in Figure 3. One local user attaches to the VGA and USB ports on the console switch as shown in Figure 2. The second local user attaches to a tiered (slave) console switch (see "Tiered consoles" below for more information). These two ports are independent of one another (that is, not pre-emptive or shared). This configuration allows you to place a console in every rack, for local connectivity to those servers complete with local KVM access, plus tier up to a master console that has local KVM access to all the servers attached to all attached console switches.
Local user connections:
Local displays are connected to the console switch using VGA analog connections. Keyboard and mouse must be USB attached and two USB ports are provided for this purpose. Two additional USB ports are provided for the attachment of devices such as optical drives or memory keys. These devices can be made available on remote target systems provided Virtual Media Conversion Options are used to connect to those target systems. Note, however, that the Virtual Media Conversion Option does not support chaining of target systems.
The GCM16 has 16 target system ports (known as analog rack interface or ARI ports) and the GCM32 has 32 target system ports. These can be directly attached to systems with the appropriate USB or PS/2 conversion option connector on the end. These connections use standard CAT-5 cables. You can increase the number of connected target systems by two methods: chaining or a tiered arrangement of switches (more about these below). Both methods mean that each of the 16 or 32 ports will have multiple systems connected to it. You can mix connection methods.
Remote access via Ethernet or Modem:
Remote access to console switch and to the target systems is via a Web browser. The switch provides agentless remote control and access. No special software or drivers are required on the attached servers or client. Access is normally via a standard Ethernet network, requiring that the console switch be connected to the network via one or both Ethernet ports. Connecting both ports provides redundancy. Additionally, if a modem is connected to the modem port on the console switch and the modem is connected to a telephone (PSTN) system, then you can dial the console switch via your modem and establish an out-of-band connection to the console switch using the Point-to-Point Protocol (PPP) for remote control. V.34, V.90, or V.92 connections are supported.
These are cable-connector combinations that are connected between the CAT-5 cables from the console switches to the target systems. The figure below shows the conversion option cables that can be used with the console switches. The part numbers are listed in the Part number information section.
The Virtual Media Conversion Options (VCO and VCO2) supports the virtual media capability of the console switches; however, they do not support chaining.
The built-in memory of each connection option helps simplify configuration by assigning and retaining unique server identification codes for each attached server. This integrated intelligence enhances security and helps prevent unauthorized access to a server through cable manipulation. The connection option is powered directly from the server, providing Keep Alive functionality even if the server is not powered on.
Local and remote user interfaces:
The OSCAR interface of older console switches has been replaced by a Web browser interface, which is accessible both locally and remotely. You can use the local management interface by connecting directly to the local port to manage the GCM16 and GCM32 switches. You can also use the remote browser interface to manage your switch. The browser interface is launched directly from the switch, and any devices connected to the GCM16 and GCM32 switches are automatically detected. The local and remote user interfaces share a similar look and feel.
The GCM16 and GCM32 support virtual media when the target systems are connected using the Virtual Media Conversion Option Gen2 (VCO2), part number 46M5383. You can use virtual media support to connect USB 2.0 media devices to the console switch using one of the four USB ports and make those devices available to any connected system. With this feature, you can install software; install, upgrade, or recover the operating system; update the BIOS code; or boot the target system from a USB drive.
Control of how the USB device is connected to the target system is managed through the user interface. The browser interface presents the following configuration options:
- Virtual Media Locked: The locking option specifies whether a virtual media session is locked to the KVM session on the target device. When locking is enabled (default) and the KVM session is closed, the virtual media session will also be closed. When locking is disabled and the KVM session is closed, the virtual media session will remain active.
- Allow Reserved Sessions: Ensures that a virtual media connection can only be accessed with your username and that no other user can create a KVM connection to that target device. When the associated KVM session is disconnected, the virtual media session may be disconnected according to the Locked setting.
- Write Access: With this option, you can specify whether the target system can write to the USB device (assuming it is writable).
- Encryption: You can configure encryption levels for virtual media sessions. The choices are: None (default), 128-bit SSL (ARCFOUR), DES, 3DES, and AES.
Note that USB ports are assigned to a single virtual media session and cannot be independently mapped. This means you cannot map one USB device to one target system and another USB device to another target system.
Use of LDAP and smart cards to authenticate access:
The GCM16 and GCM32 support Lightweight Directory Access Protocol (LDAP) for integration with existing authentication/security models. This ensures that you maintain only one set of user credentials and can maintain strict password rules.
The GCM16 and GCM32 switches also allow you to use smart cards to ensure access is authorized. Smart cards are pocket-sized cards that store and process information. Smart cards such as the Common Access Card (CAC) can be used to store identification and authentication to enable access to computers, networks, and secure rooms or buildings. Smart card readers are connected directly to the switch via one of the USB ports, or they can be connected to any remote workstation that is running the remote browser interface or DSView management software and is connected to the switch using an Ethernet connection.
Note: For smart card use, the target device must be connected to the console switch using the Virtual Media Conversion Option Gen2 (VCO2), part number 46M5383.
Use of encryption:
The GCM16 and GCM32 support encryption for KVM signals and for remote media. Available encryption levels are 128-bit SSL, DES, 3DES, or AES. These are configurable via the browser interface.
True serial capabilities:
The GCM16 and GCM32 switches support Serial Conversion Option (SCO) cables that provide serial capabilities through Telnet. The capability provides a proper serial connection, not serial-to-VGA conversion. You can launch an SSH session or a serial client from the on-board Web interface to connect the targets that are connected to the GCM16 and GCM32 switches with an SCO cable. The SCO includes a separate USB-to-barrel power cord adapter - see Figure 2. Connect the USB end of the adapter to an available USB port on the target system to supply power to the SCO.
Managing Intelligent Power Distribution Units:
The dedicated Power Distribution Unit (PDU) ports on the GCM16 and GCM32 switches support the direct attachment of certain Avocent-branded Intelligent PDUs and can provide the ability to view and manage these units directly through the switch. Lenovo Intelligent PDUs are not supported.
You can tier multiple rack console switches to enable access to additional servers. In a tiered system, an ARI port on the main rack console switch connects to the ACI port of a tiered rack console switch (see Figure 3 for locations of these ports). Consider a tiered configuration if you want to manage servers connected to multiple switches from one central location. For example, you could have a primary GCM16 console switch with 16 switches tiered underneath it that all have servers chained on their ports.
The GCM16 and GCM32 support two levels of tiering. The use of virtual media and smart card authentication are both supported only when primary and secondary switches are GCM16 or GCM32 console switches.
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