Remote Gear Support ..

Jeff Wabik jwabik at
Wed Sep 2 17:28:01 UTC 1992

I've been poking around (thru the Black Box catalog, for example) for
equipment to help us support our remote network gear located near the
NSS to which we attach.  I've had little success at finding the
right pieces.  I'm wondering if any of you have implemented any of
these (listed below) solutions, and if so, where you found the 
equipment to do it; then subsequent sucess/failure information.

Not in any particular order, here are the functions I'd like to be able
to perform remotely..  This is a "grandiose wish list", as it were.

	* Software switchable dial-up access to serial ports
	  on all gear (several ports):
                                          To Device 1
                                       || To Device 2
   Phone line    +-------+   +---------+++    .
-----------------| Modem |---| Magic Box |    .
                 +-------+   +-----------+    .
                                       || To Device (n-1)
                                          To Device (n)

	  In this scenario, I dial into the modem to the "magic box",
	  and give it some character code or sequence to attach me to
	  the specified port.  I can escape back to the magic-box 
	  and request subsequent connections without having to 
	  redial.  [Black box has one of these for 4 ports, but I hear
	  its not too good.  Any experiences?]

	* Power Cycle any of "n" pieces of remote hardware via RS232
	  interface and ASCII selection.   Ideally, this box attaches
	  to one of the ports of the serial switch above, and asks me
	  which piece of the "n" attached pieces of hardware should be
	  cycled.  [Black box has one of these for a single piece of
	  equipment.  It requires a dedicated phone line, and uses
	  telco tones to trigger a cycle.]

	* T1 line switch:

 Incoming T1     +--------+                 +-----------+
                 |        |-----------------| CSU/DSU 1 |----> To router 1
-----------------| Switch |                 +-----------+
                 |        |-----------------| CSU/DSU 2 |----> To router 2
                 +--------+                 +-----------+
		 RS232 Input

	  Ideally, this box also attaches to one of the ports on the 
	  n-by serial switch above, and has some sort of menu or 
	  ASCII code line selection mechanism.  Being a software guy,
	  I thought about wiring this up using a switch for RS232 from
	  Black Box..  Hardware people informed me that this wasn't
	  a good idea.  

Again, these are the thoughts on my mind... and an "ideal wish list". 
I'd appreciate hearing about any implementations or similar tools
that you have experience with.



Jeff Wabik                              E/Mail:  jwabik at
Minnesota Supercomputer Center          AT&T:    +1 612 626 0211
Minneapolis, MN                         FAX:     +1 612 624 6550

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