There are lots of terminal servers out there. You can build your own with linux, you can build your own with routers, and you can use console server appliances.
I used to build my own. Either I would have a spare router handy, or I would just use a Linux box with ser2net installed. However, I have come to truly appreciate and enjoy OpenGear’s console servers.
I am using OpenGear’s IMX 4200 product line. Either the 16-, the 32-, or the 48-port, depending on how dense of an environment I’m running. The beauty of using a console server, is that you can securely access it via SSH, but still connected to the console port of your device. Which means, you can access your console port from anywhere (provided, of course, that the device you are console’ing into, isn’t actually taking down your data line, or you have a different access to it).
Accessing an OpenGear’s serial port through SSH is extremely easy. Simply enable the Serial port for Network Access and enable SSH. You’re done!
Before we get started, let’s talk about how to exit. You can certainly just close your terminal window, but that’s not really a clean exit. The best way is to use ~ along with the period . as such: ~.
All that is left, is to SSH using a network port number of 30xx, where xx=port number. So, if you want to connect to port# 04 on the OpenGear appliance, you would “ssh -p 3004 <appliance IP>”. Or, if using PuTTy, then change the port number accordingly.
ssh -l root -p 3004 22.214.171.124
Once connected, send a keystroke (like <enter>) to wake up the screen.
But, what if you don’t remember the port? What if you need help? Well, that’s easy too. You can also be prompted with a menu, or you can use the port label that you named it. For example, to get your menu, just add “:serial” to your username, as such:
ssh -l root:serial 10.8.22.45
1: HP5820-1 2: HP5820-2 3: usfrkp10-fw01 4: Netscaler 8200
5: Netscaler 8200 6: usfrkp10-fw04 7: usfrkp10-fw05
Connect to port >
Type in your port#, and you’re golden.
You can also do the same thing with a label in your username. Whatever you labeled your port, you can connect directly using username:label as your username, as such:
ssh -l root:HP5820-1 126.96.36.199
You will be an OpenGear hero! Have fun!