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KVM earns high grades.

Heralded as one of the most elite and distinguished research institutions in the country, the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) has graduated some of the finest intellect in the world, including 17 Nobel Prize-winning scientists in nearly every technical field. Some famous Caltech alumni include Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel Corp., and Charles Francis Richter, creator of the Richter Magnitude Scale.

Caltech is an independent, privately supported university based in Pasadena, Calif., that offers some 40 areas of concentration in science, mathematics, engineering, and the humanities and social sciences for its 2,000-plus student body. Caltech's Computer Science Department houses a research group laboratory for research on algorithms, communication protocols, networks, graphics and human-computer interaction, and large-scale scientific computing. The department provides IT support for users of the research laboratory.

The department contains a cluster of 40 computers running Linux and Windows platforms used for research projects. According to Raft Rubin, computer science research staff member, his laboratory needed local and remote access to monitor uptime, simplify the debugging process and installation/upgrading of operating systems. Keyboard-video-mouse (KVM) solutions provided the answer to Rubin's remote-management conundrum. Without KVM technology, the lab was unable to diagnose operating system and hardware crashes on its machines remotely.

After purchasing a set of rackmount computers from a Los Angeles-based vendor, Rubin also requested a KVM solution from the same reseller. After the installation, Rubin realized that the solution lacked key functionality.

Rubin was then introduced to ATEN Technology and its enterprise-class KVM solutions. "We found the KVM solution to be very reliable and loved the keyboard/mouse emulation feature," he says. As the lab expanded, Rubin purchased additional KVMs from ATEN.

In one rack, Rubin installed ATEN's MasterView ACS1216 and ACS1216a 16-port KVM solutions and a KL0116 LCD Console KVM switch. On the rack adjacent, the lab houses an ATEN KH0116 16-port KVM switch and KA9250 (KVM extender module, which connects to the KH0116) and a CN6000 KVM over NET unit.

According to Rubin, the quality and feature set, as well as the emulation functionality of the KVMs, were key factors in choosing ATEN. The CN6000 is a remote KVM access device that provides IT administrators with the ability to diagnose, control and repair server-based problems from any location in real time.

"ATEN's KVM solutions had the scalability we needed to expand our server room, and at a cost that was affordable for us," Rubin explains. "The KVMs are daisy chainable, allowing us to connect them to one large chain. And the newer KVM solutions are compatible with the older units we purchased in 2002."

According to Rubin, his lab has experienced better cable management and increased time savings. He adds that the relatively compact size of the ATEN units has proved invaluable for his lab. "Rack space is always at a premium in a data center or server room, making it important to select solutions that combine a range of functionality in a small compartment," he says. "The KVM solutions we selected were lU high-perfect for our operations."

For more information from ATEN:
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Title Annotation:Remote Management
Publication:Communications News
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2005
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