Product Review: The UMG4000 Offers Convenience and Security

This converged management appliance enables remote administration.

Avocent’s Universal Management Gateway Appliance UMG4000 enables IT administrators to securely manage virtually any type of device from a remote location via KVM over IP, serial console over IP or a service processor connection.

Because the UMG4000 converged management appliance can also manage power distribution units and monitor sensors for moisture, temperature, power and open or closed switches, it makes a good solution for data center infrastructure management.

The Avocent system automatically detects the type of connector plugged in to each of the 40 management ports as either Ethernet for a service processor connection; serial connector with both Avocent and Cisco DB-9 to RJ45 and DB-25 to RJ45 connectors supported; or KVM connector via proprietary Avocent KVM dongles.

IT managers can access the appliance through a web interface or a command line interface using Telnet or Secure Shell. All 40 management ports can be accessed separately, with multiple security profiles for different users or authentication via Active Directory or Lightweight Directory Access Protocol.

Remote Access Features

Users can configure the UMG4000 appliance to send email alerts if sensor thresholds are exceeded, and it can connect to the four USB ports or to a remote workstation for smart-card authentication or file transfers.

For public-sector agencies, the ability to manage one or more data centers remotely instead of having to travel to a site to reboot a system or change BIOS settings saves time and money. The sole drawback is price — those who need only serial and service processor support should consider the less expensive UMG2000 model.

Most servers have service processors that provide remote access to the BIOS and other low-level functions of the server over an Ethernet connection. While most service processors can be directly connected to the network, this gives anyone access to the console functions of the server in question.

The Avocent Universal Management Gateway UMG4000 secures access to the service processors with authentication, smart card support, network address translation and a firewall. This means that the administrator can remotely access the UMG4000 via the web with multifactor authentication, providing both convenience and a high level of security.

Avocent Universal Management Gateway Appliance UMG4000

Form Factor: Rack-mountable 1U
Dimensions:17.1x1.7x20 inches
Capacity: 512 services processors
Ports: 40 auto-sensing, 4 USB, 2 management, 1 video
Storage: 250GB

Jul 21 2014