Monday, December 20, 2010

Defining a remote access strategy for an enterprise, is it that simple?

Post by Eran Kessel
Remote Access Management is a way of effectively managing and securing all the remote access protocols (i.e. RDP, VNC, SSH, KVM IP, SP, IPMI and more) in your data center. But why use remote access management anyway?
Well, nowadays IT personnel are often physically removed from their data center where all the IT infrastructure resides. "Lights-out" data centers and disaster recovery sites have become necessities for medium to large enterprises. Now days IT staff are always on the move, they work from remote offices, from home, while on the road, or from branch offices. The ability to work remotely has been made possible due to the increased reliability and usability of the internet and of remote access tools like KVM IP, RDP, VNC, SSH, Telnet and others. But, with all of these tools comes their associated IP addresses, passwords and user names, and IT managers need a way of organizing all this information. The current default option for keeping track of all these tools are spreadsheets, which require a lot of copying and pasting, and are not very secure. Organizations need a way to quickly and securely gain access to these remote access tools, which is why Remote Access Management is a requirement.

What are the benefits of a Remote Access Management strategy?
Different tech teams need different tools to accomplish their specific jobs. Different types of servers are better served by specific technologies and tools. Each technical team, or even an individual, will argue for the tool they like best. Employees will be more productive if allowed to use the tools they know and love, and aren't forced to compromise. So, having a Remote Access Management strategy not only means that you have an efficient and secure method for managing your many remote access tools, it also increases your IT efficiency and allows freedom of choice for your IT staff.

So, how does the enterprise IT define a remote access strategy for itself?
Defining a RAM strategy is quite simple and requires a few simple steps. First step is to map all remote access protocols that are being used by the IT staff, second step is to simply associate the right remote access protocol to the appropriate server or network device in the data center, let’s refer to them as targets. Third step is to assign the correct access rights to each of the IT staff, according to the organizational work flow.

Minicom's Access Management solutions aim to dramatically Increase IT efficiency & security, to save on IT costs and to simplify the daily workload of the IT staff by:
•Tighter security - Avoid unwanted access to IT assets, centrally manage and log all activity
•Enforced uniformity – All for one, and one for all! IT staff all operate through same web interface
• Open platform eco-system - Avoid dreaded vendor lock-in and integrate your choice of 3rd party KVM, Power or Serial device into the system
•On-Demand Remote Access - assign multiple access protocols to same target, whether In- band or OOB. Solve problems on the spot, in the most efficient manner
•Real Needs - Maximize past investments, Minicom's industry leading Real NeedsTM approach allows you to upgrade and repurpose running legacy KVM systems and to avoid costly replacements

Eran Kessel is a VP Marketing & Products at Minicom

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

3 Common Mistakes Made When Relocating Data Centers

Post by Eran Kessel

Mistake #1: IT managers create an organizational disaster when trying to keep track of IP addresses, password, and user names on spreadsheets. accessing servers and IT equipment is a given because of the increased dependency on remote access tools like KVM IP, RDP, VNC, iLO, SSH and others. All these tools are associated with confidential information which must remain secure.

Fix it: Organizations should use a remote access management SW to gain quick and secure access to their IT hardware using all thier remote access tools. Remote access management provides companies with the tool to securely organize all their protocols, IP addresses, and passwords, which allows the IT staff to work together no matter where they are located.

Mistake #2: Technical teams are often forced to compromise on tools they do not like to use. Different technical teams need different tools to do their different jobs, and different technologies are better served by certain tools. Every team or individual will advocate for the tool they like best because in turn they will be more productive with the tools they know and are accustomed to.

Fix it: Let your IT staff enjoy the freedom of choice in remote access tools by employing a remote access management strategy that provides an efficient and secure method for managing many different remote access tools.

Mistake #3: Businesses unnecessarily replace hardware and invest in new proprietary power, KVM, and serial equipment, rather than using their existing, up and running server room or data center infrastructure. This ineffectively increases overall costs for the company.
Fix it: By adding a remote access management solution such as AccessIT™, designed by Minicom, you have the ability to keep your current hardware and accommodate IT products from a wide range of vendors. AccessIT allows businesses to continue reaping the already-made investment in their existing IT equipment, knowledge, and training, while also giving the liberty to choose their own IT infrastructure products according to what fits their needs and their budget. In short, this solution reduces overall costs and allows your business to invest its money elsewhere.

Looking for more ways to avoid mistakes? You can learn more about how to efficiently manage your data center at the Winds of Change: Creative Concepts for Increasing Data Center Efficiency, hosted by the Data Center Alliance at Georgia Tech University on December 8, 2010.

Can’t make it? No worries! the DCA will be covering the DCA Event live on
Don’t miss out if you are unable to attend, bookmark our channel ( and log-in December 8th to see what’s happening on the conference floor!

Eran Kessel is a VP Marketing & Products at Minicom