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Wireless Out-of-Band Console Access with Opengear's ACM5000

By stretch | Thursday, July 29, 2010 at 2:27 a.m. UTC

A couple weeks ago, Opengear sent me one of their small new console servers to play with, specifically their ACM5000 series. My particular model is an ACM5003-W, which sports three RS-232 serial ports, two USB ports, a 10/100 Ethernet interface, and interestingly, an 802.11b/g wireless interface.


Although small, the ACM5000s run powerful firmware very similar to their larger relatives, like the CM4116 which powers the community lab.

What I really like about these boxes is that they're small, cheap, and bring a lot of flexibility to out-of-band management. They can be mounted along with gear in hard-to-reach places (access points, telecom closets to which no one ever has the key, etc.) to provide wireless console access from a much more comfortable location. The wireless adapter supports both infrastructure and ad-hoc mode with WPA2-PSK security.


Opengear also offers models with a V.92 dial-up modem or a 3G cellular modem in place of an 802.11 adapter.

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July 29, 2010 at 2:06 p.m. UTC

Very Cool! Wish I had this when I was managing a corp training center. It consisted of 7 classrooms, 7 large lab systems (telecomm & IT gear), and a semi-isolated network tying it all together. Problem was, IT controlled the IDF closets, so I had to beg and plead ever time I needed to change / fix anything...

I wonder how IT would have reacted if they found this hiding in the cieling tiles... ;-)

July 29, 2010 at 4:59 p.m. UTC

If those were PoE, I'd be in love. :)

July 30, 2010 at 10:54 a.m. UTC

Like it!

July 31, 2010 at 11:48 p.m. UTC

What are the USB ports intended for? Are they useful?

August 3, 2010 at 8:27 a.m. UTC

interesting idea, though if you should count on the wireless network being fine when you need out of band access to devices ...

Patrick Debois
August 3, 2010 at 6:09 p.m. UTC

Wondering if you can connect to it with VNC and see the bios of the computer booting?

August 27, 2010 at 12:15 p.m. UTC

Cool thing. @patrick yah install a laptop with a webcam and watch how pc/device boots up.. though it would not be a bad idea to have someone press F1 when keyboard error isn't disabled :P

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