It may have come in the smallest box, but Lantronix's SecureLinx Spider KVM had an impact on our project that was far greater than its physical size would suggest. The Spider is a "zero U" KVM, meaning it takes the form of a USB or PS/2 KVM dongle on one end and a dual-port Cat 5e plug on the other. The whole ensemble is light enough to hang off the back of a server, saving you the rack space normally eaten by IP KVM switches and such.
The Spider sweetens the deal by adding advanced KVM-over-IP features. To begin with, it's completely non-blocked, meaning you can add as many remote users as required; each dongle can support as many as eight simultaneous users. Next, its serviceable distance is as long as anything you can send down a Cat 5e wire, giving the SOEST IT group a ton of flexibility. You can even daisy-chain a whole series of Spiders together via their dual Cat 5e ports, allowing for departmental or high security considerations.
The Spider is a nearly perfect IP KVM. Our one small quibble is we wish Lantronix had included a pass-through keyboard, video, and mouse port in the Spider so that we could have a local console to match the remote control. That said, everyone on the team has been quite pleased with the Spider KVM -- more Spiders will be calling SOEST home in the future. The IT group will be using additional Spiders outside the HIG 319 datacenter, where they will provide access to special-purpose servers in cable closets and in temporary locations.
For HIG 319, Lantronix shipped us two spiders: one USB and one PS/2. At approximately US$1,000 each, they comprise one of the least expensive IP KVMs on the market. Total cost: a most reasonable $2,000 for great functionality.
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