Apples to oranges product comparisons

Product comparisons are not easy.

It’s been a long week. Not just because we’re rapidly racing toward the end of the year and holiday slowdowns, but because I keep getting asked for product comparisons—how are other products like Uplogix, how is Uplogix different from other products… It’s a tough request.

The first was a request from a federal partner to help provide some information for the government on a contract vehicle that lists Uplogix products. “What are some similar products we can give them as comps?” read the email along with a list of Uplogix part numbers. Fun!

Which one is not like the other

What distinguishes Uplogix from the rest of the console server market isn’t really the hardware. Sure we have some fairly unique features like a modular slot that lets you choose the right out-of-band option for your location (take your pick from v.92, cellular modems from various carriers, fiber, RS232. You can even hook up an Iridium satellite connection or use a secondary Ethernet for whatever ol’ network link you happen to have nearby), then there is solid state storage, FIPS-140-2 Level 2 certification, and even expansion modules to deploy the number of serial console ports you need or dedicated Ethernet connections. Alright, the hardware is pretty cool.

But the software that runs the Uplogix out-of-band platform is really the key. By deploying intelligent software into the traditionally dumb hardware space of a console server, we’re able to monitor devices and take automated actions directly over the console port, like an onsite technician plugging in a laptop. We go far beyond the traditional console server that sits plugged in and waiting to be useful should there be a crisis. Automated responses to network situations can be implemented in seconds or monitored over time until a threshold is met before taking actions and/or notifying the NOC.

We also play nice in the existing ecosystem. All configuration and features for managing devices are governed by powerful and granular authorization controls with every activity and change logged and archived to the NOC.

It’s hard to be humble

The second product comparison request this week was a little easier — how does Uplogix compare in functionality to a traditional console server? Answer? Great! Pretty much we do everything a console server does and much, much more! It writes itself like an old Veg-o-matic commercial. Does Uplogix slice and dice and julienne? Well no, but we encrypt and authorize and automate! But wait there’s more! Too much to list in a 30 second commercial, I’ll just drop in a handy table Consumer Reports-style.

The good news is that unlike that Flowbee or food dehydrator, Uplogix has features you can actually use. And we’ll throw in a Mini-USB port absolutely free!

The Infomercial



UplogixTraditional Console Server
Secure Operations
Session Management: Returns managed device to a base non-logged-in state during an idle time out
FIPS 140-2 Certification
Closed appliance – i.e. not completely configurable
SSD on-board storage with AES 256-bit data encryption for management information
Encrypt all data transferred to centralized management server
Support local and AAA server authentication (TACACS, RADIUS AD/LDAP)
Support local and AAA server authorization (TACACS, RADIUS)
Support specification of preferred and allowed ciphers, hashing, compression and key exchange algorithms for SSH
Support a robust granular authorization model that uses granular permissions assigned to roles that can then be assigned to users or groups of users on a hierarchical basis to control visibility, access and command execution for users based on inventory groups, local managers, device management ports and custom labels.
IP Filtering
SSH certificate authentication
Local Connectivity Options  
Virtual Port to Device or Console Server Serial Port
TCP Port Forwarding
HTTP(S) for Monitoring and Automated Action



Out-Of-Band Connectivity Options
V.92 Modem
Cellular Modem (2G/3G/LTE)
Iridium Modem
Serial Connection to External Modem
Local Configuration Management
Automatically retrieve and store device OS
Automatically retrieve and store device startup configuration
Automatically retrieve and store device running configuration files
Support scheduled recurring jobs that automatically retrieve the current OS, startup and running configuration files per managed device
Support scheduling a job to update a startup or running configuration file for one or multiple devices across the network
Support scheduling a job to upgrade the operating system for one or multiple managed devices across the network
Display configuration changes made during a user session to a managed device when the session is complete
Automatic rollback of configuration changes made during a user terminal session to a managed device if the session times out and user does not commit changes
Display configuration changes made during a user terminal session to a managed device and enable the user to automatically rollback the changes
Support bare metal restore on a replacement device by automatically installing OS and configuration files
Support the ability to independently recover a configuration on a managed device for the case where the configuration is corrupted
Device Monitoring
Regularly monitor a device and automatically restore the startup configuration and standard/certified OS for the device if the device is replaced (due to RMA) or found without its configuration
Regularly monitor a device and automatically recover the device if the OS is missing or corrupted
Monitor and save device CPU and memory utilization
Monitor and save device interface status and statistics
Monitor and save device log messages
Use and device CLI command to monitor a device on a regular basis
Monitor and save power on self test (POST) messages when managed device powers up
Monitor commands typed by user in a terminal session
Monitor device connectivity to other devices using ICMP Ping



Service Level Monitoring
Generate service validation traffic on any VLAN, test same network path as end user devices
Schedule tests to regularly monitor network performance and SLAs
Automatically evaluate SLV test results, perform customizable actions based on test results
Execute tests ad-hoc for troubleshooting
VoIP Service Validation
HTTP(S) Service Validation
TCP Service Validation
Flexible Automation
Support a customizable rules engine that takes action when collected data meets specified conditions, allowing users to use a GUI or CLI to create specialized, automated operations based on their run book and best practices
Execute any CLI command on device
Generate alarms
Generate events
Power on/off/cycle device
Initiate out-of-band connection
Push configuration file to device
Pull configuration file from device
Reboot device
Issue “show tech” on device, store and archive output
Send email alerts for device and system alarms
Environmental monitoring
Out-of-Band Management
WAN Traffic Failover (backup cellular WAN connectivity)
VPN Support for out-of-band connections
With a secure out-of-band connection back to the NOC, administrators can connect to remote managed devices during the network outage where alarms, events, alerts and SYSLOG messages are forwarded during the outage
Monitor primary network connectivity during an outage and automatically tear down the out-of-band network connection when primary network connectivity is restored.
Support encrypted dial-in access with caller-ID filtering
Log every keystroke type by a user connected to the local manager/console server
Send SYSLOG message for all Local Manager alarms and events to a designated SYSLOG server
Forward log messages collected from a managed device to a SYSLOG server on behalf of the managed device




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