So building my lab at work, I have read many posts on forums about others using a terminal server. Namely they use a Cisco 2500 series router with an async module.
Since we don’t have any spares of this lying around at work and my place of employment will only spend money on *necessary* equipment that will keep production going, I had to look for another solution. So I started doing some looking and found these “network serial concentrators” (http://www.digi.com) that sounded like they would work. From my understandings, we used these at terminals to allow users to connect to our call manager to allow them to make calls.
I started looking into them and they sounded like something that would work for my situation. I jumped on google to see if anyone else has used these to connect to the console ports of Cisco gear previously, but the best I could find was the pinout. When using T568B as the wiring scheme for the Digi side the wiring scheme will look like:
Now that we know the pinout of the cable connections, we now need to find how to administer this box. From looking at the box, the only connections it has are the 32 serial ports and one “10BASE-T” uplink port:
So that means no console connections :(. Looking through Digi’s documentation, looks like I need to download two packages: one to re-ip the box and one add virtual com ports to my machine to connect to the Digi’s serial ports.
*NOTE: Prior to downloading and running either of these applications, you will need to find the MAC address of the Digi. Normally it will be labeled on the bottom of the device; however, if it is not (which is my case), just plug it into a managed switch and find the MAC address found on the port.
The first program can be found here. Just unzip it and run dgipserv.exe and follow the on-screen instructions.
*NOTE: It is required to unplug the Digi’s power and *only* resupply the power when the program requires it. This is because the Digi will only request an IP address when it first receives power.
Once that is completed and you can ping the IP of the digi from your machine, you are now ready to install the digi software. I use Windows at work, so here is the link for the windows installer. Digi also has installs for other operating systems. It is pretty straight forward from here, at least for the windows setup.
Once the install completes and you have everything cabled up, you will need to just open up your favorite serial terminal (putty for me) and open the com port associated with your device.
I didn’t see much documentation in ways of using a Digi Etherlite product in the manner that I am, so I thought that writing a blog about it and documenting it would do good for others :).
If the download links for the Digi applications no longer work, I have them on my dropbox account: