InfoWorld review: An IP KVM for servers that haven't come out of the closet

The single-port Lantronix SecureLinx SpiderDuo wins with a low price, advanced features, and local console pass-through

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The most welcome improvement in the SpiderDuo is the pass-through console port. Now when we're using the IP KVM in the data center, we don't lose local console capabilities for that quick command to remount a drive array. The SpiderDuo also delivers crisper video and faster screen refreshes than the original, and the cables (PS/2 or USB) are modular instead of fixed. Thanks to better plastic and sturdier cable connections, the unit no longer threatens to break in my bag.

Lantronix provides a free Windows application, SpiderView, for accessing and managing multiple Spiders. An iGoogle widget is also available to leverage the cloud. iGoogle can display thumbnails of multiple spiders in a single browser window, so instead of an amazingly expensive media switcher, you can have a mini-NOC anywhere you can bring up iGoogle.

You can manage multiple SpiderDuos from a single Windows GUI (included with the KVM) or from an iGoogle widget (above) available for free download from the Lantronix website.

The SpiderDuo is a standard toolkit item and a handy way to make sure I can access the console of IT closet servers, including localized DHCP/DNS servers, scientific logging servers, and perhaps even the embedded servers we put into pressure housing under the ocean. At $385 per unit, the SpiderDuo is getting very close to the per-port price for Avocent and Raritan -- especially if you include the cost of an aggregating controller server like Avocent's DSView or Raritan's Commander. If Raritan could figure out a housing shape that also helps organize server cables, we'd be golden.

Lantronix SecureLinx SpiderDuo at a glance

Platform support Pros Cons

Browsers: Internet Explorer 6.0, Netscape 5.0, Firefox 3.0, Safari 2.0, and later versions

Operating systems: Windows 2000 and later, Unix, Linux, Mac OS X

Other requirements: Sun Java 2 runtime, Telnet/SSH client for command-line access
  • Supersmall and perfect for a traveling tech kit
  • Video refreshes even faster than our other enterprise IP KVMs
  • Finally, a pass-through for local console access
  • Supports eight remote users without a dedicated KVM server
  • Supports a wide variety of clients
  • LDAP, RADIUS, and Active Directory authentication but no TACACS
  • VGA only, no DVI yet (but then again how many servers have DVI?)

This article, "InfoWorld review: An IP KVM for servers that haven't come out of the closet," was originally published at Follow the latest developments in systems management, servers, processors, and other hardware at

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