The console switches come with a choice of two Server Interface Pods (SIPs) — PS/2 or USB — to fit a variety of server needs. A SIP replaces a bulky KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) cable by converting the keyboard, monitor and mouse signals from a server and driving them up to 15 meters (50 feet) through a single Category 5 (CAT 5) cable. The SIP cable draws its power from the server and has a Keep Alive functionality that is designed to keep the server working properly with or without connectivity to the unit.
The switches enable cross-platform management using the On-Screen Configuration and Activity Reporting (OSCAR®) interface. With the OSCAR interface, administrators can easily configure the switch system and select the different servers. Computers can be identified by unique name, electronic ID (EID) or port number, allowing users to assign unique server names.
An optional accessory to these units is the Dell Port Expansion Module (PEM), which is a passive device that can be mounted next to the railing of the rack. A PEM connects to one system port on the switch and then eight servers. With a PEM connected to each of the eight ports on the 180AS, the total system capacity of a 180AS expands to 64 total servers.
Other highlights include: