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“Most secure” console servers comply with FIPS-140-2, run Linux

Sep 15, 2005 — by LinuxDevices Staff — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 5 views

MRV Communications says its LX-series console servers are the “most secure available,” and that revised Linux-based firmware allows them to meet mandatory US and Canadian government security requirements. TNew v3.6.0 firmware also offers a 2.6-series Linux kernel, IPv6 support, and improved security, the company says.

MRV says the new firmware allows its LX-series of console servers to comply with the requirements of FIPS-140 (Federal information processing standard 140 level 2). FIPS-140-2 calls for both data encryption and a product design that detects evidence of tampering. LX-series devices are currently undergoing FIPS-140-2 certification testing FIP by US government-certified testing agency Atlan Laboratories, MRV says.

In addition to FIPS-140-2 compliance, the MRV console servers are “suitable for compliance” with HIPAA (health insurance portability and accountability act) and Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the company says.

MRV's new firmware is available as an update for existing customers, and is shipping on all current LX-series console server models, the company says, including:

  • LX-1000S series — Compact 1-, 2-, or 4-console port servers available in six configurations with varying port counts and power input ranges. These devices are powered by a RISC processor with 8MB Flash and 64MB DRAM memory. Sizes are 6.25 x 3.5 x 1 inches and 6.25 x 5.9 x 1 inches.
  • LX-4000S — A rackmount console server with up to 48 ports, targeting enterprise alarm management and remote access
  • LX-8000S — A 20- or 40-port model available with AC or DC power inputs, an optional internal modem, and NEBS (network equipment-building system) console management

According to MRV, the LX-series devices can be used to configure, manage, and upgrade servers and other networking equipment remotely via their serial port console interfaces. Additionally, the LX devices can provide remote power management and infrastructure/security alarming through a single management interface.

Additional features in the new firmware version include:

  • IPv6
  • Expanded support of SNMP v3, which provides for encrtyption
  • Redundant Ethernet ports
  • Linux 2.6-series kernel, which enables improved security

Additionally, MRV says it has enhanced its Megavision Pro network management software, adding support for “event horizon” fault management.

MRV's GM of LX-series products, Mary Jane Gruninger, said, “Improving network access — especially in a crisis — is critical for today's network-centric enterprises, which is why there is an increased push to implement secure out-of-band networking capabilities. With this new software release, the LX family is continuing its long-held position of being the most secure console server available.”


LX Series firmware, version 3.6.0, is shipping on all LX-series Console Servers, and is available as a free upgrade for existing LX-series customers. The firmware also supports MRV's 5150 Power Control series and IR-7014 Alarm Master devices.

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