Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Exchange 2008 Part II

One area we’ve struggled with over the last year is how to deal with remote operator stations. The two methods we’ve used have been remote terminal sessions using thin clients and KVM extenders. We did exhaustive testing in our shop trying to find the right combination of pieces and parts to allow KVM extenders to work with USB and PS/2 mice and keyboards. While we have something that works, it’s cobbled together.

At the Emerson Exchange, Dell unveiled a rack mounted operator station with a custom Ethernet KVM compression extender board and a remote decompression brick. And the solution is fully supported by Emerson!

The comment from the Dell representative commented they did a coast to coast test (PC on one coast, the extender brick on the other) and only had 80 ms of latency.

Look for availability later this month.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Exchange 2008 Part I

I just got back from the 2008 Emerson Exchange in Washington DC (well, I got back last Friday, but needed some R&R before diving back into my computer). It was an intimate gathering of over 2500 of my closest friends. The only time it felt crowded was when we were trying to board busses to the National Air and Space Museum on Thursday night.

While I’ll have several more posts on different topics related to Exchange over the next week, I wanted to start by mentioning the whole wireless world. It’s becoming more and more obvious this is going to take off big time, as more customers are beginning to see the potential benefits.

One hugely simple application is temperature monitoring for all those portable tanks, especially in the pharma/biotech world. The days of filling out roundsheets for these tanks can go away.

One bit of irony, the NovaTech User Group meeting was held the same week as Emerson Exchange (coincidence?), nearby in Baltimore – I’m sure all 60 people in attendance had a great time.