Browse Prior Art Database

Method of Using Wireless LAN for Service Network Equipment

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000123884D
Original Publication Date: 1999-Jun-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-05
Document File: 4 page(s) / 170K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Lingafelt, S: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

In networking equipment, there is frequently an out-of band service interface capability. This out-of-band service is frequently supplied through a modem or equivalent attached to an RS232 port on the product. this service port is used to monitor the equipment from a "maintenance center" and/or for the equipment to "call home". An alternate "out of band" solution sometimes used is an Ethernet connection, which has many of the same problems as the RS232 port.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 40% of the total text.

Method of Using Wireless LAN for Service Network Equipment

   In networking equipment, there is frequently an out-of
band service interface capability.  This out-of-band service is
frequently supplied through a modem or equivalent attached to an
RS232 port on the product.  this service port is used to monitor the
equipment from a "maintenance center" and/or for the equipment to
"call home".  An alternate "out of band" solution sometimes used is
an Ethernet connection, which has many of the same problems as the
RS232 port.

   In an establishment there can be a large amount of network
equipment each having out-of-band service capabilities, yielding
many service point connections.  In some equipment there are
multiple service point connections in the same product.  It is a
significant disadvantage to require a modem and phone line for each
service point in the establishment.  This article outlines a method
of using wireless LAN technology to link together the service point
connections in such a way that one modem and phone line or one
Ethernet connection is shared among the service point connections.

   This requires a device, for the purposes of this article,
called a Wireless Service Port (WSP), that attaches to the serial
port of the equipment.  The WSP has a processor subsystem and
wireless LAN as shown in Figure 1.  In Figure 1, the Processor
Subsystem block converts or encapsulates the information flow from
the RS232 port to a format needed by the Wireless LAN block.  Of
practical interest, Figure 1 is a migration scenario that allows all
products with modem "out of band" service connectivity to use this
technology.  Obviously, a product that is designed with this
functionality in mind, would integrate this function inside the
Network Equipment product to reduce overall product cost.  In Figure
1, the Wireless Lan block is the interface to the wireless LAN.

   At a central point, a dedicated device, called a Proxy
Call-in Machine, with a processor, a wireless LAN and either a modem
connection or a piece of network equipment with a serial port and a
separate modem can be used to host the phone line and connection back
to the maintenance center, see Figure 2.  An alternative is to have
an Ethernet or Token-Ring LAN connection back to the maintenance
center, if it is co-located on the local campus with the Network
Equipment.

   The invention solves the problem of requiring separate
modem and phone links to each piece of network equipment by using
wireless LAN technology to allow communication between the network
equipment the designated "call-in machine".  The "call-in machine"
would have a modem and phone line and would act as proxy for the
other pieces of equipment in the network for their communications
needs with the maintenance center.  Thus, by using wireless LAN
technology between pieces of network equipment and use of a proxy
function in the "call-in" machine, only one modem and phone line are
needed for an are...