Vertiv Avocent ACS EOL: Choose Your Replacement Option

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Vertiv discontinued their Avocent ACS6000 line of serial console servers at the end of 2018 and will stop supporting them on July 31, 2023 (or whenever your warranty expires). The Vertiv Avocent ACS EOL guide recommends the ACS8000 series as a direct replacement, but before you make the switch you should consider all your options.

In this blog, we’ll directly compare the ACS6000 to the ACS8000, as well as recommend an alternative replacement option for your EOL serial consoles.

Vertiv Avocent ACS EOL Model: ACS6000

The Vertiv Avocent ACS6000 series is an enterprise data center serial console server with support for remote out-of-band management and zero touch provisioning (ZTP). Vertiv offers on-premises management via their DSView™ management software, CLI (command line interface), and web app. The ACS6000 supports advanced authentication via Radius, TACACS+, LDAP/AD, NIS, and Kerberos, as well as one-time passwords (OTP). However, its automation capabilities are limited to ZTP and auto-sensing ports.

Vertiv Avocent ACS6000 tech specs

Serial console features:
  • SSH direct to consoles
  • Telnet, SSH, or a serial terminal connection
  • Multiple concurrent sessions
  • Automatic device name discovery
Pinout auto-detection: Cyclades and Cisco pinouts
Vendor neutral: No
CPU: PPC440Epx @ 533 MHz
DRAM: 256MB
Maximum ports: 48
Cellular failover: 3G/4G failover and OOB
Sensors: Internal temperature sensor
Operating system: Linux OS and DSViewTM management software
On-premises management: DSViewTM, CLI, web app
Cloud management: No
Automation:
  • Zero touch provisioning
  • Auto-sensing ports
Automation for end devices: No
Guest OS support: No
Authentication servers:
  • Local
  • Radius
  • TACACS+
  • LDAP/AD
  • NIS
  • Kerberos
Hardware security: Embedded FIPS 140-2 module
Two-Factor Authentication: Yes
Power management:
Power management integrated with serial session as well as the Vertiv GXT UPS

 

Vertiv Avocent ACS EOL Replacement Option: ACS8000

Vertiv’s direct replacement for the EOL ACS6000 is the ACS8000 series. To make your migration easier, the ACS8000 supports your existing ACS6000 configuration files and CLI scripts. In addition, the ACS8000 delivers new features such as an upgraded CPU, more RAM, and an environmental sensor port with support for temperature, humidity, leak, pressure, and contact sensors. 

Where the ACS8000 really improves upon the old EOL series is with automation—it supports RESTful API Python and Perl scripts and automated management of PDU (power distribution unit) and UPS (universal power supply) products. However, the ACS8000 still only provides on-premises management, and it doesn’t support integrations with third-party automation and orchestration solutions.

Vertiv Avocent ACS6000 vs. ACS8000 tech specs

 

  Vertiv Avocent ACS6000 Vertiv Avocent ACS8000
Serial console features:
  • SSH direct to consoles
  • Telnet, SSH, or a serial terminal connection
  • Multiple concurrent sessions
  • Automatic device name discovery
    • SSH direct to consoles
  • Keystroke logging
    • Telnet, SSH, or a serial terminal connection
  • Alert on cable disconnects
  • Multiple concurrent sessions
  • Automatic device name discovery
Pinout auto-detection: Cyclades and Cisco pinouts Cyclades and Cisco pinouts
Vendor neutral: No No
CPU: PPC440Epx @ 533 MHz Dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ with CoreSight™
DRAM: 256MB 1GB
Maximum ports: 48 48
Cellular failover: 3G/4G failover and OOB 3G/4G failover and OOB
Sensors: Internal temperature sensor
    • Environmental sensor port
    • Internal temperature
  • Door
  • Dry contact
  • Humidity
Operating system: Linux OS and DSViewTM management software Linux OS and DSViewTM management software
On-premises management: DSViewTM, CLI, web app DSViewTM, CLI, web app
Cloud management: No No
Automation:
  • Zero touch provisioning
  • Auto-sensing ports
    • Zero touch provisioning
    • Auto-sensing ports
  • RESTful API
  • Python
  • Perl
Automation for end devices No
  • Avocent Power Management
  • Vertiv MPH2 Rack PDU
  • Cyclades PM
  • Intelligent PDU
  • Avocent SPC power control devices
  • Server Technology
  • SentryTM Server Technology
  • SentryTM Power Tower
  • Eaton
  • Raritan
  • APC
Guest OS support: No No
Authentication servers:
  • Local
  • Radius
  • TACACS+
  • LDAP/AD
  • NIS
  • Kerberos
  • Local
  • Radius
  • TACACS+
  • LDAP/AD
  • NIS
  • Kerberos
Hardware security: Embedded FIPS 140-2 module Embedded FIPS 140-2 module
Two-Factor Authentication: Yes Yes
Power management: Power management integrated with serial session as well as the Vertiv GXT UPS Power management integrated with serial session as well as the Vertiv GXT UPS

 

Vertiv Avocent ACS EOL Replacement Option: Nodegrid Serial Console Plus (NSCP)

The ACS8000 addresses some of the weaknesses of the EOL ACS6000 series. However, if your enterprise needs a NetDevOps data center solution with next-gen features like cloud management and vendor-neutral orchestration support, then Vertiv’s models fall short.

The Nodegrid Serial Console Plus (NSCP) from ZPE Solutions delivers these features and more in a high-density, 96-port 1U rackmount design. The NSCP also provides hardened device security with on-board features like secure boot, encrypted disk, TPM 2.0 and geofencing, as well as embedded firewall security and SAML 2.0 authentication. Plus, the NSCP runs on Nodegrid OS, an open Linux-based architecture with full support for NetDevOps automation and orchestration solutions like Docker, Chef, Puppet, and Ansible.

Head-to-head: ACS6000 vs. ACS8000 vs. NSCP tech specs

 

  Vertiv Avocent ACS6000 Vertiv Avocent ACS8000 Nodegrid Serial Console Plus (NSCP)
Serial console features:
  • SSH direct to consoles
  • Telnet, SSH, or a serial terminal connection
  • Multiple concurrent sessions
  • Automatic device name discovery
  • SSH direct to consoles
  • Keystroke logging
  • Telnet, SSH, or a serial terminal connection
  • Alert on cable disconnects
  • Multiple concurrent sessions
  • Automatic device name discovery
    • SSH direct to consoles
  • Keystroke logging to ZPE Cloud
    • Alert on cable disconnects
  • Text pattern match
  • Multiple concurrent sessions
  • Automatic device name discovery
Pinout auto-detection: Cyclades and Cisco pinouts Cyclades and Cisco pinouts Cisco pinout
Vendor neutral: No No Yes
CPU: PPC440Epx @ 533 MHz Dual-core ARM® Cortex™-A9 MPCore™ with CoreSight™ Intel x86, 64 bit
DRAM: 256MB 1GB 4GB
Maximum ports: 48 48 96
Cellular failover: 3G/4G failover and OOB 3G/4G failover and OOB 5G/4G/LTE and Wifi failover and OOB
Sensors: Internal temperature sensor
  • Environmental sensor port
  • Internal temperature
  • Door
  • Dry contact
  • Humidity

External USB attached sensors:

  • Particulate
  • Smoke detector
  • Airflow and temperature
  • Proximity/door
  • Temperature
  • Humidity

Plus, a 7-port USB hub

Operating system: Linux OS and DSViewTM management software Linux OS and DSViewTM management software Flexible, open, 64-bit Linux-based Nodegrid OS optimized for integration with third-party automation and orchestration tools
On-premises management: DSViewTM, CLI, web app DSViewTM, CLI, web app Nodegrid Manager
Cloud management: No No ZPE Cloud Manager
Automation:
  • Zero touch provisioning
  • Auto-sensing ports
  • Zero touch provisioning
  • Auto-sensing ports
  • RESTful API
  • Python
  • Perl
    • Zero touch provisioning
    • Auto-sensing ports
    • Python
  • ZPE Cloud
  • Chef
  • Docker
  • KVM Hypervisor
  • Puppet
  • RedHat Ansible
  • Ruby
  • ShellScript
Automation for end devices No
  • Avocent Power Management
  • Vertiv MPH2 Rack PDU
  • Cyclades PM
  • Intelligent PDU
  • Avocent SPC power control devices
  • Server Technology
  • SentryTM Server Technology
  • SentryTM Power Tower
  • Eaton
  • Raritan
  • APC
  • ZPE Cloud
  • Chef
  • Docker
  • KVM Hypervisor
  • Puppet
  • RedHat Ansible
  • Ruby
  • ShellScript
Guest OS support: No No Ability to run VMs and Docker
Authentication servers:
  • Local
  • Radius
  • TACACS+
  • LDAP/AD
  • NIS
  • Kerberos
  • Local
  • Radius
  • TACACS+
  • LDAP/AD
  • NIS
  • Kerberos
    • Local
    • Radius
    • TACACS+
    • LDAP/AD
    • NIS
    • Kerberos
  • SAML 2.0 (Okta, DUO, PINGID, ADFS)
Hardware security: Embedded FIPS 140-2 module Embedded FIPS 140-2 module
  • TPM 2.0
  • BIOS protection
  • UEFI Secure Boot
  • Geofencing
Two-Factor Authentication: Yes Yes Yes
Power management: Power management integrated with serial session as well as the Vertiv GXT UPS Power management integrated with serial session as well as the Vertiv GXT UPS
    • Power management integrated with serial session (escape sequence in the serial session or power buttons in web serial session
  • Power control of VMs
  • Access rights for users and user groups

 Though the Vertiv Avocent ACS8000 series provides a close match to the capabilities of the EOL ACS6000 series, it fails to deliver the advanced features you need to achieve NetDevOps transformation. Only the Nodegrid Serial Console Plus gives you intuitive cloud management, hardened device security, and full automation and orchestration support.

Ready to replace your Vertiv Avocent ACS EOL serial console server with the Nodegrid Serial Console Plus?

Contact ZPE Systems online or call 1-844-ZPE-SYS.

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