A Versatile AB Fallback Switch for System Redundancy Applications

In most modern businesses, the local area network is such an essential part of corporate infrastructure that when the network crashes or is unavailable, all activity at the business slows to a crawl as users desperately try to figure an alternative means to communicate with fellow workers and access files and services that are normally available via network. With this in mind, the wisdom of a network fallback solution and the importance of having some sort of plan that allows quick switchover to a secondary fallback network are hard to ignore.

Although there are numerous products and programs that can be used to control network fallback operations, the number of viable solutions often diminishes drastically in applications where you need to fallback to a secondary network without rerouting IP addresses or changing network parameters, and in cases where video feeds, phone lines or T1 lines need to be switched.

AFS-16-1 AB Fallback Switch

WTI’s AFS-16-1 AB Fallback Switch provides a simple, yet effective means to automatically or manually switch between a primary network or device and a secondary network or device, without the need to reroute IP addresses or change network parameters whenever a switching operation occurs. The AFS-16-1 is an extremely versatile AB switching system, designed for any application that requires rerouting of analog or digital signals between a common RJ45 Jack and “A” and “B" RJ45 Jacks. In order to provide compatibility with a wide variety of AB switching applications, the AFS-16-1 AB Fallback Switch is protocol independent, allowing switching of RS232, RS422/485, Ethernet/UTP, phone lines or video feeds.

In addition to offering AB fallback switching functions, the AFS-16-1 AB Fallback Switch also features a powerful assortment of user-configurable alarm functions that simplify the task of keeping track of conditions and events at remote equipment sites. These alarm functions can be used to monitor rack temperatures, power supply conditions, excessive invalid access attempts, and other relevant factors at the remote site. When any of these monitored factors exceeds user-defined threshold values, the AFS-16-1 can then automatically perform AB switching, open or close contacts and/or notify service personnel via SNMP trap, email or SYSLOG message.

In network applications, the AFS-16-1 AB Fallback Switch can also regularly ping a network element, and then automatically fallback to a secondary network in the event that the primary device ceases to respond to ping commands. The AFS-16-1 AB Fallback Switch can also switch back to the primary device when the primary device stabilizes and resumes response to ping commands. Like other AFS-16-1 alarm functions, the ping response monitor can also automatically notify operators when an unresponsive device is detected and open or close auxiliary contacts in order to activate alarms or other devices.

The AFS-16-1 AB Fallback Switch also includes a convenient Monitor Mode function that enables the unit to monitor an external RS232 data line, and then automatically perform AB switching or send out alarm messages when the data line signal goes low or high.

In order to ensure that only authorized personnel are allowed to access sensitive switching and configuration functions, the AFS-16-1 AB Fallback Switch supports popular authentication protocols such as LDAP, Kerberos, RADIUS and TACACS+, as well as security features such as password protection, a user directory and an IP address filter. The AFS also features SNMP compatibility with full MIB support, allowing the unit to be easily integrated into enterprise management systems.

The AFS-16-1 features a convenient modular design that can be easily expanded as your switching needs grow. The AFS-16-1 system consists of a card rack, power supply module, control module and card slots to accommodate up to 16 individual circuit modules, allowing circuit modules to be added or removed to meet AB switching demands. Each AFS circuit module is capable of switching all 8 pins of a Common RJ45 jack between Jack “A” or Jack “B.” Circuit modules can be switched automatically in response to user configurable alarm functions, or switched on demand, using simple ASCII commands, a convenient web based control interface or manual toggle switches.