Quatech enters serial device server market


Akron, OH— Quatech Inc. launched Aug. 13 its new line of Serial Device Servers. The firm reports its solution provides a revolutionary approach to installation and programming, enabling even novice users to easily configure and maintain serial device servers.

Quatech will begin shipping four-and eight-port units in October 2002. Other port configurations will follow by the end of the year.

'With this new line, Quatech further enhances the most robust serial connectivity line in the industry, and continues its 20-year commitment to the idea that taking advantage of new technology should not necessitate abandoning legacy devices and the applications written for them,' stated the company.

Quatech adds that Ethernet is the networking option of choice for industrial control applications, as well as for commercial applications, such as retail and banking, because it provides a low-cost, efficient method of installing, managing, and maintaining a variety of devices. However, most of these applications use RS-232 or RS-422/485 serial equipment that cannot be directly connected to a LAN/WAN. Device servers bridge this gap by providing multiple serial ports that enumerate themselves as standard COM ports on a PC, and are connected to an Ethernet network from which they can be remotely monitored and controlled. In addition, Quatech's Serial Device Servers permit implementation of standard serial equipment via Ethernet without rewriting any legacy application software.

Because they understand that most serial equipment users are not sophisticated IT professionals, Quatech adds that its engineers designed a unique software approach that enables users without a high level of Windows expertise to easily install and configure its Serial Device Servers. To install a typical competitor's device server, users must go through a number of complex steps to even access the server over the network, then several other more complex steps to configure, test and troubleshoot it.

Quatech reports that it streamlines this process into one easy-to-use Wizard, which automatically installs all necessary drivers on the PC and into Microsoft Windows' Device Manager; finds the Serial Device Server on the network; and configures each port to function as a standard PC serial port. After installation, a simple web-based management tool provides an easy mechanism from which key functions such as port configuration, diagnostics, troubleshooting, network management and administration can be accessed.

Quatech's Serial Device Servers are powered by 32-bit integrated communication processors with on-board web servers that can be accessed remotely via a standard web browser. The line is available in one, two, four, eight and sixteen port units for RS-232 and RS-422/485 configurations with a combination of DB9 and RJ45 ports. The device servers support many standard network protocols including UDP, TCP/IP, HTTP, DHCP and ARP over 10BaseT and 100BaseT. Serial port support, including full modem control, is provided for Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor

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