Arula launches serial port remote control

Any device with a serial port, from a router to a light fixture, can be remotely managed via the World Wide Web, according to Arula Systems Inc., a company that announced its formal launch Feb. 12.

Arula Systems, a spin-off of Hewlett-Packard Co., also officially launched its product suite, which is based on the Arula Universal Agent Platform.

The company already has signed up the Air Force as a customer, said Dickson Chu, vice president of business development at Arula.

"We have cleared a deal with the Air Force and are getting on the GSA schedule," Chu said. "Any device with a serial port, we can give it IP connectivity and a browser-based way of remotely controlling those devices."

Arula's product suite consists of four components:

SecureConsole, which enables an IT manager to plug any device into the console via the serial port and manage it remotely. SecureConsole SSL, which adds Secure Sockets Layer encryption to the appliance with up to 128-bit encryption. Cerebus x8, which offers the same SSL security but can manage up to eight devices in a rack-mountable chassis. ConsoleManager, which will monitor a large number of Arula devices (up to 250 ports) in a single graphical user interface. The ConsoleManager will be available by the second quarter of this year, and the other devices are available now, said Juggy Krishnamurthy, vice president of engineering and operations at the Cupertino, Calif.-based company.

An aircraft manufacturer is using Arula products to reduce its energy bill by remotely managing the lights in its hangars, Chu said. "That whole implementation only took about a week and a half, and they can individually shut off each bulb through their IP addresses." General Services Administration pricing for a single appliance with the added SSL will be $480, Chu said.

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