US008176155B2 (12) Unlted States Patent Yang et al. (54) (10) Patent N0.: (45) Date of Patent: REMOTE NETWORK MANAGEMENT (75) Inventors: Allen Yang, Bridgewater, NJ (US); Yee ' Ed1SOn’NJ(US) . . (73) Ass1gnee: RIIP, Inc., W1lm1ngton, DE (US) Notice: 12/1990 Ch?IIlZaS 6t 81 4,982,292 A 5,023,611 A 5,025,258 A 1/1991 ltOh et al. 6/1991 ChamZas et a1. 6/1991 D W 'l 5,099,440 A 3/1992 Pennebaker et al. 5,323,420 A 6/1994 Asprey 5,732,212 A 3/1998 5,721,842 A . 5,740,246 A Subject to any disclaimer, the term of this ) 2/1998 Beasley etal. P h It 3/1999 Beasley et al. 6/1999 Van Court 2 A 1 N _ 10/723 992 pp ' O" ’ t l. 4/1998 szirtoo Ze a 5,884,096 A , USC' 1540:’) by 1164 days‘ 21 7/1991 c?amgsezt a1‘ 5,917,552 A patent is extended or adjusted under 35 ( May 8, 2012 4,979,049 A 5,031,053 A LiaW, Warren, NJ (US); Dennis Ti, (*) US 8,176,155 B2 , it av ael e t l a. 6,104,414 A 8/2000 Odryna etal. 6,112,264 A 8/2000 Beasley et al. (Continued) (22) F1led: Nov. 26, 2003 OTHER PUBLICATIONS (65) Prior Publication Data Us Zoos/0125519 A1 Jun 9 2005 “Apex PC Solutions Launches EmergeiHighly Sought-After Remote Server Management System,” Business Wire, Sep. 14, 1998. (51) Int. Cl. (52) G06F 15/1 73 (2006.01) US. Cl. . 709/223; 709/220; 725/130; 707/E17.016; (58) Field of Classi?cation Search ................ .. 709/223, (57) 709/220; 725/130; 707/E17-016; 375/240-01 See application ?le fOr complete Search history_ Disclosed is a remote network management system for cou pling a series of remote domain servers, ?le/print servers, headless servers, network appliances, serial IT equipment, (Continued) Primary Examiner * Yves Dalencourt Assisllml Examine?’ * Michael C Lai 375/240.01 (56) References Clted switches, routers, ?rewalls, security interfaces, application 4,286,256 4,295,125 4,463,342 4,467,317 U.S. PATENT DOCUMENTS A 8/1981 Langdon, Jr. et al. A 10/1981 Langdon, Jr. A 7/1984 Langdon, Jr. et al. A 8/1984 Langdon, Jr. et al. 4,633,490 4,652,856 4,870,497 4,873,577 4,891,643 A A A A A 4,901,363 A 4,905,297 A 4,935,882 A 4,973,961 A 12/1986 3/1987 9/1989 10/1989 1/1990 ABSTRACT GoertZel et al. Mohiuddin et al. ChamZas et al. ChamZas Mitchell et al. 2/1990 Toyokawa 2/1990 Langdon, Jr. et al. 6/1990 Pennebaker et a1. 11/1990 ChamZas et al. Power Supply servers, load balancers, and environmental controls to one or more user workstations allowing for selective access of the remote devices. The remote devices are all connected to a remote management unit which interfaces each user worksta tion to the remote devices. The power supply of each remote device is similarly connected to the remote management unit through a controllable power supply. An option menu con taining a list of all of the remote devices allows a user to select and operate any of the remote devices from the workstation. The option menu is also utiliZed to selectively control the power to the remote devices, servers, and computers. 43 Claims, 13 Drawing Sheets US 8,176,155 B2 Page 2 Raritan, Paragon II User Manual, 2004. Raritan, Products Brochure, 2004-2005, p. 185899-185912. Raritan, Product Introduction, Oct. 23, 2000. Rebuttal Expert Report of Joseph C. McAlexander Regarding Valid ity and Infringement of US. Patent Nos. 5,884,096, 5,937,176 and US. PATENT DOCUMENTS 6,304,895 B1 10/2001 Schneider et al. 6,333,750 B1 6,378,009 B1 12/2001 Odryna et al. 4/2002 Pinkston, II et al. 6,378,014 B1 4/2002 Shirley 6,385,666 B1 6,388,658 B1 5/2002 Thornton et al. 5/2002 Ahern et al. 6,389,464 B1 5/2002 Krishnamurthy et al. 6,557,170 B1 * 4/2003 6,567,869 B2 5/ 2003 Shirley 6,633,905 6,681,250 6,701,380 6,771,213 6,959,380 B1 B1 B2 B2 B2 10/2003 1/2004 3/2004 8/2004 10/2005 6,112,264, Apr. 11,2005. Wilder et al. ............... .. 725/130 Anderson et al. Thomas et al. Schneider et al. Durst et al. Dake et al. 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Patent Nos. 5,884,096, 5,937,176 and 6,112,264, Mar. 22, 2005. 2002/0198978 A1* 2003/0055922 A1* 2003/0084056 A1* 2004/0042547 A1* 2004/0083266 A1* Shirley .......................... .. 703/25 12/2002 Watkins 3/2003 Kim et al. 5/2003 3/2004 4/2004 . 709/223 . 709/220 DeAnna et al. ............. .. 707/100 Coleman ................ .. 375/240.01 Comstock et al. .......... .. 709/223 Supplemental Expert Report of Michael H. Davis, Apr. 18, 2005. SwitchCom, ProServer, Aug. 1, 2002, 2 pages. 1. Tikkler, Belkin OmniView SE 4-Port KVM Switch, Nov. 8, 2000. Tony Dekerf and Gary D. Davis, “A Close Look At Modern Key board, Video & Mouse Switches,” 1995. Trial Transcript, Apex v. Raritan, Southern District of New York, Case No. 01-CV-4435, vol. 1, Jan. 2002. Trial Transcript, Apex v. Raritan, Southern District of New York, Case No. 01-CV-4435, vol. 2, Jan. 2002. Trial Transcript, Apex v. Raritan, Southern District of New York, Case No. 01-CV-4435, vol. 3, Jan. 2002. Trial Transcript, Apex v. Raritan, Southern District of New York, Case No. 01-CV-4435, vol. 4, Jan. 2002. File History ofReissue US. Patent No. 5,732,212,Apr. 11, 2002. Part Trial Transcript, Apex v. Raritan, Southern District of New York, 2. Case No. 01-CV-4435, vol. 5, Jan. 2002. Trial Transcript, Apex v. Raritan, Southern District of New York, Case No. 01-CV-4435, vol. 6, Jan. 2002. OTHER PUBLICATIONS Hartje, Roger, “Long Distance Server Management; Software Review; Evaluation,” PC Week, Feb. 1, 1999, Ziff-Davis Publishing Company. “Apex Announces Upgrade to Emerge Remote Management Prod uct,” Business Wire, Feb. 24, 1999. File History ofReissue US. Patent No. 5,732,212, Apr. 11, 2002. Part File History ofU.S. Appl. No. 10/032,325, Jun. 14, 2004. Findings and Conclusions, Apex v. Raritan, Civil Action No. 01-CV 0035, Feb. 25, 2002. Investor’s Business Daily, Box Keeps Monitors, Mice to a Minimum, Sep. 8, 1997. Joseph C. McAlexander Deposition Transcript, Case No. 01-CV 4435, Apr. 27, 2005. KVM Switch History, Aug. 2, 2002, 2 pages. KVM Switches Roundup, Windows NT Magazine, Jul. 1997. Lan Times, The beauty of Apex is a two-sided story, Nov. 20, 1995. Lightwave Communications, Inc., Product Brochure, APX 304594 304605, Jun. 1, 1998. Lu, E&J Int. 4-Port KVM Switch, Jul. 4, 2001. Marksman Transcript, Avocent v. Raritan, Civil Action No. 4435, Feb. 3, 2005. Marksman Transcript, Avocent v. Raritan, Civil Action No. 4435, Feb. 4, 2005. Memorandum and Order on Marksman issues, Case No. 01-CV 4435, (Mar. 11,2005). Network Computing, Product Brochure, May 15, 1995, 5 pages. Network Technologies Inc., Product Brochure, 1998, 2 pages. Network World, advisement, Jul. 6, 1992. Ocean Isle, Reachout Product Brochure, RCI 172996-173006, Jun. 1994. Adder, Products Brochure, APX 304572-304579, Apr. 1, 1998, 8 pages. AdderViewOSD, Products Brochure, RCI 173246-173279, Aug. 1, 2002. Avocent’s Pre-Markman Hearing Memorandum in Support of its Proposed Claim Constructions (Dec. 15, 2004). Avocent Redmond’s Answering Pre-Markman Hearing Brie?ng (Jan. 18, 2005). Avocent Redmond’s Supplemental Responses to Raritan’s Second Set ofPost-Remand Interrogatories (Nos. 15R-17R), Mar. 14, 2005. Apex, OutLook User Guide, 1997. Apex et al., Products Brochure, APX 082949-082971, 1996. Apex PC Solutions, Users Guide, 1993. Apex, Products Brochure, APX 018983-018996, Jan. 7, 1997. Apex, Products Brochure, APX 019103-019121, 1995-1996. Apex, Products Brochure, APX 056304-056346, Oct. 1, 1998. Apex’s Sales Brochure, Sep. 1, 1998, 1 page. Apex, SwitchBack User Guide, 1995. Apex’s Motion on the PolyCon Catalog and Supporting Memoran dum, Jan. 15,2002. Apex’s Proposed Markman Findings, Jan. 25, 2002. Appendixl to Apex’s Proposed Markman Findings, Jan. 25, 2002. Badman, Switching into High Gear, Network Computing, Apr. 30, PC World, New Products, May 1995, 2 pages. PolyCon GmbH Data System Inc., product catalogs, APX 024328 042697, prior to Spring, 1995. 2001. Press Release, Maintain Error-Free Central Control of 128 PCs from Bruce McNair Deposition Transcript, Case No. 01-CV-4435, May 5, One Set of Keyboard, Mouse, and Monitor, Feb. 4, 1999, 1 page. Protest Under 37 CFR 1.291 Filed in US. Appl. No. 08/969,723, Feb. 13, 1999. Raritan, CompuSwitch, Mar. 16, 1998, 1 page. Raritan, Dominion KSX, Jul. 19, 2003, RCI 139356-139371. Raritan, Dominion KX and Dominion KSX, 2004, 181193-181211. Raritan, MasterConsole MXU2, Jul. 31, 2001. Raritan, MasterConsole II, User’s Manual, 2000. Raritan, Paragon UMT2161, RCI 147483-147505, Jul. 5,2002. Raritan, Paragon User’s Guide, Jun. 15, 2000. Belkin, The OmniView PRO User Manual, Jul. 16, 2001. 2005. Compaq, White papers, 1996, APX 083313-APX 083326, APX 083335-APX 083389. Ching-I Hsu Deposition Transcript, Case No. 01-CV-4435, Mar. 11, 2005. Cybex, Director Installer/User Guide, Nov. 1996. Cybex, 4><P & 1><P KVM Switches Guide to Applications, 1996. Datavision, Product Brochure, 1992, 3 pages. Declaration of Joseph C. McAlexander in Support of Apex’s Motion for a Preliminary Injunction, Sep. 17, 2001. US 8,176,155 B2 Page 3 Declaration of Joseph C. McAlexander, III in the Civil Action No. 01-CV-4435, Dec. 15, 2004. Declaration of Sharad Malik, Ph. D., Jan. 8, 2002. Declaration of Sharad Malik, PhD. (Jan. 18, 2005). Defendant Raritan Computer Inc.’s Claim Construction Statement (Dec. 15, 2004). Defendant Raritan Computer Inc.’s Motion for Partial Summary Judgment (Jan. 8, 2002). Defendant Raritan Computer Inc.’s Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law, Apr. 27, 2005. Defendant Raritan Computer Inc.’s Reply to Avocent’s Proposed Claim Constructions (Jan. 18, 2005). Defendant Raritan Computer Inc.’ s Response to Plaintiffs First Set of Post Remand Interrogatory Requirements to Raritan (No. 1R-16R). (Dec. 16,2004). Defendant Raritan Computer, Inc.’s Response to Plaintiffs Second Expert Report of Michael H. Davis, Jan. 13, 2002. Expert Report of Sharad Malik, Regarding Noninfringement and Invalidity of US. Patent Nos. 5,884,096, 5,937,176 and 6,112,264, Jan. 13, 2002. (Unexecuted). File History ofU.S. Patent No. 5,721,842, Feb. 24, 1998. File History ofU.S. Patent No. 5,732,212, Mar. 24, 1998. File History ofU.S. Patent No. 5,884,096, Mar. 16, 1999. File History ofU.S. Patent No. 5,937,176, Aug. 10, 1999. File History ofU.S. Patent No. 6,112,264, Aug. 29, 2000. Trial Transcript, Apex v. Raritan, Southern District of New York, Case No. 01-CV-4435, vol. 7, Jan. 2002. Tron International, Inc., KVM Products Catalogs, 1997. Tron International, Inc., Products Catalogs, 1996. Tron International, Inc., Product Brochure, 1997, 4 pages. Unisys, PW2 Advantage Series Rackmount Server, 1995. Yee LiaW Deposition Transcript, Case No. 01-CV-4435, Mar. 3, Set of Interrogatories (Nos. 9-12), Oct. 30, 2001. 2005. Defendant Raritan Computer, Inc.’s Second Set of Interrogatories to Plaintiff Apex, Nov. 16, 2001. Yee-Shung LiaW Deposition Transcript, Case No. 01-CV-4435, Dec. Defendant Raritan Computer, Inc.’s Supplemental Response to Plaintiffs First Set of Interrogatories (Nos. 9-12), Aug. 31, 2001. Defendant Raritan Computer, Inc.’s Supplemental Response to Plaintiffs Second Set of Interrogatories (Nos. 9-12), Dec. 12, 2001. DEI, Central Control of Multiple PCs Without Massive Cabling, product brochure, Nov. 1992. Expert Report by Joseph C. McAlexander Regarding Infringement andValidity ofU.S. Patent Nos. 5,884,096, 5,937,176 and 6,112,264, Jan. 3, 2001. Expert Report by Joseph C. McAlexander Regarding Infringement 6, 2001 . The list of docket report in the litigation: Avocent Redmond Corp. v. Raritan Computer, Inc., Civil Action No. 1:01-CV-04435(PKC), United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, Apr. 23, 2008. The International Search Report and Written Opinion by the Inter national Searching Authority, issued on Mar. 27, 2006, in the PCT application No. PCT/US04/ 35943. Apex et al, Products Brochure, APX 316564-316621, prior to 1995. Apex et al, Products Brochure, APX 316848-316909, 1987-1998. Apex et al, Products Brochure, APX 316910-316969, 1983-1998. andValidity ofU.S. Patent Nos. 5,884,096, 5,937,176 and 6,112,264, Jan. 3, 2001. Claim Charts. * cited by examiner US. Patent May 8, 2012 Sheet 1 0f 13 101 Internet/LAN/WAN 108 Power Supply L17 FIG.1 US 8,176,155 B2 US. Patent M y 8, 2012 Sheet 2 0f 13 US 8,176,155 B2 wpomac m.3EIHEh35t2.s:5;02 _ TEE», wvmm [email protected], NOE mom >2M5 950 “QLINiEum / U 552- mom Em283m Jam US. Patent May 8,2012 Sheet 3 or 13 US 8,176,155 B2 FIG. 3A 129T Reset . Local KVM Clrcultry . 227 225 \ Dual Redundant Power Supply 221 AC In 223 Option ngezgu Serial Card 211 L PCI CPU 207 riser ‘ Video Processor 2 ' 2 card Frame Grabber 209 215 1 —-—-~ 212 LAN 205 COM1 206 __1 COMZ 208 g Y KV Port Header Modem + Module l 204 _ #21)? F2621 Ag‘? 121i i122 <- 217 I T1 Power 2%‘ i1 8 T0117 219 219 219 ‘ 219 213 213 213 213 US. Patent May 8, 2012 US 8,176,155 B2 Sheet 4 0f 13 213 213 213 213 A M i M Serial Transceiver 303 Serial Transceiver 303 Serial Transceiver 303 ‘7 Serial Transceiver 303 EEPROM 305 UARTlSwilch 301 PCI riser card 209 US. Patent May 8, 2012 Sheet 5 0f 13 US 8,176,155 B2 FIG. 3C 219 219 219 219 UART UART UART UART 354 354 354 354 1 1 217\‘ 1__.___ Li Switch Video Switch 350 352 Frame Grabber 215 ‘ US. Patent May 8, 2012 Sheet 6 0f 13 US 8,176,155 B2 FIG. 3D Keyboard and Cursor Control Device Signals CPU 207 Video-In / 375 376a I V I 376D 376c him: e-im B-out Frame Buffers sso Pixel Pusher \ 37a ' 379 J33‘? 361 Flash Memory 384 RAM 386 Switch -———-—* To 205 387 \ 390 MicroProcessor 388 _——> To 206 US. Patent May 8, 2012 US 8,176,155 B2 Sheet 7 0f 13 Store in frame buffer iv Noise Reduction and Filter /\ 403 Test FIG.4 41 9 _w1__~ Exiting 421 Caching 407 405 Send Cache Cache Hit? ——Y—es_>‘ Hit Message Server Something to Compute Stack 411 update area and create hit plane 413 v Com oression V Send compressed data message 415 To Switch 390 417 US. Patent May 8, 2012 Sheet 8 0f 13 US 8,176,155 B2 --—-—-—-> ___H__> Data Flowchart Transfer Steps G CPU 207 511 + ~505 CCT From / 503 Client Raw / ,_‘___,_i_u 1 Frame Buffer 0 Raw Compare Frame Buffer 1 Frame Buffer l A \- 521 V 509 ‘l 1' RGB Noise Nearest Color Match Function : Color 09d‘; Transiat'on Filter & Difference Test 523 515 519 Compute CRC for Changed Blocks of Pixels \—__._ ‘V Coior Code Table 513 ‘ Coded Frame Buffer /- 517 ‘ CRC Array 11 See FIG. 4B 525 US. Patent May 8, 2012 US 8,176,155 B2 Sheet 9 0f 13 Compute CRC for changed blocks of —————-—-—-> Data Transfer ———-> Flowchart Steps Coded Frame Buffer pixels 523 + Wait for Complete CRC Array 517 Coded Frame Buffer and CRC Array invalidate all data, \ New Video Mode '2 Send new video mode msg to client — 529 0 531/ For all changed blocks of pixels, compare new CRC to cache \ CRCs and update block of pixels info State Send cache hit msg to client & Yes Cache Hit? mark the block of A pixels as complete No Search block of + Block info Array pixels info array for incomplete biocks of <——’ '\.__...._____________________J pixels. Compute next update 541~/ rectangle 5 there something to date’7 Yes Bit slice the No 543 update rectangle Bit Plane Frame Buffer 547 ~—/ |——_———————————-f from the coded frame buffer to the bit plane frame buffer Send bit plane to compressor Send compressed data msg to client \ Has it been 300ms since last capture? Sewer Stack 545 417 To Switch 390 US. Patent May 8, 2012 Sheet 10 0f 13 US 8,176,155 B2 Raw Frame Buffer 1 505 \/ 601 Raw ‘Grab one block Frame 7 of Buffer 0 \ Generate a \/ ——-> by frequency sort \ 600 503 r\ 7 List of High 603 List of Low Frequency Frequency Colorsj Colors \/ ‘ V 607 Grab Next Low ‘/ Frequency Pixel Grab Next Higm/ 609 _> Frequency 1 V 611 Compute \ Distance 511 CCT From Ctient U date Color D Map "* —-—-—-~—-> Data Transfer “few-p Flowchart Steps Color Code 605 US. Patent May 8, 2012 Sheet 11 0f 13 700 US 8,176,155 B2 1 701 Current Pixel Block Previous Pixel Block Get next Pixel\/ 703 FIG-.7 705 Compute D= \ distance new-old 707 pixel_threshold Yes Accumulation 715 New Pixel Block Pixel block has not changed ---——--—> Data Transfer p Flowchart Steps US. Patent May 8, 2012 Sheet 12 0f 13 US 8,176,155 B2 \'756 00 22 0,0,0 00 00 00 0,0,0 00 FIG.8 753 0,0,0 25 , 0 0,0,0 0 0 0 O 0 754 755f US. Patent May 8, 2012 803 FIG.9 Server _’ Client // Stack US 8,176,155 B2 Sheet 13 0f13 Slack I 417/ Waitfor / message from server stack Notify application 1 L "* — layer about new video mode ]_.~ D compress data and transfer to bit For each cache hit, copy from the speci?ed cache to the merge buffer 833 \ I plane frame buffer Bit plane frame 809 831 buffer Notify application Free 0 d buffers and allocate new :__ layer of update Cache buffers flame Transfer/data in ""'""bit plane frame ~ ‘ buffer to the ‘ merge buffer 1 buffer (3) 515/ Lib: N° on N w Application Layer Notify' application V layer of update Copy merge frame buffer to vupdate frame buffer. Convert pixels to area Merge Frame Buffer the current screen 4...... 83 pixel format it Moniter Video 105 U pdate 4- 521/ Control Path --__> frame buffer 817 Copy newly deccmpressed block of pixels to cache frame buffer US 8,176,155 B2 1 2 REMOTE NETWORK MANAGEMENT SYSTEM blinking of a cursor. Even as a user types a document, a majority of the screen does not change over a period of time. Hence, the compression algorithm used by the present inven tion takes advantage of these redundancies, both between successive frames of video and within each individual frame, FIELD OF THE INVENTION to reduce the amount of digital video signal data that is trans mitted to the remote computers and/or video display devices. Reducing the amount of digital data transmitted over the communication medium decreases communication time and The present invention relates generally to a remote network management system for remotely controlling network and computer equipment from one or more local user worksta tions through a remote control device. Speci?cally, a key board, video monitor, and cursor control device attached to a decreases the required bandwidth. Most forms of video compression known in the art require user workstation are utiliZed to remotely control domain serv complicated calculations. For example, Moving Pictures Experts Group (“MPEG”) video compression algorithms use ers, ?le/print servers, headless servers, network appliances, serial IT equipment, switches, routers, ?rewalls, security the discrete cosine transform as part of its algorithm. Also, the MPEG standard relies on the recognition of “motion” between frames, which requires calculation of motion vectors interfaces, application servers, load balancers, and environ mental controls as their associated power supplies are con nected to a remote control device. that describe how portions of the video image have changed BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION over a period of time. Since these algorithms are calculation intensive, they either require expensive hardware or extended equipment, servers, and computers located at a location remote from the system administrator. If the distance is great transmission times that allow su?icient time for slower hard ware to complete the calculations. In addition to complexity, many existing video compres enough, the Internet is commonly utiliZed to control comput sion techniques are lossy (i.e., they do not transmit all of the In many situations, it is desirable to manage networking 20 video signal information in order to reduce the required band ers from a remote location. For example, a software program such as pcAnywhere may be utiliZed to access a remote 25 width). Typically, such lossy techniques either reduce the detail of a video image or reduce the number of colors uti computer over the Internet or a LAN utiliZing the keyboard, video monitor, and cursor control device attached to a local liZed. Although reducing the number of colors could be part user workstation. Remote computer access programs, such as of an adequate compression solution for some computer man pcAnywhere, typically require that host software is installed on the remote computer and client software is installed on the agement systems applications, in many other applications, 30 such a result defeats the intended purposes of the computer user workstation. To access a remote computer, a user of the management system. user workstation selects the desired remote computer from a list and enters the appropriate usemame and password. Once access has been granted to the remote computer, the user The following references, which are discussed below, were found to relate to the ?eld of computer management systems: PerholtZ et al. US. Pat. No. 5,732,212 (“PerholtZ”), Beasley US. Pat. No. 6,112,264 (“Beasley”), Pinkston, II et al. US. Pat. No. 6,378,009 (“Pinkston”), Thornton et al. US. Pat. No. 6,385,666 (“Thomton”), and Wilder et al. US. Pat. No. 6,557, utiliZes the keyboard, video monitor, and cursor control 35 device attached to the local user workstation to access and operate the remote computer. Hardware solutions also exist for operating a remote com 170 (“Wilder”). puter from a user workstation over the Internet or via a modem. In contrast to software solutions, hardware solutions 40 PerholtZ discloses a method and apparatus for coupling a local user workstation, including a keyboard, mouse, and/or do not typically require host and/or client software. Instead, hardware solutions typically utiliZe a keyboard, video moni video monitor, to a remote computer. PerholtZ discloses a system wherein the remote computer is selected from a menu tor, and mouse (“KVM”) switch which is accessible over the displayed on a standard siZe personal computer video moni Internet or LAN via a common protocol, such as TCP/IP. The tor. Upon selection of a remote computer by the system user, hardware solutions may also utiliZe a modem to connect to the 45 the remote computer’s video signals are transmitted to the Internet. Generally, a user or system administrator accesses local user workstation’s video monitor. The system user may the remote computers attached to the KVM switch utiliZing also control the remote computer utiliZing the local user an Internet web-browser or client software associated with workstation’s keyboard and monitor. The PerholtZ system is also capable of bi-directionally transmitting mouse and key the KVM switch. Once the remote computer has been selected, the remote computer’s video signal is routed to the a keyboard and/ or mouse to control the remote computer. The board signals between the local user workstation and the remote computer. The remote computer and the local user workstation may be connected either via the Public Switched KVM switch may additionally include a connection to the Telephone System (“PSTN”) and modems or via direct 50 user workstation’ s video monitor and a user may then utiliZe cabling. power source of the remote computer for a hard reboot in case of system failure. 55 The aforementioned hardware and software solutions gen erally utiliZe compression algorithms to reduce the necessary bandwidth required to transmit the video signals. For example, the remote network management system of the present invention uses the compression algorithm disclosed in application Ser. No. 10/233,299, which is incorporated herein by reference, to reduce and compress the digital data local keyboard, mouse and/or video monitor to one of a plu rality of remote computers. In particular, a ?rst signal condi 60 tioning unit includes an on-screen programming circuit that displays a list of connected remote computers on the local video monitor. To activate the menu, a user depresses, for 65 user selects the desired computer from the list using the local keyboard and/or mouse. According to Beasley, the on-screen programming circuit requires at least two sets of tri-state buffers, a single on-screen processor, an internal synchronization generator, a synchro example, the “print screen” key on the local keyboard. The that must be transmitted to the remote computers and/or video display devices. Generally, video signals generated by a per sonal computer have both spatial and interframe redundan cies. For example, in a near idle personal computer, the only change between successive frames of video might be the Similar to PerholtZ, Beasley discloses a speci?c implemen tation of a computeriZed switching system for coupling a US 8,176,155 B2 4 3 Thornton discloses a computer system having remotely nization switch, a synchronization polarizer, and overlay con trol logic. The ?rst set of tri-state buffers couples the red, green, and blue components of the video signals received from the remote computer to the video monitor. That is, When located I/O devices. The system of Thornton includes a com puter, a ?rst interface device, and a remotely located second interface device. The ?rst interface device is coupled to the computer and the second interface device is coupled to a video monitor and as many as three I/O devices (e.g., key the ?rst set of tri-state buffers are energized, the red, green, and blue video signals are passed from the remote computer to the local video monitor through the tri-state buffers. When the ?rst set of tri-state buffers are not active, the video signals from the remote computer are blocked. Similarly, the second set of tri-state buffers couples the outputs of the single on board, mouse, printer, joystick, trackball, etc.) such that a human interface is created. The ?rst and second interface devices are coupled to each other via a four Wire cable. The ?rst interface device receives video signals from the con nected computer and encodes the horizontal and vertical syn chronization signals of the received video signals onto at least one of the red, green, and blue components of the video screen processor to the video monitor. When the second set of tri-state buffers is energized, the video output of the on- screen programming circuit is displayed on the local video monitor. When the second set of tri-state buffers is not active, the video output from the on-screen programming circuit is blocked. Alternatively, if both sets of tri-state buffers are energized, the remote computer video signals are combined With the video signal. The ?rst interface device also encodes the I/O signals received from the connected computer into a data packet for transmission over the fourth Wire in the four Wire cable. Thereafter, the encoded, red, green, and blue components of signals generated by the on-screen processor prior to display on the local video monitor. 20 The on-screen programming circuit disclosed in Beasley also produces its oWn horizontal and vertical synchronization signals. To dictate Which characters are displayed on the the video signals and the data packet are transmitted to the second interface device located at the human interface. The second interface device decodes the encoded red, green, and blue components of the video signal, separates the encoded horizontal and vertical synchronization signals, and decodes the I/O signal data packet. The video signal and the synchro video monitor, the CPU sends instructional data to the on screen processor. This causes the on-screen processor to 25 nization signals are then output to the video monitor attached retrieve characters from an internal video RAM for display on the local video monitor. to the second interface and the decoded I/O signals are routed to the proper I/O device, also attached to the second interface. The overlaid video image produced by the on-screen pro The second interface device may optionally include circuitry cessor, namely a Motorola MCl4l543 on-screen processor, Words, the Beasley system is designed to produce an overlaid to encode I/O signals received from the I/O devices attached to the second interface for transmission to the ?rst interface device. Wilder discloses a keyboard, video, mouse, and poWer video that is sized for a standard size computer monitor (i.e., not a Wall-size or multiple monitor type video display) and is computers to one or more user stations having an attached is limited to the size and quantity of colors and characters that 30 are available With the single on-screen processor. In other limited to the quantity of colors and characters provided by sWitching (“KVMP”) apparatus for connecting a plurality of 35 keyboard, video monitor, and mouse. On screen display the single on-screen processor. During operation of the Beasley system, a remote com apparatus alloWs a user located at a user station to select and puter is chosen from the overlaid video display. Thereafter, the ?rst signal conditioning unit receives keyboard and mouse video monitor, and mouse attached to the user station. Sec signals from the local keyboard and mouse and generates a data packet for transmission to a central cross point sWitch. The cross point sWitch routes the data packet to the second signal conditioning unit, Which is coupled to the selected remote computer. The second signal conditioning unit then routes the keyboard and mouse command signals to the key (“OSD”) circuitry embedded Within the KVMP sWitching operate any one of the computers utilizing the keyboard, 40 ondary sWitching circuitry located Within the KVMP sWitch ing apparatus alloWs a user located at a user station to addi tionally control the electrical poWer supply supplying each computer. In vieW of the foregoing, a need clearly exists for a self 45 contained remote netWork management system capable of board and mouse connectors of the remote computer. Simi operating and controlling netWorking equipment, servers, larly, video signals produced by the remote computer are routed from the remote computer through the second signal conditioning unit, the cross point sWitch, and the ?rst signal and computers connected to a remote control sWitching unit. Furthermore, such a system should alloW a user to control the and vertical synchronization video signals received from the poWer supply attached to the remote netWorking equipment, servers, and computers. The system should aid in managing remote netWork environments, thereby reducing the need to remote computer are encoded on one of the red, green or blue have an on-site system administrator. conditioning unit to the local video monitor. The horizontal 50 video signals. This encoding reduces the quantity of cables required to transmit the video signals from the remote com puter to the local video monitor. Pinkston discloses a keyboard, video, mouse (“KVM”) SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION 55 The present invention provides a self-contained remote netWork management system for administrating a remote sWitching system capable of coupling to a standard netWork (e. g., a Local Area Network) operating With a standard net computer netWorking environment from one or more local Work protocol (e.g., Ethernet, TCP/IP, etc.). The system of user Workstations With attached peripheral devices (i.e., key board, video monitor, cursor control device, etc.). The remote netWork management system of the present invention alloWs Pinkston couples a central sWitch to a plurality of computers and at least one user station having a keyboard, video monitor, 60 and mouse. The central sWitch includes a netWork interface a user located at a user Workstation to access, operate, and card (“NIC”) for connecting the central sWitch to a netWork, control netWorking equipment, servers, and computers Which may include a number of additional computers or remote terminals. Utilizing the Pinkston system, a user located at a remote terminal attached to the netWork may control any of the computers coupled to the central sWitch. 65 located at a remote location. The remote netWork manage ment system also alloWs a user to control the poWer supply to each piece of remote equipment. The netWorking equipment (e.g., hubs, sWitches, routers, etc.) is typically controlled via US 8,176,155 B2 5 6 a serial interface. In contrast, servers and computers are con pression device constructs the video frame based upon the transmitted video signals and the blocks of pixels contained in trolled and operated utilizing a keyboard, video monitor, and its local cache. Also, the decompression device updates its mouse. The remote networking equipment, servers, and computers local cache with the new blocks of pixels received from the RMU. In this manner, the decompression device caches are all connected to a central remote management unit (“RMU”), and in turn, the RMU is connected to the Internet or remain synchroniZed with the compression device cache. Both the compression device and the decompression device update their respective cache by replacing older video data a LAN via an Ethernet or modem connection. The RMU has serial ports for connection to the networking equipment as well as keyboard, video, and cursor control device ports for connection to the servers and computers. The RMU addition ally contains a port for connection to a power supply capable of controlling the power to the networking equipment, serv ers, and computers. Standard cabling is utiliZed to connect the with newer video data. Furthermore, the video signals transmitted by the RMU have been compressed using a lossless compression algo rithm. Therefore, the decompression device (e. g., software on networking equipment, servers, and computers to the appro priate ports on the RMU. The RMU also provides compatibility between various the user workstation) must reverse this lossless compression. operating systems and/or communication protocols, includ ?ag information, the decompression device is able to recon ing but not limited to, those manufactured by Microsoft Cor struct full frames of video. poration (“Microsoft”) (Windows), Apple Computer, Inc. (“Apple”) (Macintosh), Sun Microsystems, Inc. (“Sun”) (So laris), Digital Equipment Corporation (“DEC”), Compaq Computer Corporation (“Compaq”) (Alpha), International This is done by identifying the changed portions of the video image, based upon ?ags transmitted by the RMU. From this 20 table (“CCT”) conversion. The decompression device, like Business Machines (“IBM”) (RS/ 6000), Hewlett-Packard Company (“HP”) (HP9000) and SGI (formerly “Silicon Graphics, Inc .”) (IRIX). 25 The decompression algorithm can be implemented in the remote network management system of the present invention in a variety of embodiments. For example, in one embodi 30 The RMU is capable of storing multiple pro?les and different execute within a web browser such as Internet Explorer or 35 listing all the networking equipment, servers, and computers at the remote location. The option menu additionally contains a menu allowing a user to control the power to each piece of 40 equipment, server, or computer by utiliZing the keyboard and/ or cursor control device attached to the user workstation. Once a user makes a selection, the user is provided access to the remote equipment as if the user is physically located at the remote site. The RMU and the user workstation communicate via TCP/ IP. Before transmission via TCP/IP, the unidirectional video signals (i.e., from the RMU to the user workstation) are digitiZed by a frame grabber. This circuit captures video out put from the initiating computer at a speed of at least 20 45 the present invention is designed to easily integrate with 50 55 algorithm is actually a combination of four sub-algorithms (i.e., the Noise Reduction and Difference Test (“NRDT”), niques or security measures may be used. Smoothing, Caching, and Bit Splicing/Compression sub-al 60 decompression occurs. The user workstation operates as a decompression device by executing a decompression algo regarding the portions of the video that yielded “cache” hits (i.e., portions of unchanged video). In response, the decom digital encryption techniques known in the art. In one embodiment of the present invention, a 128-bit encryption technique is used both to verify the identity of the RMU and to encrypt and decrypt the transmitted video and data signals. In this embodiment, a 128-bit public key RSA encryption technique is used to verify the remote participant, and a 128 bit RC4 private key encryption is used to encrypt and decrypt the transmitted signals. Of course, other encryption tech data contained in the raw frame buffer. The compression rithm. Along with any transmitted video or data signals, the RMU transmits messages to the decompression devices sion is secure. If the transmission is not secure, hackers, competitors, or other unauthorized users could potentially view con?dential information contained within the video sig nals. Therefore, the remote network management system of represented with 5 bits for red, 5 bits for green, and 5 bits for blue. The digital representation is then stored in a raw frame gorithms) as described in greater detail below. After the video signals have arrived at the user workstation, Internet capabilities, regardless of the distance at which the computer is located from the initiating computer. This feature reduces the cabling cost associated with the remote network management system of the present invention. Since the present invention can be used to display video signals at locations that may be at a great distance from the RMU, it is important to ensure that the video signal transmis frames/ second and converts the captured analog video signals to a digital representation of pixels. Each pixel is digitally buffer. The compression algorithm then processes the digital Netscape® Navigator®. Such an embodiment eliminates the need for installation of application speci?c software on the user workstation. Also, this embodiment allows the RMU to easily transmit the video signals to any user workstation with located in the RMU. The option menu consists of a menu remote equipment. The user selects the desired networking ment, it can be implemented as a software application that is executed by the user workstation. In an alternate embodi ment, the decompression algorithm can be implemented to levels of access for each pro?le. Once a user has been authen ticated, the user is provided an option menu on the user workstation’s monitor produced by option menu circuitry the RMU, locally stores a copy of the same CCT used to compress the video data. The CCT is then used to convert the video data received from the RMU to a standard RGB format that may be displayed on the monitor attached to the user workstation. To utiliZe the remote network management system of the present invention, a user ?rst initiates a management session by utiliZing client software located on a user workstation to connect to the RMU. Alternatively, the user may utiliZe an Internet browser to connect to the RMU. The user is then prompted by the RMU to provide a user name and a pas sword. In addition, the decompression device converts the video frame to its original color scheme by reversing a color code Finally, since the remote network management system of the present invention allows for platform independent com munications, the compression algorithm utiliZed does not employ operating system speci?c hooks, nor does it use plat form speci?c GDI calls. In the preferred embodiment, the compression algorithm 65 described herein and in co-pending application Ser. No. 10/ 233,299 is used to transmit the video signals. However, the video transmission system is not limited to such an embodi US 8,176,155 B2 8 7 Other objects, features, and characteristics of the present ment. Rather, this system may be employed with any com pression algorithm without departing from the spirit of the invention, as well as the methods of operation and functions of the related elements of the structure, and the combination of parts and economies of manufacture, will become more invention. Therefore, it is an object of the present invention to provide an improved, remote network management system that enables a user to control a remote networking environment apparent upon consideration of the following detailed description with reference to the accompanying drawings, all from one or more local user workstations. Such a remote of which form a part of this speci?cation. networking environment may include domain servers, ?le/ print servers, headless servers, network appliances, serial IT BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS equipment, switches, routers, ?rewalls, security interfaces, A further understanding of the present invention can be obtained by reference to a preferred embodiment set forth in application servers, load balancers, and environmental con trols. Further, it is an object of the present invention to provide a the illustrations of the accompanying drawings. Although the illustrated embodiment is merely exemplary of systems for carrying out the present invention, both the organiZation and method of operation of the invention, in general, together remote network management system that allows one or more local user workstations to access and operate remote network ing equipment, servers, and computers connected to a remote management unit. It is another object of the present invention to provide a single, platform-independent remote network management system offering centraliZed, integrated, and secure control. 20 with further objectives and advantages thereof, may be more easily understood by reference to the drawings and the fol lowing description. The drawings are not intended to limit the scope of this invention, which is set forth with particularity in It is an additional object of the present invention to provide a network-independent remote network management system the claims as appended or as subsequently amended, but containing a modem for emergency access. For a more complete understanding of the present inven tion, reference is now made to the following drawings in which: merely to clarify and exemplify the invention. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a remote network management system capable of BIOS-level control of KVM equipment and console-level control of serial devices. Additionally, it is an object of the present invention to provide a remote network management system which pro vides a single consolidated view of all servers and other 25 FIG. 1 is a schematic representation of a remote network management system according to the preferred embodiment of the invention illustrating the connection of a user worksta tion that includes a keyboard, video monitor, and cursor con 30 connected devices from one screen via a web browser. It is another object of the present invention to provide a remote network management system which contains a single sign-on and interface. Additionally, it is an object of the present invention to provide a remote network management system which is 35 upgradeable. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a remote network management system which provides high performance over low bandwidth connections including 40 modem, wireless, cable, DSL, and fractional Tl. It is another object of the present invention to provide a remote network management system which utiliZes a video compression algorithm and frame-grabber technology to ensure the fastest possible transmission of high quality video. Furthermore, it is an object of the present invention to provide a remote network management system including built-in serial port buffering to provide views of recent con FIG. 3B is a detailedblock diagram of the serial card shown in FIG. 3A. FIG. 3C is a detailed block diagram of the KVM port header shown in FIG. 3A. FIG. 3D is a detailed block diagram of the video processor shown in FIG. 3A. 45 FIG. 4 depicts a ?owchart of the compression algorithm utiliZed by the preferred embodiment of the RMU in accor dance with the present invention. FIG. 5A depicts a ?owchart detailing the Noise Reduction and Difference Test and smoothing sub-algorithms of the 50 compression algorithm utiliZed by the preferred embodiment sole history. It is still a further object of the present invention to provide trol device to networking equipment, servers, and computers through a remote management unit (“RMU”). FIG. 2 is a screen-shot of an example option menu utilized to control the networking equipment, servers and computers. FIG. 3A is a block diagram of the preferred embodiment of the RMU shown in FIG. 1 according to the preferred embodi ment of the present invention illustrating the internal structure of the RMU and connectors for serial devices, keyboards, video monitors, cursor control devices, and a power supply. and operate. of the present invention. FIG. 5B depicts a ?owchart that details the caching and bit In addition, it is an object of the present invention to pro vide a remote network management system that is compact algorithm utiliZed by the preferred embodiment of the present a remote network management system that is easy to install and provides readily accessible communications ports. splicing/ compression sub-algorithms of the compression 55 Further, it is an object of present invention to provide a remote network management system, which allows error-free invention. FIG. 6 depicts a ?owchart that details the nearest match function and its integration with the CCT of the compression communications between peripheral devices of a local user algorithm utiliZed by the preferred embodiment of the present workstation and networking equipment, servers, and comput invention. FIG. 7 depicts a ?owchart that details the Noise Reduction ers located at domain servers, ?le/print servers, headless serv 60 ers, ?rewalls, security interfaces, application servers, load and Difference Test sub-algorithm of the compression algo rithm utiliZed by the preferred embodiment of the present balancers, and environmental controls. invention. ers, network appliances, serial IT equipment, switches, rout It is also an object of the present invention to provide a remote network management system capable of controlling the power supply to remotely located networking equipment, servers, and computers. 65 FIG. 8 depicts an example application of the Noise Reduc tion and Difference Test sub-algorithm to a sample block of pixels as performed by the compression algorithm utiliZed by the preferred embodiment of the present invention.