Written by Clive Swanepoel
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Although the AS5200 Universal Access Server, manufactured by Cisco Systems, was phased-out of production in December, 1999, it remains in widespread use worldwide. Memory upgrades have extended its lifespan and maximized the return on investment. AS5200 modems support virtually all network access protocols including PPP, IPX, AppleTalk, NetBIOS and XRemote.

AS5200 Phased Out

This server was designed to handle both analog and ISDN traffic. It is a compact piece of equipment, that is very popular with ISPs that need to provide many geographically dispersed access points. As a component of the Cisco Dial Access Stacking Architecture, it can easily be scaled to thousands of ports from a small and inexpensive beginning.

Familiar Management Tools

Large installations are easy to manage using familiar network tools. Network administrators are able to access the modems at any time from a remote location to reset them or to configure settings. Network security is provided by Cisco IOS software. The modem management system monitors modem call progress and other statistics in real time, and logs various activities enabling managers to quickly isolate problems.

The AS5200 is known as a Universal Access Server because it can provide secure and reliable network access to a wide variety of users from almost any location. While the AS5200 has enjoyed widespread popularity, there are competitive products that offer more features. The Patton 2996, as an example, features a web-based management system, free software upgrades, and free tech support. In addition, the Patton 2996 includes dual redundant power supply, which is not a standard feature of the AS5200.

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