I am looking for a way to manage all of the switches in a building in an out of band manner. Since the console port on these switches (4500 series) is an RJ45 port, I was wondering if it is possible to connect this port to a patch panel and run it upstairs to our server room, whereby it would connect to a serial terminal server for accessing all the switches in one area.
Is this feasible? Are there distance restrictions for the length of the console cable?
This is very feasible. We do this for all of our lab devices. The cable you must used is a rolled cable. Pinouts can be found at http://www.cisco.com/en/US/products/hw/routers/ps133/products_tech_note09186a00801f5d9e.shtml#rolled . The RS232 spec says the cable should not exceed 50 feet or about 16 meters, but good-quality cables may be able to extend that significantly. See http://www.marcspages.co.uk/tech/long232.htm for hints.