Thursday, November 17, 2011

Out-of-band options for any situation

One of the key features of the Uplogix Local Management Platform is the ability for a Local Manager (LM) to connect back to the NOC over an out-of-band (OOB) link when the primary network link is not available. This connection is a secure two-way link that not only allows Uplogix to feed centralized management tools with granular data about which specific device in the stack is having trouble (or often, show that the stack is working just fine and the problem is external), but also creates a channel for human intervention with managed devices.


Uplogix LMs always “dial-out,” never allowing in-bound dial-up requests, to restore connectivity when the primary network connection goes down, closing common security holes.


Choose the OOB that works best for you
The variety of options for OOB links ensure that in virtually any installation, Uplogix can deploy with an OOB solution -- from an urban data center to a suburban branch office or from a ship at sea to a  forward operating base in a war zone. Here are some of the options for out-of-band links for the Uplogix platform:
  • Dial-up modem on a standard analog (POTS) lineNothing fancy here - if you have a phone line, it's easy to plug in an integrated modem or use an external modem with your Uplogix Local Manager. 
  • Secondary Ethernet
    If you are deploying local management in a location with a separate network, you can utilize it for an OOB connection. Just keep in mind how separate that network really is - does it utilize a different provider? Is all of the infrastructure really distinct? Is it accessible from an outside location? If the answer is yes, you might be able to take advantage of that investment for an OOB channel.
  • Cellular modem
    If you aren't too remote, odds are you are in range of a cell tower. An external cellular modem is a relatively inexpensive option for OOB that also offers the convenience/security of not using the cabling in the building. You can adjust or sometimes share data plans between multiple locations to minimize cost.

  • Satellite modem
    Many applications of local management are in remote environments such as energy platforms at sea, or military bases already using satellites for network connections. Phone lines and cellular signals are not available, so a separate satellite connection serves as the OOB channel.

    Uplogix works with Iridium modems to offer the option of connectivity anywhere on the planet. The constellation of LEO (low-Earth orbit) satellites provides access to the most remote locations.

    To ensure the best connection possible, Uplogix invented the LEO-I Kit, an integrated Iridium antenna and modem.  The kit makes it possible to place the antenna and modem at an optimal location for a clean, strong signal - up to 500 feet from the networking gear and Uplogix LM it is supporting.

    Similar to Iridium, Uplogix can use the Inmarsat system, whether it's FleetBroadband in the maritime industry, or the Broadband Global Area Network (BGAN) on land, to utilize the high-speed satellite data services.
The Uplogix LEO-I Kit integrated Iridium antenna and modem
for remote installation
An important strength of local management is the ability for a Local Manager to not only report out exactly what is going on even when the network is down, but also to provide a channel for expert human support to access remote equipment. The variety of options available for out-of-band access ensures that no matter how far away your deployment of local management is, you'll always be connected.