Friday, December 16, 2011

Celebrating 2011: Looking back, looking ahead

As 2011 closes, the long drought in Uplogix' hometown
of Austin, TX has subsided enough to lower the burn ban,
enabling us to celebrate with this photo! 
It's hard not to look back at the end of a year, and for Uplogix, 2011 has been an eventful year. Some say that time in small companies passes like dog years -- when your company is small and nimble, everything goes faster. Before we cover a few highlights of 2011, we'll send out a quick thanks to all of our customers, partners, employees and their understanding families that are continuing to support Uplogix and the mission to expand local management in networks all over the world.

Satellite Communications
Uplogix continues to find good traction in the satellite market. The vast distances and high costs of on-site support make local management a game-changer for VSAT service providers who are able to remotely provision gear and recover from issues -- all with the confidence of connectivity over and out-of-band connection.

In 2011, Uplogix continued to expand the gear it can manage, including Intellian satellite antenna control units and arbitrators. To steal a quote from the press release:
“Intellian has deployed over 15,000 marine stabilized satellite antenna systems since 2005,” said Eric Sung, president and CEO of Intellian. “We’re excited to partner with Uplogix to bring remote access and control of these systems to satellite operators for even greater service quality and lower cost of ownership.”

The Uplogix platform combines persistent localized management of devices—like Intellian VSAT antennas as well as the traditional IP networking gear common in today’s maritime networks—with onboard intelligence to automate management, whether the network is up or down.

A customizable rules-engine makes it possible to create specialized operations, such as generating an SMS message when an antenna is in a blockage zone or loading a satellite modem’s configuration when predefined conditions exist. Especially valuable in satellite-enabled networks, Uplogix includes an out-of-band connection to provide persistent management control of remote sites.
This year also saw increasing brand recognition and visibility in the satellite space at trade shows like Satellite 2011 and the Offshore Communications Conference, where we had the opportunities to demo gear and interact with current and potential customers. As a demonstration the importance of the satellite market for Uplogix, this year our largest customer is in the VSAT space.

See more of the Be a Rockstar with Uplogix stage at Cisco Live.
Uplogix Goes Virtual
With the release of the Local Management Software version 4.4, we added the new ability to run Uplogix as a virtual machine (VM) on the Cisco UCS Express platform. Debuting on the rock star stage at Cisco Live in Las Vegas, this initial application of the virtualized Uplogix software runs on the UCS in a Cisco integrated services router (ISR). With the ISR providing the serial connections to managed devices and the Uplogix VM running on the UCS Express, the solution expands that hardware deployment options and increases managed port density to 48 per Uplogix Local Manager (LM).

The virtualization of the Uplogix software will enable additional new ways to deploy Local Management in the coming year. Today they are available as custom solutions that include virtual LMs on select platforms to exploit in-place console servers, and virtual Uplogix Control Centers. It's an exciting new, if virtual, world.

New Faces, New Places
The Uplogix executive team added two new members this year. Both Lisa Frankovitch (VP - Corporate and Business Development) and Jim Cahill (VP- Sales and Marketing) brought a career of experience in the tech industry to their roles and have had an immediate impact on Uplogix. 2011 was a year of new partnerships and customers, and Lisa and Jim have the airlines miles to prove it.

2012: A Year in Preview
As we close out 2011, the coming year promises to be another exciting one at Uplogix as we look to put seven years of work into just 12 months (remember - dog years?). We look forward to our customers continuing to find value in local management and explore new ways to increase uptime and reduce their service costs. New partnerships, the final completion of the FIPS 140-2 certification process, and additional product innovations are all in the plan for the upcoming year as we look to cram in more new users to our logo slide.

From all of us at Uplogix, thank you. We wish you a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous new year.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Helping Managed Service Providers Manage

Ensuring high availability and performance for customers with geographically distributed networks and multiple remote locations presents a number of unique management challenges for MSP staff. Since it’s not possible to be onsite everywhere, network device errors often require expensive support calls and drive missed SLAs.

This is where the benefits of Local Management directly address the bottom line for MSPs by increasing uptime and lowering support costs.

Monitor AND Control Remote Networks
Local Management drastically reduces the cost and complexity of supporting highly distributed IT environments. Uplogix Local Managers (LMs) enable MSPs to remotely monitor, manage, and control network equipment on the customer’s premise—even when the network is down.

From the Uplogix Control Center, operations staff can centrally manage multiple customers’ networking, communications and other IT devices connected to Uplogix LMs via a simple, web-based interface with multi-tenant capabilities. With Uplogix, you can also give your customers the added value of secure access to their network infrastructure at all times.

Uplogix saves MSPs significant labor costs by displacing mundane daily maintenance tasks and reducing the dispatch of costly, limited IT personnel to remote customer sites. Uplogix augments existing network & systems management with a unique ability to not only alert, but to take immediate local action to remediate issues.

Uplogix in a Typical MSP Deployment
Uplogix LMs deployed at remote sites are connected over the console port to managed network devices. With a variety of out-of-band options, Uplogix ensures that you can always have local management and control. LMs at customer sites are managed from the Uplogix Control Center in the MSP NOC.

With Uplogix Local Managers at customer sites, the MSP can manage many configuration, troubleshooting and recovery situations from the NOC, with considerable savings of direct support costs (think fewer truck rolls) and the backend cost of missed SLAs.

For more information, visit the
Uplogix Resource Center to
download the Solutions for MSPs document

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Looking at the Uplogix Control Center

Local Management is defined as managing network devices directly -- not over the network they utilize or provide. To tie together multiple sites and numerous Uplogix Local Manager devices, there is the Uplogix Control Center. The Control Center deploys in the NOC to provide real-time monitoring and management capabilities as an element manager for Uplogix Local Managers. The Control Center also serves as the gateway between the Local Managers deployed across the network and other IT management systems.

Centralized Control for Distributed Management
With its web-based graphical user interface (GUI), Control Center puts IT administrators in control of real-time data to easily manage, configure, and control all network devices and servers connected to Uplogix Local Managers. Groups can be created for device and user management by similar sites (i.e. branch offices), localities (i.e. west coast) and devices (i.e. firewalls).

Watch a five-minute overview of the Uplogix Control Center.

The Control Center provides a consistent, enterprise-wide point of control for configuring administrative policies for and scheduling all maintenance, management, configuration, and recovery tasks performed by Uplogix Local Managers. Simple point-and-click interface for executing enterprise-wide management tasks, such as distributing patches, resetting passwords or performing configuration changes.

The Uplogix Control Center's web interface
For example, you could set up a change to a particular device type once, and push it out to all of those devices in your network. And while you are at it -- set up the change to happen at 2 a.m. local time in a follow-the-moon type scenario. With the Local Manager's Surgical Rollback function, any devices that respond negatively to the change will roll-back to the previous configuration.

Local Management is complimentary to existing network management platforms, with the Control Center providing the important role of integrating with centralized systems and network management consoles. It serves as a point of integration with other management systems and solutions. Alarms and events appear as if they came from the managed device itself, even if the network is down and the Local Manager is forwarding the message over an out-of-band connection.

Enhanced Reporting with Local Management
The Control Center includes robust and customizable reporting of event, alarm and device statistics, network service level measurements and the operational status of Local Managers across the enterprise.

The simple web interface allows users to customize automated actions for configuration management and recovery by archiving and storing configuration files for all managed devices. It can quickly restore good working configuration files to a managed device via the Local Manager. The Control Center also archives all session logs from Local Managers and the Control Center for auditing and compliance purposes.

Finally, the Control Center serves as a central proxy for seamless in-band or out-of-band communication with Local Managers.

For more information about the
Uplogix Control Center,
download the data sheet

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Expanding the reach of local management in secure mobile communications

Uplogix recently announced an agreement with TeleCommunication Systems, Inc. (TCS) that will allow TCS to utilized Uplogix solutions in their managed services business units, as well as act as a reseller of Uplogix solutions to end customers.

TCS is a leader in reliable and secure mobile communications technology with solutions ranging from military communications to 9-1-1 emergency call systems to GPS and text messaging applications. Their customers include communications carriers and operators, public safety organizations and the federal government.

The ability of local management to lower support costs and increase uptime are clear for a company like TCS. They have large infrastructures for global location-based services, text messaging traffic (they delivered about a third of the US text message traffic -- delivering over 850 billion text messages in 2010!), plus satellite communications through the TCS global network including teleports, operation center and field services.

There are also possibilities for local management in their SwiftLink family of deployable communications solutions that could bring network automation and remote troubleshooting like what is already deployed in many maritime applications that utilize Uplogix.

In managed services engagements, local management can be a game changer. The ability to automate many level 1 and 2 network management and device recovery tasks means that SLAs are easier to deliver and services can be delivered at lower costs. That combination of fewer rebates for missed SLAs, plus reduced support cost across the lifetime of the service from installation through monitoring and managing gives Uplogix users the ability to be more competitive and deliver on their contracts.

For more information, check out the Managed Service Providers data sheet in the Uplogix Resource Center.