Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Digging out with out-of-band

Whether this week's winter storm Juno lived up to the hype (Snowpocalypse, really?), the attention on disruptive weather does make you think about disaster recovery operations. With many people expected to be trapped at home or encouraged to stay

at home with travel bans and $500 fines for violations, for IT support teams, out-of-band management makes even more sense.

Think of Uplogix out-of-band management as a snowplow for your networkWhy venture out into the cold for network issues when a solution like Uplogix Local Management combines both reliable network management automation and secure out-of-band access when you need to do some hands-on troubleshooting. Here are a couple of examples of how Uplogix will keep you at home with a cup of hot chocolate instead of out battling the elements to keep the network from going cold.

Stay home, but keep working
With so many workers either working remotely, or given access to work remotely, the network still needs to be up and running. For IT staff riding out the storm at home, Uplogix Local Managers (LMs) offer a direct connection to managed devices -- just like plugging into a device's console port onsite.

Connectivity is available both in- and out-of-band to ensure that admins can reach devices, as well as to backfill centralized reporting tools. Think of trying to get the status of a networked sites across the storm's path. Surveying a dashboard, many sites might show up red, or down, but they don't all necessarily have the same issues. It's much easier to triage the situation if you know what's going on at the site. The in-depth monitoring of local management will tell you much more than just red/green.  Maybe lines are down, so there isn't any connectivity in-bound, or maybe a power surge put a router into ROMmon state and will be fixed automatically by Uplogix.

AAA is enforced even when the network is down or degraded with multiple failover options to ensure that strict access control is maintained even in the event that the primary AAA server is not reachable. With Local Management, you'll know that even if parts of your network are down, access is still protected.
Going cold on purpose -- the graceful shutdown
In any "apocalyptic" storm, power failures are a possibility. We generally talk about the power management features in Local Management when we talk about device recovery. After all, one of the easiest techniques is to power off a device and then turn it back on. But in a storm situation, it could be that power goes out suddenly, and stays off for some time.

Uplogix can maximize the time you have on a battery backup, or minimize the drain on a generator with automated actions. An LM can gracefully shutdown network gear by issuing the proper commands and waiting for appropriate responses to ensure that your gear goes down properly. Another option would be to reconfigure network gear to operate in a "light" mode, maybe some devices can be shut down automatically to reduce the power draw.

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. And in the case of your out-of-band management, don't wait until the store shelves lay bare before thinking about talking to Uplogix!