Out-of-Band Networks provide secure remote service port access, remote power management and environmental monitoring to devices in an organization’s networks and infrastructures.
This nearly eliminates the need for physical presence at a device to correct problems or manage its everyday operation. This mode of unmanned operation is called Out-of-Band or Lights Out Management. Normally, an Operating Infrastructure device such as a server is managed through the switches and routers in the organization’s Production Network. But when the server becomes disconnected from the Production Network due to an error, it frequently requires physical presence at the server to restore it to normal operation. This can nearly be eliminated by using an Out-of-Band Network to remotely power cycle the server and manage it back into the Production Network using the server’s service port. The same is true for devices such as switches and routers in the Production Network. Secure remote access to devices in an organization’s Physical Infrastructure can usually only be performed through the Out-of-Band Network. Primary access to the Out-of-Band Network itself is usually through the Production Network. But when a Production Network failure causes Out-of-Band Network equipment to become disconnected, access can be established through a modem to restore Production Network and Out-of-Band Network equipment to normal operation. Using an Out-of-Band Network to aid in the management of an organization’s networks and infrastructures can cut costs, increase security, lower downtime is also reduced since devices can be brought back online quickly without the delays of dispatching personnel to device locations. In many data centers, power and cooling challenges limit future expansion and bring additional capital equipment and utility costs. Current trends include the increased use of 3 phase power, higher amperage circuits, higher cabinet density and increased current/environmental monitoring. Advanced power management capabilities can reduce energy costs, cooling and space requirements, and extend equipment life span. In test labs, power management enables time based equipment sharing, greatly reducing energy and capital equipment costs. Consolidating power, environmental and physical plant management into the existing IP infrastructure reduces the number of management applications and associated training, support, and maintenance of those applications, while also streamlining operations providing further savings in operational costs. Simplifying Operations Like any other network, an Out-of-Band Network must implement secure access and authentication protocols. Advanced Out- of-Band Network solutions automatically verify access through an organization’s existing security infrastructure. Support for security standards such as SSH v2, RADIUS, SecurID, TACACS+, SNMP v3, NIST FIPS 140-2, and others is essential to assure security and operational simplicity. Further operational simplicity can be achieved through SNMP-based communications with existing Network Management Systems such as HP OpenView®, Tivoli®, BMC Patrol® and CA-Unicenter®. Also, equipment in the Out-of-Band Network itself may need to be updated with new configuration specifications or updated firmware. Some Out-of-Band Network that cannot be justified for most applications. Using Out-of-Band Networks to provide near immediate access to disconnected devices, downtime is minimized and service levels improved without the need for complex redundant systems. Integrating the monitoring and control of Operational and Physical Infrastructures via a network connection not only reduces staffing needs, it also allows for real-time analysis, greatly reducing risk by reducing reaction time from hours to minutes.