What is out of band management? 

Out-of-band (OOB) management is a method of remotely controlling and managing mission critical IT assets and network equipment. This is achieved by using a secure connection through a secondary interface that is physically separate from the primary network connection. This enables administrators to gain control even during primary network failures.

It is also essential that your OOBM solution provides access from anywhere, anytime, and from any platform such as your computer, laptop, tablet, or mobile phone. After all, Network Admins are very mobile people that require the ability to receive alerts and notifications no matter where they are. In the event of a network failure, they need to be able respond and remediate from anywhere and from whatever platform is most convenient. Ideally this level of accessibility should be from a single-pane-of-glass cloud-based SaaS solution.

OOBM channels should be 100% dedicated to preserving 24/7 uptime of your network infrastructure including:

  • Routers
  • Firewalls & security appliances
  • Switches 
  • Servers 
  • Storage 
  • Power distribution

How does out of band management work?

Out-of-band management is typically enabled through a serial console port, such as RS-232, which provides a command line interface for troubleshooting routers, servers, switches, power controllers, storage devices and other equipment. This enables administrators to configure, troubleshoot, fault find and reboot problematic devices when unplanned outages occur.

What are the differences between In-Band and out-of-Band Management?

In-band refers to the ability to administer a network via the primary network, allowing IT administrators to manage devices from a single interface. However, a sole dependency on in-band management means devices must be already connected to the primary network before they can be managed.

On the other hand, with hardware-based out-of-band management (OOBM), IT administrators can access devices even if they are disconnected from the network or their operating system (OS) is malfunctioning or unresponsive. 

How do you know that your business needs Out of band management?

This graph highlights the major causes of public outages, leading to compliance failure and high costs for businesses. So, what could be another solution to ensure your business is up and running even in the event of outages?

Out of Band Management is a core capability that every data center and remote site should have to improve overall uptime and remote access. Implementing the correct OOBM solution will allow for quick response times during remediation efforts and network repairs in order to reduce and even mitigate outages. 

Moreover, OOB management is especially useful for IT teams that need to manage large numbers of locations at scale, where physical access to each individual device is nearly impossible. This technology serves as a valuable component of any network disaster recovery plan. As networks are increasingly distributed, the need for out-of-band management is even more important.

However, not every IT asset needs to have OOB management. So when you are planning your OOBM requirements, you need to consider the following questions:

  • What equipment requires 24/7 visibility and access?
  • What and how many OOBM connectivity options (local and remote) do I require?
  • How can I use OOBM to reduce or avoid sending staff to remote sites?
  • What type of security does my remote management solution require?
  • What type of forensic logging and analysis data do I require?
  • Do I need to provide disaster recovery support via remote management?
  • Does the device on the OOBM network require a CLI (command line interface) or a GUI (graphical user interface)?
  • How can I scale, or improve my OOBM management solution in the future?
  • What are my bandwidth requirements during an OOMB scenario?
  • Does my OOBM solution offer fail-over to OOBM and fail-back to my production network?

 

Why out of band management?

The primary benefit of an out-of-band management interface is its availability when the network is down. When a device is in sleep mode, hibernating, or otherwise inaccessible, OOBM can be used to remotely reboot devices that have crashed and in some cases even manage powered-down devices.

With out-of-band management, any device that has access to a secondary network connection and a power source can be managed. IT teams can reach devices whether they are located on or off-site,  are inside or outside the corporate firewall or even powered on or off. This translates into several business benefits.

  • Better access and functionality. Because out-of-band management capabilities are hardware based, they operate beneath the OS. Administrators can set levels on the BIOS and UEFI firmware interfaces or make elevated task changes. They can also perform routine tasks, like PC setup and configuration and OS or security updates.
  • Lower IT management costs. Businesses that have hundreds or thousands of network devices in many locations can reduce their operational costs related to travel and IT staff hours.
  • Faster fixes. With out-of-band management, there’s no need to wait for machines to be shipped back to IT or for technicians to reach the site before fault finding diagnosis and remediating steps can be executed. Devices can be up and running faster, reducing downtime and boosting productivity.

Our Solutions

SAPPLY can assist you in finding a suitable OOBM solution for your IT infrastructure with a range of products. 

Lantronix SLC 8000: Advanced Console Manager – advanced console manager that provides secure access to IT equipment (https://www.sapply.com/products/lantronix-slc-8000-advanced-console-manager-dual-ac-power-supply/)

Lantronix EMG Edge Management Gateway – perfect edge solution for anywhere an offsite network device is needed, and space is limited (https://www.sapply.com/product-category/iot-m2m/lantronix/out-of-band-management/remote-management-solutions/lantronix-emg-8500/)

Lantronix SLB: Branch Office Manager – a hybrid appliance combining a console server and a PDU for branch offices and remote sites (https://www.sapply.com/product-category/iot-m2m/lantronix/out-of-band-management/remote-management-solutions/lantronix-slb/)

Lantronix ConsoleFlow™ – cloud-based centralized management SaaS solution for console managers with powerful automation, notifications, and smartphone app (https://www.lantronix.com/consoleflow/)

 

Questions to ask

1.What if I could save you time and money when you have a network outage?

Cost of downtime is at an all-time high so every business works hard to avoid that. Meanwhile Gartner estimates $5,000 per minute, or $300,000 per hour.

2. Would you like to keep everything up & running instead of waiting for your ISP to fix the problem?

Understanding that ISP connections sometimes fail. 4G LTE failover for your branch offices, remote sites, and the data center offers speeds fast enough to accommodate your network requirements.

3. Would you like to provide your team with the ability to perform tasks from anywhere, anytime and from any platform (Laptop, tablet, cell phone) without spending time and money going on site?

If they do have OOBM, but not Lantronix, they only have 1/2 the solution. Lantronix offers OOBM + Cellular Failover. If your customers are still using modems, they’re paying exponentially more than necessary. $40+ per month for a landline vs. $7 per month for a 5MB M2M connection can provide the quick ROI they’re looking for.

4. Do you juggle multiple interfaces to access the IT and networking equipment in your datacenter?

Access all of your servers, firewalls, outers VoIP servers, PDU’s and other remote devices from one single interface Lantronix. ConsoleFlow provides access to up to thousands of devices from a single pane of glass.

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