Out-of-Band Management Featured ArticleApril 26, 2012
Extending Co-Location Service Offerings with Out-of-Band Management Appliances from Opengear
Remote infrastructure and out-of-band management technologies have helped revolutionize the manner in which enterprises operate their network infrastructure. Rather than trying to manage a disparate array of systems, many forward-thinking companies have chosen to outsource their infrastructure, monitoring and service delivery needs to co-location service providers.
Co-location centers are a popular choice for enterprises large and small due to their ability to reduce operating expenses while increasing physical security, availability and network performance. Simply put, they eliminate all the headaches and productivity lapses often associated with on-premise IT operations.
So what sets a co-location center apart from its competitors? Are they all one and the same?
The simple answer is no. Leading co-location and out-of-band management centers differentiate themselves from less successful rivals with comprehensive infrastructure management appliances, which have been proven to not only extend service offerings for customers, but also improve profit margins for co-location centers.
The leading provider in the infrastructure management market is Utah-based Opengear (News - Alert), which has spent years designing appliances that secure and simplify remote monitoring, access and control of critical IT and network infrastructure. Opengear has solidified itself atop the market by building a comprehensive, efficient, smart, open and vendor-neutral family of data center infrastructure products.
The company's products include, but are not limited to:
- Rack mount, blade chassis servers and service processors
- Storage and SAN
- Network routers, switches, load balancers and UTM
- Telecommunications systems, carrier Ethernet and fiber
- Power distribution and backup power infrastructure
Through these offerings, Opengear is able to provide co-location centers with near limitless subscription services that can generate recurring revenues while also increasing profit margins.
Service offerings enabled by Opengear's suite of products include:
Virtual Remote Hands: This offering enables co-location centers to put more control in the hands of customers, enabling them to perform a number of maintenance and troubleshooting tasks without the need to send their staff on site or contract co-location employees.
Customers can perform remote tasks that include bare metal and systems provisioning, network connectivity restoration, Cisco (News - Alert) IOS recovery and hard power cycling to recover a locked server or device.
“Virtual remote hands offer your customers the peace of mind of maintaining total autonomy over their infrastructure, securely, from anywhere in the world,” says Opengear.
Opengear appliances can be wired directly to each out-of-band management console, which enables organizations to manage and control their infrastructure remotely, even if the network is down. Leveraging an Opengear appliance, companies can be guaranteed secure, orthogonal access no matter what the infrastructure type –whether it be storage, server or switch – or the network connection (in-band or out-of-band).
“The Opengear Infrastructure Management appliance is a single point for authenticating and authorizing management sessions, integrating with external authentication servers to provide granular control over monitoring and management rights and privileges, for a given user connecting to a given piece of infrastructure,” say Opengear.
In addition to its primary functionality, Opengear's automated framework logs complete management session transcripts to provide an inclusive audit trial. These sessions can be stored locally or automatically transferred off-box.
Vendor-Neutral Infrastructure Management
One of the main reasons enterprises partner with co-location centers is their ability to manage a diverse range of infrastructure from a number of vendors. Unfortunately, this benefit is often mitigated when an infrastructure management appliance is only compatible with one specific vendor.
This is where Opengear differentiates itself from the competition. Built on popular open Network UPS Tools, Powerman and ipmitools projects, Opengear appliances can monitor and control equipment from over 100 vendors over Ethernet, USB and serial management interfaces.
“Opengear's user-friendly interface allows you to enjoy the interoperability and flexibility of open software, without the configuration and maintenance overheads” the company stresses.
Check out this complete white paper for more information on other service offerings from Opengear.
Edited by Jennifer Russell
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