Out-of-Band Management Featured ArticleMay 02, 2012
Pipe Networks Goes Open Source with Opengear's Out-of-Band Management Appliances
When it comes to providing customers with a wide range of connection, interconnection and hosting services, Pipe Networks certainly knows a thing or two about how to maintain its competitive edge. After all, the operator of Australia’s largest Internet exchange provides government, enterprise and ISP customers direct access to their fiber optic network deployed through Australia – some pretty powerful resume-bragging rights.
But even Pipe Networks was met with a challenge when it needed an even better way to deliver quality service to organizations worldwide that are looking to fully outsource the management and provision of their telecommunications, data communications and hosting functions. That’s where Opengear (News - Alert), a provider of support for out-of-band management comes in.
For Pipe Networks, the first step to improving quality of service was to install remote management appliances and services at all its off-site locations. The second critical task was to bind this management infrastructure with inbound and out-of-band access within a “sophisticated management applications environment,” according to company officials.
Prior to enlisting the help of Opengear, Pipe Networks was relying on Cisco (News - Alert) 2511 units but it reached a crossroads when it could no longer buy these units, which were its default console access method, because the Cisco product had reached “end of life” and the supply chain was running dry. At that time, Pipe Networks cast its eyes to Opengear, a company that was able to supply open source CM4008s for serial console management.
One of the added benefits of Opengear’s offerings is that the console servers integrate with the Nagios central management which allows for a comprehensive distributed monitoring service. Accordingly, Pipe Networks can now use CM4008s for managing its UPSs and their Cisco communications gear and for paging via Nagios in each of its NOCs.
“The progressive deployment of Opengear console servers at all off-site locations is part of the company’s strategy to ensure it continues to meet its committed service levels,” Bob Purdon, operations manager, Managed Infrastructure, Pipe Networks, said in a recent customer case study.
Now, at Pipe Networks’ sites there is a CM4008 connected to multiple Cisco routers, APC APC7900 - Rack PDU, Foundry Networks (News - Alert) routing and switching platforms and Nokia phone. Prior to this relationship, Pipe Networks performed all of these out-of-band communications functions by deploying its “closed source” Cisco console server solution. But, by having an open source management console at the NOC (News - Alert), Pipe is able to enjoy countless new benefits that go beyond improved quality of service.
Specifically, Pipe Networks has been able to reap advantages such as lowered costs, increased flexibility, advanced customer offerings, enhanced company processes and added capabilities.
“Pipe Networks sought high-quality solutions to manage their mission-critical infrastructure,” Opengear officials said. “They were motivated by price and risk but also by flexibility. And in selecting Opengear as their provider they were able to develop flexible extensible solutions that could be levered off to deliver quality and value to their customers.”
Edited by Jamie Epstein
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