Out of band management with console servers is an easy, affordable way for corporations to maximize network uptime and ensure business continuity. This technology enables network engineers to reconfigure, reboot and reimage switches, routers, firewalls and other equipment remotely across the internet or WAN even if the primary data network is down. If a critical piece of equipment fails, you can address the issue quickly without the expense or hassle of having to go on site. Out of band management with console servers is especially beneficial for large corporations with multiple locations or branches—such as insurance companies, restaurants, banks and retail chains.
Here are five reasons to improve your network reliability using out of band management with console servers.
Console servers, also called terminal servers, can be connected to a management network separate from your data network to ensure access to your system and devices at all times. Backup paths can be achieved via IP/Ethernet over LAN or WAN, dial-up POTS (plain old telephone service) or cellular wireless modem. Cellular solutions protect businesses from the worst-case scenario, total loss of access to your systems via LAN. They offer automatic failover to ensure uptime as well as a range of alerting and notification capabilities during outages.
Out of band management with console servers lets you reconfigure, reboot and reimage servers, routers, switches, PDUs, PLCs and other devices with serial console ports. While software management tools can be used for monitoring availability and performance, they only work when the network is up. Out of band management with console servers offers a more reliable solution.
Every minute of downtime can result in significant financial losses for a corporation. In extreme cases, some businesses never recover from unplanned outages. Advanced console servers offer dual-power redundancy and seamless automatic failover to keep you up and running no matter what.
It’s simply not cost-effective for multisite organizations to have on-site IT personnel at each location. Console servers allow for centralized IT management of your network. Additionally, if a device fails, network engineers can often address the issue remotely and avoid the time and expense of truck rolls, which cost anywhere between $200 and $2000. Even large networks with hundreds of console servers and thousands of devices can be managed swiftly from a remote location thanks to central management software.
Maintaining the security of your network is as critical as ensuring uptime. Console servers deliver enterprise-grade security by limiting access with local and remote authentication, authorization and accounting. They also extend enterprise security policy to distributed assets. Many console servers support RADIUS, Kerberos, Active Directory, TACACS+ and other security protocols. For encryption of sensitive management traffic, console servers can support IPSec, OpenVPN, SSL and SSH.
When business continuity is a must, out of band management with console servers delivers maximum uptime and reliability. Black Box offers a range of console servers with varying port densities and connection options—including several alternatives to the EOS Cisco ISR2900. To learn more, check out our white paper How to Maximize Uptime with Out-of-Band Management and Console Servers.