Intelligent Data Centres Issue 3 - Page 63

UNCOVERING THE LAYERS common methods used for remote access and maintenance. They are dependent on the availability of the network. Access is not possible when major technical issues such as network or connectivity failures occur. A single hardware malfunction can be enough to trigger several days’ downtime. Normally a company will send a technician on site. It often happens that the problem is resolved in a few minutes, for example by rebooting the device. But in other cases, the troubleshooting process has only just begun. In any case valuable time is lost in travelling from the location of the IT department, time when staff cannot work productively or critical systems are not accessible. That is why out-of-band management to manage remote network hardware is worth its weight in gold to network administrators of distributed infrastructures. It means they retain control over all components, even when in-band management strategies are unsuccessful. It also means resiliency across the network with the knowledge that even with a critical failure, administrators can quickly gain access to remote networks. Out-of-band solutions with cellular failover The principle is simple. Network devices are normally fitted with serial interfaces which can be interrogated independently of the network and give the administrator a complete picture of the status of the device. Many of the important management functions such as firmware updates are only available via serial console interfaces anyway. If a device no longer responds to a command, administrators can carry out a hard reboot via the control system for the power supply. Out-of-band management allows admins to maintain and manage components such as servers, WAN devices, network devices and power supply units and resolve malfunctions via remote access. If there is an issue with connectivity, out-of-band solutions offer a failover solution. Today this is normally done via cellular (4G LTE or 3G), creating a fast connection. If cellular is not guaranteed, companies can use a slower connection via modem. So out-of-band management can ensure continuous remote access of Issue 02 03 63