Blog: Network Resilience Starts With Smart Out-of-Band

Every organisation needs secure, always on remote access to their connected devices on the First Day, Worst Day and Every Day.

Category: Insights

22nd November 2023

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The way that most enterprises do business has drastically changed. However, one aspect for success that has remained constant is the need for continuous uptime. In fact, Network Resilience has never been more important. This concept begins with the idea that every organisation needs secure, always on remote access to their connected devices on the First Day, Worst Day and Every Day.

IoT initiatives, the rise of connectivity and the ongoing migration to the cloud has caused every industry to become more virtualised. Add in the increase of employees working from home and the difficulty of travelling to remote locations, and the network becomes more dispersed and more challenging to manage. These all create more vulnerabilities which can increase the likelihood of an outage. Opengear, the leader in Network Resilience, conducted an independent research study of 500 senior IT decision makers. In it, more than half stated that they had four outages in a year. It also stated, that nearly one third, had lost more than $1 million in the past year due to network outages – a cost that most enterprises can’t afford.

What are some outage causes? Human error, cyber-attacks and environmental conditions are a few factors. However, one of the most common causes is the vulnerability of the primary network’s last mile. All of the network traffic for an office, branch or remote site are funnelled through single links. The amount of data that can be transmitted to an enterprises’ ISP is based on the links’ bandwidth. This bottle neck can lead to network congestion, leaving an organisation exposed to cyber-attacks and human error which can lead to an outage, causing downtime.

Any amount of downtime can have a significant impact on customer experience, revenue and business operations. To avoid this, many enterprises choose to use an Out-of-Band management solution.

In-Band and Out-of-Band

Before we get into why an organisation would want to use Out-of-Band, let’s talk about network management overall. There are two primary ways to manage a network, In-Band and Out-of-Band.

In-Band Management is when devices are managed through protocols like a telnet or SSH connection to a router or by using some kind of SNMP based tools. Data, production and management traffic use the same path for communicating various elements, so for most enterprises this approach isn’t enough. When an outage does occur and you don’t have an alternative path to the primary network, you’ll get locked out of the management plane. This increases security vulnerabilities and makes sure that none of your devices can be reached.

Out-of-Band management with Opengear is very simple. It gives you another way to securely connect to remote equipment when an outage occurs. Acting as an alternative or secondary access path, when paired with Failover to CellularTM, enterprises have enough bandwidth to identify the issue and remediate it – all without interrupting normal business operations or having to step on-site. This means no late runs to a remote site. This has always been a need for organisations of all types. However, as deployments for distributed, remote sites increase and with current travel restrictions, Out-of-Band is a necessity for network engineers.

The Network Resilience Platform

Opengear’s Network Resilience Platform provides always on, secure access to connected devices. Network engineers have the critical capabilities needed for the First Day, Worst Day and Every Day. Combining Smart OOBTM, Failover to Cellular and automation, the Network Resilience Platform provides the highest levels of business continuity. Opengear’s devices are centrally orchestrated through Lighthouse Software. Placing a console server at every location creates an independent management plane where engineers can access the network at all times. Using standard automation tools such as Docker containers and a Python runtime environment, these appliances can also be used to automate repetitive processes and add a layer of intelligence to the network.

Camworth – an Opengear Partner

If you’d like to discuss how Opengear’s Network Resilience Platform can help you then please call us, or email to request a call back

 


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