Out-Of-Band Management Delivers Business Resilience

Network downtime is frustrating and very costly to millions of businesses all over the world. Recent network outages at the NYSE, United Airlines and the Wall Street Journal highlight opportunities where out-of-band systems might have helped mitigate the costs and frustrations of network downtime.

Opengear developed this infographic to help illustrate the issues involved and the potential risks that can be mitigated with a solid out-of-band management strategy: Continue reading

Smartly Connected Products Are Transforming Competition

You may have seen the recent Harvard Business Review article in which Michael Porter and James Heppelmann describe How Smart Connected Products Are Transforming Competition. These smart connected products (a.k.a. the Internet of Things) are seen to be unleashing the third wave of IT-driven transformation and a new era of competition. Porter and Heppelmann say that the first two waves (the IT automation of the 1960s/70s followed by the Internet wave of 1980s/90s) radically reshaped competition and strategy, and delivered huge productivity gains and economic growth. However while these earlier waves transformed the value chain, products themselves were largely unaffected. The authors foresee the coming smart connected product wave will impact business models, industry structures and the very definition of industry itself … so I recommend downloading or reading the article online. Alternately Porter and Heppelmann presented The Rise of Smart Connected Devices keynote at last week’s LiveWorks 2015 conference in Boston which can be viewed online.

Porter and Heppelmann have developed a technology infrastructure model for smart connected products. This new technology stack is made up of multiple layers, including new product hardware, embedded software, connectivity, a product cloud consisting of software running on remote servers, a suite of security tools, a gateway for external information sources, and integration with enterprise business systems.

The New Technology Stack

The New Technology Stack

The authors also explore how companies can ride the wave to achieve sustainable competitive advantage (and as you would expect with Porter as co-author, the article examines this within the context of the five competitive forces) and the envisioned result of the third wave is …

Smart connected products ultimately can function with complete autonomy. Human operators merely monitor performance or watch over the fleet or the system, rather than over individual units.

… and I personally share this vision. However I do see two huge barriers.

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In a cloud-centric world is your “Out-Of-Band” solution up to the task?

Out-of band (OOB) access to critical infrastructure for reconfiguration or repair was pioneered more than 30 years ago. It began as a DIY solution where engineers used terminal servers, repurposed server computers or routers with serial ports to access their infrastructure. Reverse telnet (later reverse SSH) functionality allowed serial over Ethernet redirection and command line/terminal access to the device console.

Smart OOB and out of band network management design

Fifteen years ago, OOB experienced a massive transformation resulting from the growth of crammed data closets, machine rooms and sophisticated data centers. Due to the density and wide array of critical IT, networking and power infrastructure, tens, hundreds and thousands of serial consoles needed to be accessed and monitored to keep the corporate IT engine running. To cope with this, Continue reading

Opengear and “IT Resilience” at ITExpo in Miami, FL

Opengear participated in the ITExpo conference in Miami, Florida at the end of January. This was the first large event of the year showcasing our Smart OOB™ and Failover to Cellular™ (F2C) solutions. Together, Smart OOB™ and Failover to Cellular™ provide our customers with a high level of IT resilience — the ability to not only recover efficiently from faults, but also prevent these disruptions in the first place. We received an enthusiastic response to our solution.

To better understand what these customers saw and liked, here’s some simple math. Continue reading

Failover to Cellular: Another example of customer-driven innovation at Opengear

The productivity loss due to Internet downtime in an enterprise or at remote sites can be staggering making a “failover” Internet connection a necessity for most businesses. A research study conducted by the Aberdeen Group estimated that the industry average cost of downtime was about $110,000 per hour in 2010 and about $212,000 per hour in 2012!

cost of downtime without a backup internet connection

As we head into 2015, that cost is guaranteed to be significantly higher for most organizations, be it retail, healthcare, education, financial services, transportation or any other business. Until very recently, building in redundancy to avoid downtime could easily cost a fortune, making it uneconomical for all but the largest enterprises. However, high-speed 4G LTE cellular technology has been a disruptive technology in this space. A high-speed 4G LTE cellular connection can easily serve as Continue reading

LISA 2014 Experience

Large Install System AdministratorsScreen Shot 2014-11-24 at 5.41.24 PM (LISA) show is one of my favorite events and this year it was in one of my favorite cities, Seattle. Seattle is home to Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, Costco, Nordstrom, Outerwall, F5 and so many others. The 1,110 attendees were the most since 2007. They are smart and as diverse as any crowd I have been around. No one at this show cares if your hair is green, red or purple nor do they care if you are wearing a full-length fur coat or kilt with combat boots. The people here run the largest networks in the world and they do it with precision and efficiency.

There was a broad list of interesting topics at LISA 2014, however Opengear also created quite a stir with the release of the CM7100, an ideal product for large data centers and labs looking for performance at a great value. It doesn’t hurt any of these hacker’s feelings that it is also Continue reading

Online Demo Tour: Vendor-Neutral Power Control

Welcome to the second instalment in this series of articles about our online virtual demo, where we’ll start to dig deeper into Opengear’s advanced features.  In part 1, we explored the various ways of reaching its virtual serial ports to try out out-of-band console management.

Since then, we’ve updated the online demo to our latest firmware release (3.12) which brings with it a host of new features.  One of these is our all new Manage Devices UI that allows you to take advantage of the advanced capabilities of the Opengear’s vendor-neutral power management subsystem, via a simple to configure, easy to use browser interface.

What is vendor-neutral power management?

Vendor-neutral power management simply means your Opengear appliance has built-in capabilities to monitor and control power devices (such as switched PDUs, UPSes and IPMI-enabled servers) from over 100 vendors, including Eaton, Raritan, APC and Server Technology, via serial, network (directly or routed) or USB.

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Increase ROI With Cellular Out-Of-Band Network and Data Center Management (VIDEO)

There is a revolution underway in out-of-band management. Cellular out-of-band management can help keep you in business during a network outage, increase network availability, minimize disruption and downtime and reduce operating costs.  Get on board!

Opengear is a leading provider of critical infrastructure management solutions delivering advanced console servers, remote management, monitoring and cellular out-of-band products. Opengear cellular out-of-band management solutions deliver increased ROI.

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Announcing the CM7100 Console Server at Interop NY 2014

It was great being at Interop NY 2014 this year, and it was a great opportunity to showcase the newest of our products, the CM7100 Console Server. This seventh generation device delivers a highly reliable and powerful console server that radically simplifies out-of-band access and management of your critical IT and network infrastructure.

While we were sharing our news with expo attendees who visited our booth, we were surprised by a visit from TMCnet, who took a moment to speak with our East Coast Sales Manager, Joe Valha with cameras rolling, which means
you get to experience what it was like to visit our booth, it’s almost like you were there, except for the 15-second promo at the start of the video below:

How the Presidio Exchange Forum 2014 Learned About Cellular Out-Of-Band Failover

Opengear Booth at Presidio Exchange 2014I recently participated in the Presidio Exchange 2014 forum. Presidio holds this event as a focused training and knowledge transfer opportunity allowing the Presidio engineering and sales teams to meet with key partners for in-depth training sessions and hands-on labs. This was my first time attending Presidio’s national conference and representing Opengear. It was Opengear’s second year exhibiting. It was a great opportunity to meet network engineers, solution architects, project managers and data center engineers in a casual environment. The level of technical expertise was very high and it was good to talk to an audience that already had a good understanding of console server management. By the end of the first day, Continue reading