Out-Of-Band Management Delivers Business Resilience

Network downtime is frustrating and very costly to millions of businesses all over the world. Out-of-band systems mitigate the costs and frustrations of IT 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:

out-of-band management equals business resilience

Top Causes Of Network Downtime:

  • 55% Hardware Failure
  • 22% Human Error
  • 18% Software Failure
  • 5% Natural Disasters

Cost/Incidence Of Outages:

  • Estimates of average downtime per outage range from 7.5 hours for clouds, private data centers and traditional hosting providers, to 30 hours for SMB outages.
  • On average, it takes 9 hours to recover from a 14-hour IT downtime episode.
  • 91% of those surveyed have had a data center outage in the past 24 months.
  • 1.2 Billion human hours per year are lost to downtime across the globe.

Cellular Out-Of-Band Equals Resilience

  • OOB is going cellular! 4G/LTE wireless offers speeds up to 1,000 times faster than a 56K modem.
  • Cellular data plans provide reliability at a fraction of the cost – companies can save up to 90% of a monthly phone bill.
  • Cellular out-of-band management affordably minimizes network downtime with always-on management access and control

Data sources:


Top Three Reasons To Adopt Cellular Out-Of-Band Management Solutions

Earlier this month, I was asked by Data Center Post about using cellular for out-of-band network management. My response identified the three biggest reasons why an IT department should consider using cellular connections instead of traditional modems for their OOB needs. I felt it was important enough to share with our faithful blog readers as well, so here is a brief recap (you can read the full article here):

Ensuring up-time and system availability are key benchmarks for the IT department of just about every organization, and if it isn’t it probably should be. By adopting cellular out-of-band management solutions, organizations can expect to realize these three core benefits:

1) Avoid and mitigate the top causes of network downtime

From hardware or software failure to human error and natural disasters, there are a wide variety of issues can lead to downtime. By far, the most common problem network engineers face is hardware failure. Luckily, this issue in particular can be easily mitigated with out-of-band management tools. 

2) Reduce expensive outages with more resilient systems

As this infographic illustrates, 1.2 billion work-hours are lost annually due to downtime because of how long an incident can last, how long it takes to recover from said incidents and how common downtime is today. Fortunately, all of these costs and wasted efforts can be easily mitigated with a simple investment in out-of-band management, as these tools help to reduce the length of outages and provide the oversight IT admins need to reduce their occurrence.

3) Faster and more cost-effective than legacy out-of-band connections

With the development and rise of cellular out-of-band management solutions, modems are no longer an ideal option in the vast majority of instances because they are slower, more expensive and less robust than cellular OOB connections. Not only is 4G LTE up to 10 times faster than a 56K modem, switching out a phone line for a data plan for OOB can help organizations reduce their monthly phone bills by up to 90 percent as well. Plus, cellular wireless networks ensure that IT admins can oversee infrastructure even when core connectivity is down.

As the costs related to downtime and to legacy out-of-band management rise, cellular OOB tools will increasingly become the best option available for companies in any industry. By being able to use cellular connections for oversight, organizations will have a far easier time guaranteeing uptime in all instances, all while reducing the stress placed on the IT department. At the end of the day, obtaining a cellular out-of-band management solution may be the best investment an organization makes.

LTE Leads the Way Forward in M2M Communications, Out-Of-Band Management

As the markets for voice and data mature, carriers are looking to machine-to-machine communications (M2M) to become the new engine of growth. Through connectivity embedded in everyday objects such as lampposts, household appliances and even automobiles, M2M forms the backbone of the rapidly emerging Internet of Things, the blanket term for a worldwide network of IP-enabled devices communicating with each other.

Increasingly, 4G LTE is playing a key role in the rise of M2M, which isn’t surprising given its material advantages over 3G in terms of speed and spectrum utilization. LTE is already well-known as a fast data pipe, but its uses are diverse, covering M2M transmissions for cars and HD voice for consumers, as well as out-of-band management through all-in-one appliances such as the Opengear IM7200 Infrastructure Manager.

LTE helps spur renewed interest in M2M space from carriers and manufacturers

There’s major opportunity for speed and security upgrades in the M2M ecosystem. Many of them currently sport only Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or 2G/3G connectivity, perhaps with the thought that the technological minimum is sufficient for a market with such low average revenue per user.

The tide may be changing, though, as new devices with time- and life-critical functionalities, such as medical sensors and automobiles, come to market. Automakers such as General Motors have made waves by embedding LTE into newer models. GM executive Mary Chan told CNET that 98 percent of customers with LTE-equipped cars activated a free 3GB/3 month trial.

In addition to fast connectivity for laptops, phones and other devices that can connect to it via a wireless hot spot, LTE service in a car provides an efficient, secure way to transmit regular reports and receive over-the-air system updates. These same attributes make it ideal for medical equipment that may become part of the IoT, even if its coverage footprint isn’t ubiquitous yet.

“There’s no insurance company that will rely on a [wearable device with a] Bluetooth connection to an Android phone for [security and authentication],” stated Eran Eshed, co-founder and vice president at Altair Semiconductor, according to Light Reading “The challenge today is [LTE] coverage.”

Eshed’s firm is currently at work on an LTE-only modem designed for M2M applications. Previously, Altair Semiconductor supplied Verizon with a similar chip for the carrier’s Ellipsis tablet.

Strong outlook for LTE-enabled M2M communications

With LTE providing greater speed and reliability for endpoints, the M2M market is primed for expansion. A study from ReportsnReports predicted a compound annual growth rate of 21 percent from 2014 to 2020, leading to $196 billion in revenue by 2020.

LTE connections are expected to outgrow the market as a whole. They may increase 90 percent over the next six years, ultimately totaling 210 million. Compared to other forms of wireless connectivity, LTE can much better handle bandwidth-intensive tasks such as video surveillance and remote diagnostics reporting.

Similarly, it has unique benefits for OOB management. Technicians can use an Opengear solution with built-in 3G and 4G LTE for smart failover and troubleshooting, even when the primary network goes down. Data center infrastructure can be closely and securely monitored, reducing the mean time to repair during outages.

Saving With Cellular Out-Of-Band Management

Connecting cellular to the data centerIn comparison to legacy technologies like modems, 3G and 4G LTE are superior technologies to use for out-of-band access. When organizations opt for out-of-band management solutions like the Opengear IM7200, they get a best-of-breed cellular wireless connection that is becoming faster and more cost effective over time.

Today’s 3G is able to support a variety of out-of-band management needs. A February 2014 report from OpenSignal found that the average 3G network worldwide offered download speeds around 1.8 Mbps. While this is lower than the 7.5 Mbps average for 4G LTE, it is still significantly better than the download and upload speeds available on a 56K modem typically used for out-of-band. Considering that a 2013 report from the U.S. FCC found that Continue reading

Opengear Wins Award for the IM7200 Infrastructure Manager

Network Products Guide Best of 2014Opengear is happy to announce that Network Products Guide, the industry’s leading technology research and advisory guide, has named the IM7200 Infrastructure Manager a winner in the 9th Annual 2014 Hot Companies and Best Products Awards in the New Products category. These industry and peer awards from Network Products Guide are the world’s premier information technology awards honoring achievements and recognitions in every facet of the IT industry.

The Opengear IM7200 is a state of the art infrastructure management solution which streamlines remote management of network, server and power infrastructure in data center and remote environments, ensuring efficient and secure access, monitoring and control for local and remote operations teams. Continue reading

Networks Are Now Easier to Manage Wirelessly

Back in February, Sprint officially certified the first of our console server products for use on their network, the ACM5004-GS. As we launched this amazingly powerful remote management device, Sprint wrote the following:

“Did you hear that just now? It was the sound of another cord being cut.

No longer does an enterprise have to maintain a specific wired connection to allow for remote access and troubleshooting of Sprint Managed Network Solutions managed routers. Opengear, an infrastructure management solutions company, has introduced a wireless modem that enables this remote management at a lower cost – and with easier setup – than a wired connection. Continue reading

Channel surfing with 4G mobile broadband – a certification nightmare

As first seen on Wired.com.

LTE (Long Term Evolution of GSM/UMTS), marketed as 4G, emerged as the winner of the broadband cellular wars following the initial release of 3G (3rd Generation Partnership Project UMTS-3GPP & EV-DO-3GPP2). During the past 5 years a plethora of technologies filled the void between 3G and the promised 4G with titles such as 3.5G (HSPA, EV-DO Rev. A), 3.75G (HSPA+, EV-DO Rev. B) and 3.9G(DC-HSPA+, EV-DO Rev.C).

Although claimed as an evolution of GSM/UMTS, LTE (3GPP Rel 8 or later) is incompatible with existing 2G and 3G wireless interfaces and requires a separate spectrum. So why go with a new standard and new frequency bands that can’t slot into the existing North American 800~850/1900 MHz bands? Well LTE is completely different to GSM (TDMA) or CDMA or even WCDMA and it boasts Continue reading

Out-Of-Band Management in a Distributed Enterprise

distributed network with headquarters and multiple branch offices on a hexagonal gridThe choice of a distributed architecture for a business is usually determined by the business requirement to support its remote office base at the same level as its main office. Branch offices broaden the reach of the business and are usually a sign of successful business growth. However once the decision to expand with branch offices has been taken, these offices instantly increase the responsibility of the IT/Network Manager who has to ensure Continue reading

T-shirts, Swords & Beer – Cisco Live 2014

Opengear's booth at Cisco Live 2014Cisco Live 2014 (#CLUS), what an event! Opengear along with many other companies participated in this important annual event, Cisco’s premier education and training event for IT professionals. Attendance at the event exceeded 20,000. If you attended, or have ever attended Cisco Live, you understand that in addition to the primary goal of gaining knowledge about the latest IT trends, technologies and product releases, there is an unwritten goal to Continue reading

IT Management is a Marathon not a Sprint

Running a marathon Watching the preparations for the Boston Marathon last month and more recently the Edinburgh Marathon this past weekend, I couldn’t help but relate them to our work in IT Management. My conclusion was that IT Management is a Marathon not a Sprint. Both are challenging, both need expertise and training by the participants, and both result in Continue reading