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Connectivity for Edge Networks

Get the most from out-of-band management

Employee working on a computer in a server room.

When a network failure happens, IT teams must find the cause immediately, no matter where it is in the network. Dispatching personnel to troubleshoot hardware and software at each branch office or remote site is often not feasible. When it is, the process just prolongs the disruption and increases costs.

But remote access through a secondary, secure, and always-on 5G wireless connection with cloud-based out-of-band management (OOBM) can save businesses time, money, and resources. With an OOBM solution, network administrators can proactively access and manage their network components remotely, regardless of location, thereby improving the uptime and reliability of their network infrastructure.

Although implementing an OOBM solution can present a few challenges, the benefits far outweigh the challenges. For this reason, out-of-band management should be an essential part of any network administrator’s toolkit. By choosing the right network management devices, establishing secure access, and properly planning for routing and VLANs, network administrators can ensure that their OOBM solution is up and ready to tackle any network emergency.

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OOBM enables more flexible network management

OOBM solutions are typically used to troubleshoot network components that are not otherwise accessible due to topology or distance constraints, such as components at multiple sites or in remote locations operating over a single network. Whereas in-band management relies on the main network to be available to enable administrators to access and control network-connected devices, OOBM provides a more flexible approach to network monitoring and troubleshooting.

With OOBM, network administrators are not limited to a single method of accessing and managing devices. Instead, they can perform management tasks through an alternate access, such as serial console ports, remote console servers, and out-of-band networks. This more reliable access enables administrators to:

  1. Proactively monitor and control all the network devices and operations that would be impossible to manage with in-band management systems
  2. Diagnose and address issues quickly and efficiently
  3. Decrease unplanned network downtime when dealing with complex configurations or unexpected network issues

Additionally, with OOBM, network provisioning and IT infrastructure upgrades are easier and faster than ever before as network administrators do not have to worry about the extra considerations that come with in-band management.

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Choose the right hardware or software

Implementing the right solution is the key to capitalizing on all the benefits OOBM offers. In general, OOBM solutions include hardware or software elements.

On the hardware side, routers, modems, and management switches are essential components for establishing and controlling OOBM connections. Additionally, console servers and terminal servers provide network administrators with the ability to access network devices using serial console ports and out-of-band networks. Finally, network devices, management ports, firewalls, Ethernet, and LTE connections can all be used to manage the network remotely.

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Software components offer an additional layer of flexibility. Network management applications can provide secure access to OOBM and can be used to configure console servers for remote management. SSH and serial connections provide secure links to the network, while IP addressing and provisioning enable administrators to set up failover and routing connections. And remote access applications provide network administrators with the necessary tools required to manage out-of-band resources, such as allowing access to serial console ports, KVM and Over-IP technologies, secondary networks, remote sites, and automated network reboots.

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Best practices for implementing OOBM

While OOBM can be a powerful tool for managing and troubleshooting networks, it also comes with its own set of challenges.

For example, to proactively manage out-of-band resources, administrators must be able to leverage terminal servers, serial connections, KVM and Over-IP technology, and operating system upgrades.

When troubleshooting out-of-band issues, network administrators should identify problems with edge components, analyze outages and downtime, access network management ports, and establish secure access to remote networks or sites.

Finally, to reduce management overhead, administrators must be able to automate network reboots, access network data centers and remote sites, and add network administrator accounts.

With these challenges in mind, there are a few best practices network administrators should consider when implementing an OOBM solution:

  • Determine the right network management devices for the network infrastructure. This could include routers, modems, console servers, firewalls, and network devices.
  • Establish remote access and set up security perimeters by using SSH and serial connections, network connections and IP addressing, secondary network infrastructure, and on-site vs. remote sites.
  • Plan carefully for routing and VLANs. This includes setting up routing tables and management VLANs that will be used for the management of traffic and primary network provisions.
  • Use serial ports and console ports, Ethernet and LTE connections, and management interfaces.
  • Plan for trials and tests that will enable troubleshooting for any out-of-band issues, as well as automated network reboots and other methods of reducing network management overhead.

Inseego offers a reliable OOBM solution

Inseego offers a fully integrated solution that provides everything network administrators need for efficient OOBM.

Inseego’s wireless routers and CPE devices can be used to provide OOBM by allowing users to access networks remotely from a secure, remote location. This is done using a variety of technologies, such as secure SSH or TLS tunnels, and VPN connections over cellular networks. Additionally, Inseego’s management tools, such as Inseego SD Edge and Inseego Connect, enable administrators to remotely manage and configure settings for routers and CPE devices and monitor traffic and system performance. This can help administrators more effectively manage and secure their networks across geographically dispersed locations.

Inseego’s SD Edge software and Inseego Connect also allow network administrators to easily deploy, configure, and manage their out-of-band networks.

Inseego Connect provides secure, reliable access to out-of-band devices and allows administrators to monitor and control all of them from a single interface. With SD Edge, administrators can quickly and easily provision their out-of-band networks and manage access policies to ensure users can only access the devices they need. Advanced features like authentication tokens, multi-factor authentication, and VPNs further secure networks. Additionally, SD Edge’s and Inseego Connect’s comprehensive monitoring and logging capabilities allow administrators to easily view the status of their out-of-band devices and view logs to diagnose issues.

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