Off the Grid Out-of-Band Management

Thousands of data centers scattered throughout the world run in near total isolation without the presence of human operators. But despite not having any on-site IT staff, these distributed networks of data centers are supported through secure out-of-band (OOB) management solutions that allow remote IT infrastructure equipment access even if there’s a network outage.

In my previous blog, I discussed the challenges of deploying remote OOB management solutions in differing data center environments. After spending some time traveling the world and meeting with customers in the field, I wanted to share how Lantronix OOB management solutions, combined with some creative on-the-fly configuration, won the business of one of the largest data security providers in India.

We came. We saw. And we blew the competition away by delivering the most advanced and secure IT infrastructure management strategy, further safeguarding business-critical information relayed through their enterprise network.

In this particular region of India, the only communication link from these data centers to modern communication infrastructure is, more often than not, a single analog phone line. For IT solutions providers operating in urban areas, it’s hard to wrap our heads around the idea that this throwback technology is still implemented in 2017! But for growing economies in the process of developing nationwide communication links, solution providers must adapt to these restrictions and think abstractly when configuring data center topology.

In this case, each remote, distributed data center had 4-8 Lantronix® SLC™ 8000 Advanced Console Managers where every console port could be accessed on all infrastructure devices from a single analog phone line. Since the customer didn’t know how this could be realized, Lantronix suggested what is known as “a master/slave topology” using one SLC 8000 as the master unit with an installed internal modem.

Our vision: All other SLC 8000 units would be considered a “slave” SLC 8000 with each console port attached to the master SLC 8000 unit’s device ports. We then suggested using a CLI menu when accessing the master SLC 8000 unit via the modem connection. Then another menu on each “slave” SLC 8000 unit would list each infrastructure device connected to every device port on that given unit. This solution would allow quick and efficient access to every SLC 8000 unit and every console port on all the infrastructure equipment–all from a single analog phone line!

At Lantronix, we pride ourselves on working in partnerships with our customers to help them achieve smart solutions. I’m excited that in this case, we were able to thoroughly understand the customer’s needs and design a creative OOB management solution that helped us outshine the competition. Combining the SLC 8000 security and management features with our dynamic central management solution, the Lantronix® vSLM software, Lantronix delivered where our competition could not. Not only was the customer happy with our strategy and hard work, they ranted and raved about Lantronix’s deep technical and network knowledge compared to the other companies vying for their business.

To learn more about the SLC 8000 and its many out-of-band applications, click here.