Terminal Switches and Out of Band Management

When setting up a network application that involves communication with remote sites, an intelligent, well though out design is often the most important factor in ensuring that network communication will be stable and reliable, and not subject to constant crashes. But that said, even the most carefully planned network application will eventually run into some sort of problem that could potentially cause a wide spread crash, and that’s exactly why it’s so important that remote network sites always include a terminal switch that provides out of band management capabilities.

Out of band management is an essential capability for all types of network applications. In a localized network, out of band management provides a convenient, alternative way to contact devices without overburdening the primary network. But in cases where a network includes one or more remote network equipment sites, a terminal switch with out of band management capability provides an indispensable function, in allowing administrators to communicate with remote devices when the primary network is down.

The reason for the importance of the terminal switch is simple; if the primary network crashes due to a problem at a remote site, a terminal switch allows network administrators to access command functions on remote devices without the need to physically travel to the remote site where the troublesome device is located. Without a terminal switch, the only way to deal with a malfunctioning network device at a remote site is to send IT personnel out to the remote site in person, in order to allow them to physically connect to a console port on the troublesome device and invoke commands to diagnose and correct the problem.

Service calls to remote network sites are both time consuming and expensive, and that’s the main reason that terminal switch units are such an important component for remote network applications.

When a terminal switch and out of band management solution is available at the remote site, network administrators can either dial in to the terminal switch via modem, or create a wireless or satellite connection to the terminal switch. After gaining access to the terminal switch, administrators can then create a connection to the console port on the device in question, and perform the same diagnostic and troubleshooting functions that they could if they were to travel to the site in person. This saves both time and money by eliminating the expensive service call, and in most cases, allows you to get your network back up and running again in far less time than that pricey service call would require.

When designing a network application, it’s always best to plan for every possible problem; that’s why careful network planning should always include an alternate means to contact remote devices. A secure, reliable terminal switch and an out of band management solution provides the easiest way for dealing with unanticipated network problems, by allowing network administrators to reach out across the miles to devices at remote network sites and access critical console port command functions without even leaving the office.

Western Telematic, Inc. (WTI) designs and manufactures remote device management products for IT applications. WTI’s Terminal Switch products, Remote Reboot products, Switched PDU products and A/B Fallback products are engineered to allow you to securely manage and troubleshoot rack equipment in remote locations.

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