Out-of-band Management via Cellular Broadband

Implementing an out-of-band management solution is generally a fairly simple proposition … as long as a network cable or land line is available. But in applications where neither a direct network cable or phone line are present, it often takes a little bit of creativity to put together a workable out-of-band management solution. In cases like this, a 3G/4G modem based cellular broadband solution can often serve as a reliable means for out-of-band access to remote network devices.

In applications such as mining operations, remote pipeline management and wayside railroad monitoring stations, where the cost of running a network cable or phone line to the remote equipment site is prohibitively expensive, cellular broadband (typically via 3G/4G modem) often provides the only available solution. In these situations, a remote console server or remote power reboot switch is typically installed at the remote equipment site and connected to a small router and a compact 3G/4G modem in order to allow network management personnel to access console port command functions and remote power reboot capabilities without the need to physically travel to the remote network equipment site.

In addition to cutting management costs by eliminating the need to connect landlines or network cables to remote network equipment, an effectively designed 3G/4G based out-of-band access solution also helps to cut system down-time and improve reliability by reducing the time required to address simple problems at remote sites, and enabling vital network support personnel to deal with remote problems without expensive service trips to remote network sites. In many cases where the location or nature of the network equipment site prohibits a network cable connection or land line, 3G/4G based cellular broadband often provides the only solution for remote network management.

If you’re faced with the challenge of setting up an out-of-band management solution for extremely remote network applications, a cellular broadband based solution can help to simplify access to the remote site, reduce downtime and cut the costs associated with providing an alternative (or primary) means for communication with the remote site. 3G/4G modem based out of band management is clearly a superior solution to either running network cables or phone lines out to the middle of nowhere, and a major improvement over relying on service calls to remote sites every time a piece of equipment at a distant site hiccups or refuses to cooperate.

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