Out-of-Band Management in Remote, Mobile Media Applications

Challenge:

When a critical element of an in-flight entertainment system or OB Van production console crashes or ceases to respond, it’s often impractical (if not impossible) to send a service team out to deal with the problem in person. Unfortunately it’s also impractical (and wasteful) to staff each OB Van or jet liner with technical support personnel; the only economically viable solution is often to rely on a centralized network operations center for support.

In order to ensure uninterrupted service in IFE systems, OB Vans and other mobile/remote network applications, tech support personnel require a means to correct network issues at distant equipment sites, without the need to either send out a support team or add support personnel. Since remote mobile applications typically rely on satellite communication, an ideal solution should provide NOC personnel with a means to control power switching and reboot functions and access console port command functions via satellite in order to reboot locked routers and reconfigure unresponsive servers.

In addition, the solution should also support out-of-band communication in order to allow techs to restore service and minimize downtime, even when in-band communication with the mobile application has failed.

To effectively deal with networked equipment issues at remote, mobile sites, NOC personnel need a solution that provides the following capabilities:

  • Remote, Out-of-Band Reboot and Power Switching Control
  • Remote, Out-of-Band Access to Console Port Command Functions
  • Monitoring and Alarm Functions to Track Conditions at the Remote, Mobile Site
  • Remote Current Monitoring Capabilities to Track Power Trends at the Remote, Mobile Site
  • Event Logging to Provide an Audit Trail
  • Support for IPv6 to Eliminate Complications Caused by IP Address Proliferation
  • State of the Art Security and Authentication Features to Prevent Unauthorized Access to Command Functions

Solution:

WTI’s CPM-800-1-ECAM Console Server + Switched PDU + ATS hybrid can provide the perfect solution for dealing with unresponsive devices at remote and/or mobile sites via satellite communication. When an CPM-800-1-ECAM is installed at a remote or mobile equipment site, NOC personnel can easily access console port command functions on the malfunctioning device at the remote site in order to run diagnostic or troubleshooting programs, or simply reboot unresponsive network elements to restore normal operation. If the primary avenue for communication with the remote, mobile equipment site is unavailable, then NOC personnel can easily establish an out-of-band communication with the remote site via secondary satellite, dial-up modem or 3G/4G cellular broadband.


Out-of-Band Management in Remote, Mobile Media Applications


In addition to providing remote access to console port command functions and reboot capabilities, WTI remote management devices can also help to track conditions and events at mobile equipment sites. Powerful alarm and monitoring functions provided by the WTI device can instantly notify NOC personnel when unresponsive devices, power supply abnormalities, high temperatures, excessive invalid access attempts and other potentially troublesome conditions are detected. In order to provide an audit trail, all alarm events, temperature readings and user activities can also be logged for future review.

WTI remote management products also include a formidable array of security and authentication features to make certain that critical command functions are protected from unauthorized access. In addition to a multi-level user’s directory, WTI remote management products support state of the art authentication protocols such as Kerberos, TACACS+, LDAP and RADIUS to verify the identity of each potential user, plus SSHv2 encryption to ensure the that data sent to and from the WTI device is safe from interception.


Out-of-Band Management in Remote, Mobile Media Applications


As shown in the diagrams above, WTI console servers and switched PDU products are available in a wide variety of different configurations to fit the requirements of almost any application. For smaller applications in cramped quarters, the space-saving CPM-800-1-ECAM Console Server + PDU + ATS can provide both remote console access and remote power control in a compact, one unit device. For applications that require remote management of a larger number of console ports, WTI’s DSM series console servers can provide access to up to 40 remote console ports. Likewise, for applications that require reboot capabilities for more devices, WTI’s NBB series vertical format switched PDUs can provide power control and reboot functions for up to 20 devices.

WTI’s CPM-800-1-ECAM Console Server + PDU + ATS, DSM Series Console Servers and NBB Series Vertical Format Switched PDUs provide NOC personnel with a practical solution for dealing with equipment problems at remote sites, without the need for onsite support personnel.

  • OB Van Applications: Reboot, Troubleshoot and Reconfigure Routers, Production Consoles, Media Converters, Media Gateways, VCAs, CCUs and other Devices
  • IFE Applications: Reboot, Troubleshoot and Reconfigure AVOD Equipment, HDMS, IFEC Systems, Audio Video Controllers and other Devices
  • Emergency Response Vehicle Applications: Reboot, Troubleshoot and Reconfigure SCADA System Elements, Video Assessment Systems, Wide Area Digital Routers, Firewalls and other Devices
  • Other Remote/Mobile Applications: Reboot, Troubleshoot and Reconfigure Satellite Modems, Routers, Firewalls, Switches and Other Devices

Results:

The remote, out-of-band console access and reboot and power control capabilities provided by the CPM-800-1-ECAM Console Server + PDU +ATS unit, DSM series Console Server and NBB series Vertical Format PDU provide the perfect solution for managing network elements in remote, mobile applications such as OB Vans, Emergency Response Vehicles and In-Flight Entertainment Systems. In any application that requires management and maintenance of remote, mobile network devices, the CPM-800-1-ECAM Console Server + PDU + ATS, DSM series Console Server and NBB series Switched PDU can provide administrators with valuable tools for both keeping tabs on conditions at the remote site and for dealing with emergencies as they arise.



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