Out-of-Band Management Solutions for Pipeline Applications

Challenge:

When critical network elements at remote oil pipeline monitoring stations refuse to respond, tech support personnel need a means to restore communication with those devices at once. In order to ensure that the oil continues to flow, avoid interruptions in productivity and minimize downtime, network communication problems must be resolved immediately; without the need to wait for a tech support team to arrive on site.

When network problems disrupt access to vital services and capabilities at remote pipeline monitoring stations, tech support personnel must have fast access to remote power reboot capabilities and console port command functions at the distant site in order to prevent minor network problems from forcing a temporary shutdown. Administrators need to be able to react quickly to problems at pipeline monitoring stations in order to minimize downtime and ensure that product keeps flowing.

In order to ensure the ability to quickly deal with network emergencies at remote pipeline monitoring stations, NOC personnel need an out-of-band management solution that provides the following capabilities:

  • Reboot Remote Network Elements
  • Access Console Port Command Functions on Remote Devices
  • Enable Power Redundancy for Single Corded Equipment
  • Provide Secure Remote Access via Network plus 4G LTE Cellular, Dial-Up, Satellite and Cable Modem
  • Allow Out-of-Band Access when Primary Network is Down
  • Monitor, Report and Log Conditions and Events at Remote Site
  • Provide Centralized Enterprise Management Interface

Solution:

Out-of-Band Management Solutions for Pipeline Applications

When a CPM Series Remote Site Manager is deployed in a pipeline monitoring station or other inaccessible network equipment site, this provides support personnel with a tool to rapidly respond to network problems at the remote site without delay. In this case, the CPM can be employed to reboot devices such as sensors and security cameras at isolated monitoring stations and also provide a means to establish out-of-band communication with routers, switches, alarm managers and other devices at the remote site.

If the primary in-band connection to these monitoring stations fails or if inclement weather makes satellite communication unviable, then a CPM Remote Site Manager equipped with the 4G LTE Cellular Option often provides the only workable alternative for back-up, out-of-band communication with remote pipeline monitoring stations. In this case, administrators and IT support personnel can connect to the network at the remote pipeline monitoring station via cellular broadband in order to restore the communication via the primary network using remote console access and power control functions provided by the CPM.

Since rack space is often fairly cramped at these remote monitoring stations, a hybrid device, such as the CPM can provide the ideal solution, by allowing access to console port functions on remote devices, plus remote control of power switching and reboot functions in a single device.

The monitoring and alarm functions provided by the CPM are also very useful for tracking conditions and events in distant pipeline monitoring stations. When power supply irregularities, unresponsive devices and other detrimental potential problems are observed at the monitoring station, the CPM can notify support personnel allowing quick response and a more proactive approach to pipeline management.

Obviously, security is a serious concern in any remote network management application, and this is especially true in pipeline applications. All WTI remote management products utilize an embedded FIPS-140-2 cryptographic module to provide the highest level of security available, while also allowing quick, easy access for legitimate users. WTI remote management products also support secure communication protocols such as SSH and HTTPS as well as encryption formats such as FIPS and SSHv2 to ensure that data and remote command functions are safe from unauthorized access. In order to verify the identity of each potential user, WTI products also feature popular authentication protocols, such as TACACS+, LDAP, Kerberos and RADIUS to verify users who access the CPM via network, plus a callback security feature to protect access via modem.


Results:

The remote, out-of-band management capabilities and power fallback functions provided by the CPM provide the perfect fit for managing network elements located in remote pipeline monitoring stations. In any petroleum industry application that requires management and maintenance of network devices at far-flung locations, the CPM can provide administrators with a valuable tool for both keeping tabs on conditions at the remote site and for dealing with emergencies as they arise.

In larger deployments that require more than the sixteen switched outlets and sixteen RJ45 console ports provided by the CPM-1600 Series Remote Site Manager, WTI’s DSM series console servers, VMR series metered switched PDUs, NPS series switched PDUs, NBB series vertical format switched PDUs and PTS series power transfer switches can provide a perfect solution. In cases that require remote access to more than sixteen console ports, WTI’s DSM series console servers can provide secure, out-of-band communication for up to 40 console ports. Likewise, in applications that exceed the power switching and reboot capabilities supplied by the CPM, WTI’s VMR, NPS or NBB series switched PDUs can provide up to 20 remotely switched outlets. And for larger power failover applications, our PTS series Automatic Transfer Switches can provide power redundancy for up to 14 single corded devices.



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  • “     I’m happy to report that, thanks to your fast response, I’ve been able to get our new WTI power reboot switch online without a hitch... ”         - Ben G. Tacoma
  • “     WTI products are hands down the most reliable gear we've got in our racks... ”         - Glen Baker
  • “     I’m happy to report that, thanks to your fast response, I’ve been able to get our new WTI power reboot switch online without a hitch... ”         - Ben G. Tacoma