Out-of-Band Devices in a ZTP World
Out-of-Band Devices in a ZTP World
One of the most challenging aspects of implementing a large, enterprise-oriented network equipment installation is the time consuming task of manually setting up and configuring vast numbers of network elements. As difficult as this task may be, it becomes even more painful if you add an Out-of-Band management and troubleshooting solution to the equation; Console Servers and Switched PDUs will also need to be set up and configured too. In order to minimize set-up time, reduce opportunities for error and ensure conformity, Network Engineers need a reliable, automated means to manage onboarding of newly installed network equipment and OOB devices.
Fortunately, Zero-Touch Provisioning (ZTP) supplies an ideal solution for this problem. After network elements are cabled together and connected to power, devices that support ZTP can be automatically provisioned with the necessary configuration files, security patches and updates, drastically cutting the time required for set up and configuration, while also diminishing the likelihood of errors and inconsistencies.
WTI OOB management products, such as our DSM Series Console Servers, CPM Series Console Server + Power Control Combos and VMR Series Outlet Metered PDUS, all support Zero-Touch Provisioning, to ensure easy inclusion in enterprise network applications that rely on ZTP to provide fast, uniform onboarding of newly deployed network equipment. This simplifies the chore of implementing an effective, reliable OOB troubleshooting solution at the same time that you’re provisioning your servers, routers, switches and other network elements.
During Day Zero Onboarding, once network cables have been connected and new devices have been powered on, each ZTP compatible device will send its product information and MAC address to a DHCP server on your existing network.
If the MAC address and product information are recognized, the DHCP server will then point the device to a TFTP server that hosts the appropriate configuration files, firmware updates and security patches. WTI devices and other ZTP compatible network elements will then download the appropriate files, install configuration files, set specified parameters, define access credentials, install updates and patches and reboot. After booting up, all new devices will have been provisioned with the needed updates and parameters with absolutely no operation intervention.
Since ZTP principally relies on a DHCP server and a TFTP server or File Server, there’s no need for additional infrastructure to support the process. ZTP drastically cuts the time required to set up a rack full of devices, eliminates most human error, simplifies uniform compliance with security guidelines and helps ensure consistency of configuration across large numbers of devices.
Support for ZTP allows WTI OOB management devices to easily fit into large network installations that rely on Zero Touch Provisioning to automatically manage configuration and update activities during onboarding. This drastically reduces opportunities for human error during configuration, ensures uniformity in set up of security protocols and other parameters and substantially cuts the time required to deploy OOB troubleshooting devices along with the rest of your enterprise network.
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