Dual WAN Out-of-Band Management for Cisco 2960-X Series Switches

A Dual WAN Console Server can provide tech support personnel with additional options for Out-of-Band Management that aren’t generally available on console server products that include only one Ethernet Port. In addition to allowing remote access to console ports on routers and switches via both a primary, production network and a secondary, maintenance network, a Dual WAN Console server also simplifies the challenge of adding 3G/4G/LTE cellular broadband access and satellite broadband access to your out-of-band management solution.

An Out-of-Band Management solution provides IT personnel with an effective means to deal with problems at remote network equipment installations, even when normal network communication is down. By providing alternative channels for communication, an Out-of-Band Management solution allows NOC personnel to troubleshoot problems with remote devices in order to restore communication via the primary network without the costs and delays inevitably associated with a physical service call.

When the Out-of-Band Management solution includes a console server with two Ethernet Ports, (such as WTI’s DSM-E Series Dual WAN Console Servers,) a variety of different communication channels are available to access console port command functions on remote devices. For example, in addition to the dial-up access provided by conventional, single WAN console servers, a Dual WAN Console Server also allows out-of-band communication via secondary network, 3G/4G/LTE cellular broadband or satellite broadband. This provides a perfect fit for oil and gas industry applications where dial-up, POTS communication is often unavailable.


Challenge:

IT personnel at your network operations center need an out-of-band management solution for dealing with unresponsive networked elements at remote pump jack sites. When a Cisco 2960-X Series Switch or a router or peripheral device at the pump jack site becomes unresponsive and disrupts in-band network communication, NOC personnel need a secure, reliable out-of-band channel that can be used to access console port command functions on the malfunctioning device in order to run diagnostic routines, re-load routing tables or execute troubleshooting commands to restore normal operation and reestablish network communication with the pump jack site.

Satellite Broadband Based Out-of-Band Management for Pump Jack Sites

Solution:

A DSM-E Series Dual WAN Console Server is deployed at the pump jack site and connected to serial console ports on routers, switches and any other managed devices at remote sites. In order to provide two alternatives for out-of-band communication, a satellite hub/gateway is connected to one of the DSM-E’s two available 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet Ports and a POTS line is connected to the DSM-E’s internal, dial-up Modem. In-band communication is provided by a network cable connected to the DSM-E’s other 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet Port.

When a corrupted routing table or unresponsive switch at the remote pump jack site disrupts communication via network, IT support personnel can quickly establish a secure, authenticated out-of-band connection to the site via either satellite broadband or dial-up modem. Once an out-of-band connection to the DSM-E is established, support personnel can then access console port command functions on routers or switches at the site in order to restore in-band network communication. In addition, the DSM-E can also be connected to other peripheral devices at the pump jack site to provide remote, out-of-band access to console port functions on RISC devices, pressure sensors, leak detectors and other equipment.


Results:

When normal network communication with the remote pump jack is disrupted by a malfunctioning network element at the site, support personnel can establish a secure, out-of-band connection to the DSM-E Dual WAN Console Server via satellite broad band or dial-up modem and then access console port command functions on any device connected to the DSM-E. This drastically cuts downtime and improves reliability by enabling your IT team to immediately address issues at remote sites without the costs and delays associated with a traditional truck roll or service call.

In addition to providing out-of-band access to console ports on routers and switches, (such as Cisco’s Catalyst 2960-X Series Switch,) the DSM-E Dual WAN Console Server also allows easy access to console port command functions on other networked devices at the remote site. This simplifies the process of dealing with unresponsive peripheral devices such as leak detectors, pressure sensors and flow meters and also allows operators to trouble shoot security devices such as IP Cameras and intrusion detection systems.

When the DSM-E Dual WAN Console Server is deployed in an equipment enclosure at the pump jack site, remote support personnel can also employ the DSM’s monitoring and alarm functions to track environmental conditions such as rack temperatures and also keep an eye on potentially noteworthy events such as power outages, unresponsive devices and loss of dial tone at the site. The DSM-E includes a powerful array of alarm functions that can be configured to track conditions and events and then generate alarms and create log records if conditions exceed user-defined trigger levels.


Summary:

WTI’s DSM-E Series Dual WAN Console Servers provide the ideal out-of-band management solution for oil and gas industry applications and other network installations that demand high availability and minimal downtime. The presence of a second 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet Port increases available out-of-band communication options by allowing the connection of a 3G/4G/LTE Wireless Gateway or Satellite Broadband Hub/Gateway in addition to a traditional network cable.

In addition to providing two 10/100/1000Base-T Ethernet Ports and support for dial-up communication, the DSM-E Dual WAN Console Server also includes state-of-the art security and authentication features to ensure that access to sensitive console port functions is well protected from unauthorized access. The DSM-E’s monitoring, alarm and event logging functions enable support personnel to track potentially significant events and conditions at remote sites, allowing your IT team to take a more proactive approach to management and anticipate future troubles rather than simply reacting to problems after they occur.




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