Opengear Adds NetOps to Out-of-Band Management, With Launch Of Operations Manager Appliances

Secure, Resilient Access and Automation to IT infrastructure

Opengear Adds NetOps to Out-of-Band Management, With Launch Of Operations Manager Appliances

OM1200 and OM2200 NetOps Console Servers bring NetOps and Smart Out-of-Band together, in one appliance.

Opengear, a Digi International company (NASDAQ, DGII, www.digi.com), and a leading provider of solutions that deliver secure, resilient network access and automation to critical IT infrastructure, announced 27.5.2020 the launch of the new NetOps Console Servers: the OM1200 and the OM2200. These appliances are the first of their kind, capable of running standard Docker containers, and bringing Smart Out-of-Band and NetOps automation together in a single piece of hardware.

As the market leader in Out-of-Band management with 75% of Fortune 100 companies using its solutions, Opengear’s unique approach raises the bar for the rest of the industry, providing NetOps automation tools to network engineers for everyday management of their infrastructure. Continued innovation is key to meeting the evolving needs of network resilience.

The new NetOps Console Servers are the only Out-of-Band appliances in the industry to feature both an x86 processor and a secure boot process to protect against configuration and firmware tampering.

  • The units support standard Docker applications, which means users can deploy their own automation modules, and third-party or Opengear NetOps Modules, on the console server itself.
  • The embedded TPM 2.0 chip adds a level of physical security to Out-of-Band provisioning that is unique to Opengear appliances, keeping its content protected even in insecure remote facilities.
  • A large internal flash memory (16GB/64GB in the OM1200/2200) provides enough storage to keep configuration and software files on site, where they are needed.

Both the OM1200 and the OM2200 form key elements of Opengear’s Network Resilience Platform, which is managed by the Lighthouse management software, and includes the company’s award-winning Smart OOBTM Console Servers (ACM7000, IM7200, and CM7100 appliances). Opengear has always embraced an open architecture— in fact, that’s where the “Open” in Opengear came from—and all products are Linux based. This continues with the expansion into NetOps, with standard tools such as Ansible, Docker and Python at the core of the new OM appliances.

"These innovative NetOps console servers expand the value delivered by the Opengear solution,” said Marcio Saito, chief technology officer, Opengear “Network engineers can now deploy a single appliance at each location which will not only provide them with secure remote access, but also the presence and proximity layer to serve as base for programmability and automation of network management."
“Customers have consistently selected Opengear as the clear market leader in Out-of-Band management” he continued. “Now they can trust us to with their NetOps implementation. Our Network Resilience Platform provides NetOps automation and Smart Out-of-Band together in a single solution.”

Marcio Saito, Chief Technology Officer

Opengear’s Network Resilience Platform provides secure remote access to critical network devices through a separate management plane. It has the ability to automate NetOps processes, such as securely deploying and provisioning equipment, and to access Remote IP devices at any edge location. All of Opengear’s appliances are designed specifically for Out-of-Band management, and manufactured at Opengear’s facility, allowing the company to maintain a consistent design approach and full control of quality and inventory management

“With the Network Resilience Platform, Opengear has moved beyond emergency access. The platform extends management access to the edge of the infrastructure through an always-on management plane that is resilient to disruptions in the production network,” said Saito “We’re enabling engineers to manage, monitor and remediate their critical network devices, while also allowing them to lock down many features in the production network to improve security. Taken together, it is further evidence that Opengear can be seen as synonymous with the term ‘network resilience’.”

About Opengear
Opengear delivers secure, resilient access and automation to critical IT infrastructure, even when the network is down. Provisioning, orchestration and remote management of network devices, through innovative software and appliances, enables technical staff to manage their data centers and remote network locations reliably and efficiently. Opengear’s business continuity solutions are trusted by global organizations across financial, digital communications, retail and manufacturing industries. The company is headquartered in New Jersey, with R&D centers in Silicon Valley and Brisbane, Australia.

Download data sheets (PDF):

Getting Smart About Network Resilience in Education by Opengear

Secure, Resilient Access and Automation to IT infrastructure

Getting Smart About Network Resilience in Education by Opengear

Ensuring Uptime In Education

Distributed campuses and new digital initiatives pose constant challenges to network engineering teams managing education networks remotely. The constant addition of bandwidth-intensive applications and the integration of distance learning due to the global pandemic has placed a strain on the network. Increasing the likelihood of an outage and with limited technical staff at each location, any type of disruption would place learning at a complete standstill.

To ensure educational processes remain running smoothly, productivity is maintained and recovery costs are kept at a minimum, these institutions need a network safeguard.

Opengear’s proven solutions ensure always-on network resilience and maximum uptime for educational institutions. Deployed by K-12 institutions and universities of all sizes, our products ensure that infrastructure is scalable and able to be managed remotely.

To learn more about the importance of network resilience in education, download the whitepaper today!

Supporting IoT Initiatives and Distance Learning

Educational institutions are integrating more smart Internet of Things (IoT) into their educational networks. IDC predicts that in 2025 there will be more than 40 billion connected devices. Implementing IoT in the classroom is no longer just about internet accessibility, it’s about extending connectivity beyond traditional smart devices to engage students, create immersive learning experiences, and solve common challenges.Now that distance learning has been pushed to the forefront, IoT has become even more important. The integration of distance learning into digital curriculums has increased the need for constant connectivity so that faculty and students are able to interact through digital forms of communication. Learning management systems, such as Blackboard, video calls, and discussion boards are all critical for distance learning, solely done online they require always-on access.

Managing an IoT system in this environment involves the use of alternate connectivity and dedicated management devices that provide resilient access at the edge of the infrastructure. These devices require continuous monitoring, configuration, provisioning, and remediation to provide resilience.

Read the infographic (pdf) to learn about always-on connectivity needed in education.

Provisioning New Campuses

Educational institutions are constantly expanding with some facilities that can be located across the country. The Secure Provisioning NetOps module by Opengear enables engineers at these schools to ship equipment to new locations and provision it remotely, eliminating the need for highly skilled engineers on site.

Automating the initial provisioning, configuration management and disaster recovery of remote infrastructure, an Opengear appliance is incorporated into the initial rack shipped to the location, once powered on, it calls home over the embedded cellular module. TPM safeguards are embedded into the unit to ensure that the firmware, configurations, and authentication keys haven’t been tampered with prior to installation. Lighthouse Enterprise automatically pushes image, configuration, and script files to the device which then provisions other hardware at the location. Providing secure Zero Touch Provisioning to the entire local infrastructure from one appliance, the need for human interaction is eliminated, saving educational institutions resources.

Learn more about Secure Provisioning (PDF) with Opengear.

Products:

Infrastructure Manager

Resilience Gateway

Centralized Management

ePlus Leverages Opengear’s Smart Out-of-Band Technology

Secure, Resilient Access and Automation to IT infrastructure

ePlus Leverages Opengear’s Smart Out-of-Band Technology

The Challenge

As a leading consultative technology solutions provider with lifecycle services expertise across key areas including security, cloud, data center, collaboration, networking and emerging technologies, ePlus allows its customers to achieve positive business outcomes through the use of transformative technology. For ePlus, ensuring seamless network connectivity for business continuity across its 38 U.S.-based office locations and two data centers was absolutely critical.

Prior to adopting Opengear in 2016, ePlus used POTs lines with external modems plugged into auxiliary ports for OOB. According to Chris Smolen, Manager of Network Engineering for ePlus Internal IT, this solution was inefficient. Since it relied heavily on external modems, it also necessitated local, onsite involvement and maintenance, creating an inability to troubleshoot issues remotely. With so many individual locations, moving away from POTs lines became vital.

The Solution

ePlus was looking for high availability, even if the primary in-band network failed. After looking at several serial console manufacturers, ePlus selected Opengear as the ideal solution for always-on connectivity, as well as permanent monitoring, and remote management of critical IT infrastructures in its offices and data centers. A major factor was the integrated 4G solution to ensure reliable cellular access to devices.

OOB solution with high-speed failover to cellular

ePlus replaced the POTs lines and external modems with Opengear Resilience Gateways (ACM 7008-LMV with 8 ports), using Verizon 4G LTE at its branch offices across the U.S. These units are compact and ideal for small remote sites. ePlus has also expanded its deployment of Opengear to its data centers and uses the IM7248-LMV for remote access, maintenance, and proactive monitoring.

Out-of-band management minimizes maintenance costs

The integrated wireless option offered by the OOB console servers also allows ePlus to substantially reduce costs involved with traveling to its remote offices to perform routine maintenance tasks, such as firmware updates, patches and other configuration changes, providing it with a bigger return on investment.

Opengear’s Smart Out-of-Band allows IT staff to manage the infrastructure of hundreds of sites and thousands of devices with advanced troubleshooting and remediation from one centralized console, reducing operating costs and minimizing downtime.

Centralized management of the OOB infrastructure

ePlus also wanted its out-of-band solution to offer a centralized management system with automatic configuration for simple scalability and device provisioning. This software had to allow ePlus to keep an eye on all installed OOB consoles and connected devices from asingle pane of glass. ePlus opted for Opengear’s Lighthouse management software. This central management platform for remote access is a virtual software appliance and implements OpenVPN encrypted tunnels to gateways for all LAN, WAN and wireless remote access connections. Lighthouse can be installed on any VMWare session as well as cloud hosting services including Amazon’s AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google’s GCE. Lighthouse also offers a RESTful API interface, allowing the platform to be integrated easily in other management tools already installed. Lighthouse offers a status overview of all access gateways or nodes, allowing for simple management. Nodes can be easily enrolled and the process is further simplified using enrollment bundles. These bundles combine a unique registration token with user-defined tags such as a geographical location, a department or even a rack position. Devices can also be grouped according to users, sites or manufacturers. In addition, strict access authorization can also be defined.

Out Of Band Management

Results

"The Resilience Gateway with Cellular isn’t just more reliable than our previous analog modem solution – it’s substantially more reliable.”, explains Smolen. “They work every time we need them. Opengear is always available to answer any questions, and quickly. Working with Opengear has been an excellent experience."

Chris Smolen, Manager of Network Engineering for ePlus Internal IT

Three years after adopting its new out-of-band management solution, ePlus is very pleased with the Opengear experience.

Delivering managed technology services requires fully reliable and resilient connectivity to network resources,” said Todd Rychecky, VP of Sales Americas, Opengear. “We’re glad to see how ePlus has been able to bolster its platform stability and grow its compelling service offerings in part by using Opengear’s Smart Out-of-Band solutions to deliver a more resilient network.

ePlus is a leading consultative technology solutions provider that helps customers imagine, implement, and achieve more from their technology. With the highest certifications from top technology partners and lifecycle services expertise across key areas including security, cloud, data center, collaboration, networking and emerging technologies, ePlus transforms IT from a cost center to a business enabler. Founded in 1990, ePlus has more than 1,500 associates serving a diverse set of customers in the U.S., Europe, and Asia-Pac.

Link to Opengear product pages: Opengear – Keeping Networks Running

5G’s Impact on Edge Computing & IoT. How will 5G enhance your cellular connectivity?

Secure, Resilient Access and Automation to IT infrastructure

5G’s Impact on Edge Computing & IoT. How will 5G enhance your cellular connectivity?

The next generation of wireless technology is here. 5G will enhance connectivity across all platforms, providing more efficient, faster and better signal strength which opens doors for new possibilities across cellular networks. It is predicted that by 2024 more than 1.5 billion devices will be connected to 5G.¹ So how will 5G enhance your cellular connectivity?

Differentiating Between 4G and 5G

5G will be a strong enabler in the expansion of the Internet of Things (IoT), given the speed and versatility it will bring to networks. 5G has a range of benefits when compared to 4G, based on its use of the 30 GHz to 300 GHz spectrum:

  • Higher speeds: 5G peak speeds, at up to10 Gigabits/s, will potentially be ten times the speed of 4G. ²
  • Lower Latency: 5G offers latency below 1ms, compared to a typical 4G performance of 10-50ms. ²
  • Greater capacity: 5G networks will have capacity for a larger number of connected devices, by some estimates as much as one million devices per square kilometer³

5G is gradually being rolled out, so later iterations are expected to have even stronger capabilities.

It’s important to note that 5G, unlike previous iterations, is not expected to replace 4G. Many applications, such as standard mobile phone calls and low-data transactions, will still be carried on a 4G network, with 5G being applied primarily to large-compute and low-latency uses.

Differentiating Between 4G and 5G
Ref: STATISTA

Given the higher frequency spectrum, 5G also requires a higher density of towers to cover a given area, meaning that rollout of 5G will initially be limited to metropolitan areas. It is also impacted more severely by physical barriers such as walls, trees, and even bad weather.

5G, IoT and the Edge

Compute locations are moving increasingly to the edge, driven by the growth of IoT and the desire to process and prioritize data closer to the collection point. Faster connections associated with 5G will support that migration as enterprises distribute their network power between Data Centers, Cloud Computing and the Edge.

The low latency and high speed of 5G particularly suit applications such as consumer VR/AR, AI, and autonomous vehicles, with high data density and rapid response requirements, enabling faster adoption of these technologies.

Credit: Ericsson Mobility Report, June 2019

5G and Out-of-Band

Users expect the same level of uptime and response from their network, regardless of where that compute is located. But the reality of edge locations is that the type of system redundancy and staffing that is typical at data centers are not feasible at each location. Reliable, always-on access to the network devices, via out-of-band management, is a critical component of that network resilience.

As levels of automation continue to increase, enterprises will also have to extend the reach of their management and monitoring tools. Opengear solutions anticipate the current and future network needs of 5G.

Opengear smart solutions provide engineers at the Network Operations Center (NOC) with the ability to reach devices located at the edge. Lighthouse ensures access and visibility remotely, during critical failures while Smart Out-of-Band provides advanced troubleshooting to remediate issues that may arise at the network’s edge. The NetOps Automation platform provides additional functionality to streamline repetitive workflows such as secure provisioning and event management.

Article: Breaking down the hype: What can we expect from 5G?

Deciding When to Adopt

Each organization has a core IT infrastructure and line of business applications. Constantly improving technologies provide an opportunity to help them operate more efficiently. Once the right technologies have been identified, enterprises must identify the right moment to get on board to ensure meaningful results.

For 5G specifically, determining the right time to act requires understanding the most immediate use cases for it within the enterprise. The first is fixed internet connectivity. Instead of using cable, satellite or copper wires/ADSL, edge locations could potentially use 5G to get fixed internet connectivity. Because this eliminates the need for burdensome physical cables and wires, 5G may provide an easier method for deployment.

For many enterprises, it is too early to fully embrace 5G. Unless there are already specific applications that are limited by speed/latency of existing connectivity technologies, the value of deploying it will not yet be realized. Instead, the focus, for now, should be on understanding the technology at a high level and identifying the use cases that are likely to benefit the business most so that they can be prioritized when 5G becomes readily available.

¹ https://www.ericsson.com/assets/local/mobility-report/documents/2019/ericsson-mobility-report-june-2019.pdf
² https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/5g-vs-4g/
³ https://www.androidauthority.com/what-is-5g-explained-944868/

How does the edge effect your network infrastructure? Read Opengear white paper.

Secure, Resilient Access and Automation to IT infrastructure

How does the edge effect your network infrastructure? Read Opengear white paper.

Enterprises have become increasingly data-driven creating a need to expand outside of the traditional data center, at the edge. Edge computing has played a prominent role in IoT deployments with its ability to mitigate latency associated with the cloud, ensure the latest developments are available to enterprises and capture data in real-time. As organizations continue to add more critical applications at the edge, they must be able to match the resilience, scalability and high availability found in the data center.

This white paper discusses the proper solutions to deploy at the edge to ensure network resilience needs are met.

Link to Opengear product pages: Opengear – Keeping Networks Running

Ensuring Always-On Availability for Distributed Healthcare Sites with Opengear Solutions

Secure, Resilient Access and Automation to IT infrastructure

Ensuring Always-On Availability for Distributed Healthcare Sites with Opengear Solutions

Accessing Critical Applications at All Times.

Healthcare organizations require constant connectivity to support the applications and devices needed for each aspect of patient care. Digitally tied together, they are constantly adding new technologies to the network which can increase the likelihood of a disruption.

These bandwidth-intensive applications, such as IoT devices, Electronic Medical Records (EHR) and Picture Archiving Systems (PACS), are critical to healthcare organizations, but place a strain on the network.

Opengear ensures the secure, always-on availability needed to meet strict regulatory requirements, decrease costs and improve patient experiences. Proven to ensure network resilience, Opengear devices address some of the more complex challenges facing healthcare organizations today. Simple to manage, quick to deploy and scalable to thousands of locations, Opengear solutions are compatible with any environment.

To learn more about ensuring maximum uptime for your organization, download the white paper today!

Reducing Downtime During Disruptions

Healthcare systems consist of multiple facilities such as hospitals, labs and urgent care centers. Each having multi-point connectivity requirements, creating a need for higher capacity WAN. If one of these points loses connectivity, without the proper solution in place, the entire network could go down, costing an average of $8600 per hour in revenue.

Outages can be causes by a variety if reasons:

  • Cyber attacks: One of the top two industries affected by cyberattacks is healthcare with more than 190 million patient records stolen since 2009.
  • Large amounts of IoT devices: As more IoT devices are added, a greater strain is put on the network edge.
  • Multiple operating systems: Many healthcare deployments use over 20 different operating systems which can cause interoperability challenges.

If a disruption occurs, engineers are at a disadvantage without the proper network visibility. Unable to quickly reach distributed sites, costs can quickly accumulate. Opengear solutions ensure network resilience, enterprise-grade security, and always-on connectivity during a disruption.

Click on our infographic to learn why Opengear is a critical component to maintaining a healthy IT infrastructure.

Ensuring Compliance and Maintaining Privacy

The healthcare industry has unique compliance and security challenges because of the large amounts of sensitive patient data that is collected. These organizations must meet the wide variety of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) standards. Governing health-related transactions and procedures, healthcare organizations must adhere to these requirements to ensure that patient information is protected. Fines of up to $1.5 million can be issued for violations, with that number multiplied by the number of years each violation has been allowed to persist.4

The HIPAA security rule requires each healthcare organization to create a contingency plan to ensure that during a disruption, critical business processes are uninterrupted and ensure that electronically protected health information (ePHI) is safeguarded.

Opengear solutions are the foundation of a contingency plan. Lighthouse Enterprise provides full network visibility while Smart Out-of-Band enables engineers to monitor, manage and remediate IT issues at any remote site. Paired with Failover to Cellular which provides always-on availability with 4G LTE, they are able to continue normal business operations while the issue is remediated.

Read our Healthcare Network Solutions Overview to better understand the importance of maintaining a healthy network.

Infrastructure Manager

The smart solution for managing critical IT infrastructure.

Console Server

Simplify Out-Of-Band Management.

Resilience Gateway

Ensure uptime at remote sites and remediate issues with built-in Failover to Cellular technology.

Ensure Full Network Visibility with Opengear Lighthouse Enterprise

Secure, Resilient Access and Automation to IT infrastructure

Ensure Full Network Visibility with Opengear Lighthouse Enterprise

Lighthouse Enterprise provides resilient access and visibility, especially during critical failures. The centralized management platform supports the Big 3 cloud providers, so users have flexibility to choose how they deploy Opengear’s Smart Out-of-Band solution.

Key Features

High Availability

Large enterprise users can maximize availability with redundant systems utilizing the Multi-Instance Operation. It provides the ability to access nodes through multiple Lighthouse instances, at the same time

Remote IP Access

Remote IP access allows for ease of access to all network connected nodes regardless of protocol. Gain access from anywhere over both In and Out-of-Band connections.

Zero Touch Deployment

Opengear’s Lighthouse Enrollment bundles and ZTP provides administrators the tools to automate the configuration and enrollment process.

Lighthouse Centralized Management

  • Central network hub and management portal for Opengear Smart OOB™ devices for resilient management
  • Scalable administration and automation – from Day One provisioning to routine operations and disaster recovery
  • Seamless, always-available connectivity, regardless of remote WAN or LAN health or status
  • Centralized, secure, end-to-end out-of-band management
  • Access managed devices by name regardless how they are connected
    Purpose-built to “just give me a console” during 3 a.m. network meltdowns!
  • Tunnel through firewalls, carrier NAT and failover via Lighthouse VPN
FEATURES
LIGHTHOUSE ENTERPRISE
LIGHTHOUSE
Centralized Management of Opengear Console Servers and Third-Party Devices
Web Standard access (No Java / other tools or software required)
NetOps Automation Engine and Orchestration
Administration and Automation for Day One Operations
Routine Maintenance and Disaster Recovery Access
Standardized RESTful API allowing access to aspects of the platform
Smart Tags and Grouping via meta tags directly in LH
User Access Grouping locally and via AAA Servers
Cloud Hosting – Amazon Web Services (AWS) ​
Cloud Hosting – Microsoft Azure
Cloud Hosting – Google Compute Engine (GCE)
Remote IP Access
High Availability

Secure and Resilient Financial Network Solutions from Opengear

Secure, Resilient Access and Automation to IT infrastructure

Secure and Resilient Financial Network Solutions from Opengear

Finance is one of the most regulated industries in the world. Constantly facing newly emerging threats, compliance requirements, and customer demands, a network disruption can dismantle credibility and render systems useless.

To meet these demands, financial institutions are integrating more IoT at branch locations, increasing the usage of mobile apps and creating more distributed sites – all requiring additional network capabilities. As these organizations adjust their operations to accommodate these needs, a new set of network requirements must be met, such as faster bandwidth, increased security and the ability to scale to ensure business continuity.

Ensuring uptime in finance

Opengear solutions are deployed by some of the largest financial institutions in the world. Ensuring always-on network resilience, they ensure that infrastructure can be managed remotely and are scalable.

Watch our video to learn how ATMs, trading platforms and other financial systems continue to run during a network disruption.

To learn more about the security risks of disruptions and how to ensure network resilience, download our whitepaper today!

Creating compliant and secure networks

The average cost of a data breach is $3.86 million, which can result in brand damage, lost customers and thousands of dollars in fines. In finance, cyberattacks, such as malware, mobile apps, and unencrypted data, are one of the largest threats to network security. In an effort to decrease disruptions and safeguard customer information, a variety of regulatory requirements have been created.

Opengear solutions provide enterprise-grade security for edge and core networks. Advanced security and encryption features that are built-in to each device ensure that routers, phones, and ATMs are updated with the latest compliance standards. Lighthouse Centralized Management gives organizations full visibility into their network to detect faults before they become failures.

To better understand threats directly facing financial institutions and how to extend your reach during outages, click the image.

Deploying SD-WAN in financial networks

Financial organizations understand the important role proximity plays when improving customer experiences. To broaden their reach, many are expanding their branch locations and using more kiosks. Deploying SD-WAN establishes secure VPN connections across any service and provides the necessary bandwidth for cloud tools and services, becoming more used within the industry.

However, advanced SD-WAN routers create single points of failure and a network disruption can cause financial institutions many issues. Failover to Cellular™ provides internet connectivity for remote LANs and equipment using 4G LTE in the event of a disruption. Smart Out-of-Band provides an alternate secure pathway so the network continues to operate when other circuits are unavailable.

Watch this video to learn why one of the leading banks in the United States chose to add Opengear to their SD-WAN deployment.

Link to product pages: Opengear Solutions