Out Of Band Management Systems

September 9th, 2016

If you are an IT professional, you understand the important of console management systems for secure off-site management of network devices, servers and routers.  In the IT world, there are two types of console management systems available to remotely access servers and networks: out of band and in band.  Out of band management has become the preferred method of managing consoles because it eliminates the limitations that are found in an in band application.  Also referred to as lights out or LOM management systems, out of band systems allow IT administrators to perform a variety of updates and types of maintenance on network devices from an off-site location whether to computer or device is powered on or off.

Because LOM systems work off of a separate channel as opposed to regular Ethernet data channels, the remote access is not compromised when systems malfunction or the when the server is experiencing technical difficulties.  This allows IT administrators to access the servers and routers without limitations to address the problem and fix it within a timely fashion.  In-band systems work quite the opposite.  In-band systems generally use the Ethernet channels to manage devices and can be limited when system problems occur.  Because out of band management systems are isolated from these regular channels, they have become preferred for corporations who manage their consoles off-site.

The LOM system uses hardware referred to as an LOM module to monitor a number of different system variables for all of the devices connected to the network.  A remote operation including system reboots, shutdowns, troubleshooting and those who have authorization to access devices within the network can perform application installation off-site.  Each device in the network will be connected to a console server to monitor the individual device’s hardware and gain console access remotely.  This feature is not found in an in-band system, which proves further limitations.

Most corporations prefer investing in a management system because they can have a remote data center that is dedicated to monitoring systems and providing IT troubleshooting tips and repairs.  In today’s economy, businesses are trying to buckle down on their budgets and lower costs in every way possible.  While the initial investment to roll out an out of band management system may be high, the lowered operational costs more than make up for this investment.  By eliminating the need for an IT technician to be physically present to perform basic duties, costs of employees and traveling expenses are reduced.  While there will be a need for IT professionals to visit satellite offices to set up networks physically, managing these systems is far more effective with remote access solutions.  Understand the difference between console management systems and choose hardware and applications that are best suited for your company.

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