Failover to Cellularâ„¢ keeps remote networks up and running

With the inevitability of the Internet of things, the network is widening out to include more and more distributed devices.


Network outages can cost a company hours or even days of lost productivity and business opportunity and lead to hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses. Out-of-band management, combined with failover to cellular (F2C) solutions such as the ones provided by Opengear, protect your company from this risk.


Hi everyone, Rob from Opengear here. Today, I’d like to introduce you to an exciting new feature that automatically keeps your remote networks up and running during primary WAN faults and disruptions. We call this feature Failover to Cellular, or F2C for short.

F2C uses IP passthrough technology, allowing your primary router to utilize Opengear’s built-in cellular modem as a backup WAN connection. So your primary can automatically and transparently fail over through Opengear’s cellular, keeping the LAN connected to the Internet during primary WAN downtime.

F2C is a free feature upgrade across our full range of cellular-enabled appliances, and it combines with the smart out-of-band management capabilities already built into our products. So you can simply and cost-effectively equip all of your remote sites for true network results.

So let’s take a look at how it works. Here’s a simple network diagram of a typical remote network. We have a router connected to the Internet via its primary WAN link, which may be DSL, T1 Fiber et cetera. On the local side, the router is connected to the LAN switch, which in turn is connecting local users and clients, whether they be staff in the branch office, point-of-sale terminals at a retail location, or even telemetry or digital signage equipment.

During a primary WAN failure, the remote network becomes cut off from public and cloud services, corporate HQ, billing and payment systems, and from remote operation staff until the fault can be manually fixed. Now this may involve sending out a technician, and downtime will often run into the hours, or even days and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost productivity, revenues, and opportunity. Using F2C, Opengear installs alongside the primary router and establishes a dormant, always-on connection to the Internet via the cellular network. It also connects via Ethernet to the router’s secondary WAN interface. IP Passthrough technology transparently bridges the cellular and Ethernet interfaces, so the cellular IP settings and network traffic are passed through to the router’s secondary WAN port.

So now with F2C, in the advance of a primary WAN failure, the router can failover and route traffic out its secondary WAN interface, automatically restoring LAN connectivity in minutes or seconds, rather than hours or days.

But Opengear is much more than a simple IP passthrough to us. It’s also a market-leading remote management solution ten years in the making. During both normal operation and failover scenarios, Opengear can intercept incoming connections which would otherwise be passed through to the router. This allows Opengear to make its smart out-of-band management feature set available for remote network operators and admins. So such as SSH for out-of-band serial console management.

So if you take the case of a router misconfiguration, where a fat-finger error by a remote admin completely drops the router off the WAN and LAN networks: Using service intercepts, remote technical staff can connect to the router’s serial console and repair the fault out-of-band, and restore productivity remotely.

That’s just a very simple example, and Opengear has an extensive suite of remote management features such as network health monitoring, SMS alerting , built-in TFTP and mode server, and remote power control. So really this is just showing how smart out-of-band and F2C combine to provide true network results to keep your remote networks up and your business working.

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