Ensuring reliability through Opengear’s Smart out of band technology

An Opengear Case Study


  • ABB, a global industrial technology leader, was looking for a modern out-of-band solution. 
  • Its current out-of-band solution consisted of 56K modems, which proved to be a limited and inefficient approach to out-of-band management.
  • Opengear helped improve ABB’s out-of-band process. The staff can now easily access critical devices via Opengear’s Lighthouse Management Software.

Customer Story

ABB is a global technology leader with a comprehensive portfolio of industrial technology products. The company has 105,000 employees and serves customers in 100+ countries across 3 regions. With a history of innovation spanning over 130 years, ABB has delivered results for organizations in more than 20 industries.

The company has four customer-focused, leading businesses: electrification, process automation, motion, and robotics & discrete automation, supported by the ABB Ability™ platform. ABB has helped many customers globally to optimize industrial production in manufacturing and process industries.

The US Network and Voice Services team at ABB oversees its data centers, distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and sales offices supporting ABB’s business. Any impact or disruption in these locations means lost business, disrupted services, and poor customer experience.


The US network and voice services team is responsible for seven locations, including two data centers, two distribution centers, manufacturing facilities, and sales offices. John Hargraves, the Network and Voice Services team lead, explains that when he joined ABB, he saw that the company was using 56K modems for out-of-band management. Needless to say, using 56K modems as an out-of-band management solution proved several inefficiencies for the staff. First, the team had to dial into a modem and console into the router. The connection speeds were limited to 56Kbps, or dropped connections were common.

 “The POTS lines are becoming non-existent, and laptops no longer came with modems; so, we started looking into a new up-to-date out-of-band solution,” stated John Hargraves. The team supports ABB’s business and its customers 24×7. Hence, reliable connectivity to all these locations and network devices is critical. 

“Opengear is the saving grace for us. They are the only way for us to access our critical devices during an outage.”
~ John Hargraves, Network and Voice Services Team Lead


During the market assessment, Hargraves says his team evaluated four different out-of-band solutions. When they came across Opengear, they saw that it provides both an in-band and an out-of-band solution. Therefore, for dual in-band and out-of-band access, they chose Opengear. Choosing Opengear provided reliable out-of-band access over cellular. 

After deciding to go with Opengear as their out-of-band solution partner, the team started assessing different Opengear products for their environment. They decided to use 4-port ACM7000 Resilience Gateways for their manufacturing facilities, and an 8-port ACM7000 for their distribution centers. 

For IT deployments at edge locations, the Resilience Gateway provides secure remote access to critical devices via Smart Out of Band  management. An embedded, global 4G-LTE cellular modem offers an alternate path when the primary link is unavailable. 

The ACM7000 Resilience Gateway with Opengear’s Lighthouse management software and Failover to Cellular™ is used at Bank branches, regional offices, and at many other remote locations where business continuity is critical. Upon researching the solution, the team knew it was right for ABB’s distribution centers. “Distribution centers are the focal point for the business, and we have to keep them moving,” Hargraves said. With the Resilience Gateway, they ensure uninterrupted, reliable access.

Also, for their data centers, they placed an order for CM7100 Console Server with 48 ports. The CM7100 is a robust console manager for data centers and large compute locations. It offers 16-96 serial console ports with simple straight-through cabling to Cisco®-style serial consoles. Additionally, each unit has dual GbE ethernet connections and interfaces with the Lighthouse Centralized Management platform for ease of central management.


Opengear helped the network and voice solutions team upgrade their out-of-band capabilities. Deploying Opengear enabled them to mitigate risks to business continuity. The company has been extremely satisfied with its Opengear solution for OOB capabilities and has deployed additional Opengear products since then. 

During a recent migration from one circuit carrier to another, the team experienced a network outage. Luckily, the site had an Opengear device. The team was able to access the data center via out of band easily. As Hargraves put it, before Opengear, they had to work with 56K modems with the POTS line to dial to the out of band to access – ultimately, an antiquated technology with speed and interruption issues.

As the network voice services team experienced the peace of mind that Opengear brings, they increased the number of Opengear devices in their network and currently deploy 100s of Opengear devices across their two data centers, two distribution facilities, and their manufacturing sites and sales offices.

Industry: Industrial Technology

Location: Headquartered in Europe with offices globally

Products: Products CM, ACM Series Console Servers & Lighthouse Management Software