Enterprises rely on Managed Service Providers (MSPs) to provide constant uptime. To meet the growing needs of customers, MSPs require advanced tools that can monitor devices remotely, from a wide range of vendors. Not being able to provide the proper management, monitoring, and reporting expected by customers can lead to lost revenue as well as decreased customer retention.
This white paper will explore the challenges of MSPs and provide solutions on how to ensure network resilience with an independent management plane.
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System outages can result from cyberattacks, human error, or any number of environmental conditions. A wide range of network elements can also cause outages. Cable interconnects, power supplies, switches, dense compute chassis, storage arrays, and even air conditioning are potential sources of problems. And network devices are only increasing in complexity, with software stacks that are frequently updated and susceptible to bugs, exploits, and cyberattacks.
If your primary network becomes unavailable, do all parts of your network, from data centers and branches to edge networks and IoT devices, have connection resilience? As your business grows, your network becomes increasingly complex and new deployments or acquisitions may lack the ability to connect seamlessly through the internet.
Reading this white paper you will learn:
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Modern networks are utilizing Software-Defined Wide Area Networks (SD-WAN) to increase flexibility, reduce costs and secure connections of standard broadband. Providing the ability to dynamically choose the most efficient traffic route, SD-WAN routers are more sophisticated requiring more firmware updates which can create more opportunities for challenges to arise.
This whitepaper delves into the benefits and challenges of SD-WAN and how Smart Out-of-Band (Smart OOB™) can be used to minimize truck rolls, decrease disruptions and address points of failure to provide organizations with enterprise-grade WAN.
Ensuring network resilience is an important business priority for i3D.net. To maintain its global operation, i3D.net runs a complex low-latency network, with thousands of servers spread over more than 35 points of presence on 6 continents.
It is key that this network is kept up and running at all times. As Rick Sloot, chief operations officer, i3D.net explains: “Ten years ago, this was very difficult to achieve. There were very few ways of handling and managing your servers when the internet went down and those that were available were expensive and did not work well. As technology has advanced over the past decade, customer expectations have grown in line, and a high level of network resilience is now demanded by our users.”
“As we expanded as a business, opening up new locations around the world, it was becoming increasingly difficult to find a vendor capable of delivering a reliable way of keeping us up and running at all times, across all our locations.” continued Sloot.
“We struggled to find local vendors who could support us. Often, we weren’t able to pinpoint the issue or access the faulty equipment. We needed to find a way of managing equipment remotely, identifying and resolving the problem, while keeping the network online. “We started to look for a vendor who could work with cellular technologies such as 4G and who could deliver out-of-band management. Opengear fitted the bill perfectly. Opengear’s tools can support 4G cellular out-of-band connections in all our global locations which have enabled us to save time and money. We were looking for a partner that could deliver triple-A equipment on time all over the globe and knew we could rely on Opengear for this.”
i3D.net decided to work in partnership with Opengear and implement its ACM 7008-2-L Resilience Gateway to provide smart out-of-band management to its entire IT infrastructure, and also to provide a built-in backup LAN and/ or backup Internet connectivity option for all their remote sites.
Today, i3D.net uses the Opengear Resilience Gateway as a fall-back, providing out-of-band management, as and when required, to its routers all over the world. It has achieved a raft of benefits as a result. For example, it has helped to significantly streamline the process of bringing new sites online.
In the past, when i3D.net had to carry out a deployment outside the Netherlands, a technical operations engineer flew to the location and installed the new switches but would typically struggle to configure them. Today, i3D.net simply connects the Opengear Resilience Gateways to these network switches and its network operations engineers back in the Netherlands are then able to configure the whole site remotely via the Opengear device. “This is very powerful and a huge benefit for us in terms of the time and costs saved not only in provisioning but also ongoing maintenance” commented Sloot.
“We were looking for a partner that could deliver triple-A equipment on time all over the globe and knew we could rely on Opengear for this.”
Using Opengear Resilience Gateways also allows i3D.net to stay one step ahead of any pending network failures. According to Sloot: “We don’t like downtime and neither do our customers. Today, if there is an issue, we can directly connect to our routers anywhere in the world without having to wait for someone at the locations to access and fix it. The agility of the Opengear solutions means we can quickly help our customers and maintain our high standards as a performance hosting company.”
Today, i3D.net continues to expand and open global locations dynamically. It is also in the process of switching to a new Juniper Networks router platform. As Sloot explains: “This will give us the opportunity to launch our Global Low-latency Anti-DDoS solution (GLAD). Every region where we are changing the router and do not have an Opengear Resilience Gateway will now receive one.
“Finally, we have an enterprise customer for which we are remotely managing servers, running routers and firewalls in their own environment. We are planning to place the Opengear solution there. It marks the first time we have carried out a deployment of Opengear’s Resilience Gateway outside our own data centres.”
The rapidly expanding use of Opengear at i3D.net bears witness to the broad benefits it brings the hosting provider and also highlights a partnership that goes from strength to strength today and will look to evolve further in the future. i3D.net is on a fast growth path and Opengear continues to support its dynamic expansion worldwide.
i3D.net is a leading provider of high-performance hosting and global infrastructure services. The company notably excels in-game hosting and infrastructure, serving 100 million gamers daily for game publishers and independent developers on consoles, PC and mobile. The i3D.net network is one of the world’s top-10 most connected hosting provider networks. i3D.net is now a Ubisoft company, having been bought by the French publisher in 2018.
SD-WAN is more than just a buzzword, it’s become the standard in enterprise deployments. Projected to reach $8 billion¹ in market value by 2021, organizations are understanding the benefits of this low cost, agile alternative to traditional branch routers.
Being able to dynamically share network bandwidth by choosing the most efficient path, SD-WAN allows enterprises to eliminate expensive private network circuits and still balance traffic.
Although SD-WAN has a lot of benefits, there is one drawback to these sophisticated devices. SD-WAN routers run on large stacks of software which require constant firmware updates. These are a necessity, but we all know more updates increases the chance for network events to become large, costly disruptions – with the cost of downtime being $5,600 per minute², outages are something that most organizations can’t afford. The solution that can reduce the impact of these events – Smart Out-of-Band™ (Smart OOB) from Opengear.
Everyone’s gotten that dreaded call at 3 am, there’s an issue with the network and without Smart Out-of-Band, more often than not, network administrators are left scratching their heads wondering what to do and where to start. Identifying the source of an outage without visibility across the network can take hours and to make matters worse, this all could’ve occurred at a site hundreds of miles away. Instead of wasting hours driving to a site to troubleshoot, Smart OOB allows network administrators immediately and remotely fix the issue.
No enterprise can afford the costs associated with an outage – and without complete network visibility, these disruptions could last for days. Opengear devices deliver reliable access when needed. Smart OOB allows organizations to begin troubleshooting issues. Failover to Cellular, ensures continued internet connectivity for remote LANs and equipment with high speed 4GE when the primary internet link is down, delivering resilience.
An organization that doesn’t have Smart OOB can spend thousands of dollars in just a week when a network error occurs. Having to send staff and truck rolls out to the site is costly let alone the time it takes to identify the issue once they are there. Smart OOB allows network administrators to remediate the problem in minutes remotely.
SD-WAN deployments provide flexibility and reduce costs while maintaining secure connections. Allowing enterprises to utilize and aggregate multiple bandwidth connections, these routers do introduce a single point of failure that can result in potential downtime. Smart OOB supports these deployments, giving staff the ability to remotely get networks back up.
Learn more about how Smart OOB can support your SD-WAN deployment.
Out-of-band management is at the heart of network resilience, and Opengear continues to focus on Smart OOB solutions that keep critical infrastructure running by developing faster access and monitoring, with more efficient management and control, and wider decision-making options.
This video is a quick overview of what Smart Out-of-Band is. For more information or to schedule a demo, visit our website.