Out-Of-Band Access Gets Smarter

Startup Uplogix launches itself along with its Envoy appliance, which is designed to improve out-of-band management.

Startup Uplogix Inc. last week launched itself and its Envoy appliance, which is designed to improve out-of-band management.

Founders of the Austin, Texas, company set out to go beyond basic console or terminal servers for remote out-of-band access to network devices in branch offices by raising the level of intelligence in the appliance.

"We believe the only way to manage network hardware reliably is over the console port," said James Dollar, co-founder and vice president of products.

Early users at RigNet Inc., which provides managed IP communications services to the oil and gas industry, see it as an inexpensive way to scale its network for customers and to improve reliability, according to Josh Tabin, chief financial officer at the Houston company.

"In the past, we just used modems. With Envoy, well be able to use more effective out-of-band monitoring and diagnosis, and we wont have to baby-sit upgrades," Tabin said.

/zimages/4/28571.gifClick here for a review of Avocents DSI5100 appliance, which provides secure out-of-band access to IPMI-enabled target devices.

The appliance collects memory and CPU use data as well as information about interfaces on the network devices. Envoy also allows users to automate routine management tasks via a customizable rules engine within the appliance. For example, Level 1 recovery tasks such as detecting a hung console and restarting it can be executed automatically.

Envoy works with a centralized EMS (Envoy Management Station), a Web portal that provides centralized graphical reporting as well as coordination for scheduling and executing tasks. Envoy is available now.

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