Minimizing Network Downtime in the Age
of Digital Transformation

Out-of-band management will further support DT strategies by accelerating network processes.
management. Many enterprises use in-band management, which uses the network itself as a media to manage devices through common protocols, like ssh and https or Secure Shell. Although in-band management is cheaper and simpler than out-of-band management, it is not secure. Moreover, the most problematic aspect of this method is that during network disruptions, a company’s technicians become locked out of the primary network and are thus unable to remediate issues.

However, unlike in-band management, out-of-band management separates and containerizes the functions of the management plane from the data and control plane. Effectively, out-of-band management allows a district network (also known as the out-of-band network) to operate independently from the primary in-band network. Even if the primary network goes down, this separate layer permits network engineers to detect issues, access critical applications, and restore operations quickly, securely, and remotely. Most importantly, out-of-band management enables enterprises to build a robust network that can recover swiftly from network outages while upholding an appropriate level of service amid various disruptions, be they cyberattacks, human error, etc.

Safeguarding Digital Transformation with Out-of-Band Management

By utilizing out-of-band management, businesses can ensure that digital transformation remains undisturbed even if the primary network experiences disruptions. This resilient network allows employees to continue to leverage solutions, such as Gen AI tools and advanced analytics, that require network access. Likewise, there won’t be gaps in data. For example, IoT devices and sensors that help monitor the status and output of factory machines will continue functioning. In the same way, customers shouldn’t notice a considerable drop in quality of service, whether accessing their profiles or using online services, maintaining revenue generation and preserving a seamless customer experience.

Leading out-of-band management technology also allows enterprises to more effectively repel and fight against those cyberattacks brought on by the expanded attack surface of digital transformation. Should malware or ransomware cause a breach, engineers can use the out-of-band network, an independent management plane, to lock down critical functions on the production network. At the same time, they can continue to configure and manage devices on the out-of-band network. This technology also enables engineers to shut down servers and disconnect wide area network connections, further isolating a breach to only impacted network equipment. Engineers can even leverage out-of-band management to restrict access to critical devices and functions, permitting only authorized personnel and preventing internal bad actors or unaware employees from tampering.

Out-of-band management will further support digital transformation strategies by accelerating network processes. For example, out-of-band management empowers engineers to streamline configurations and day-one provisioning, helping to get remote sites up and running quickly and at scale. It also simplifies other everyday tasks like IT infrastructure management and monitoring. Moreover, because engineers can monitor, manage, and remediate network devices remotely, they don’t have to travel on-site to troubleshoot issues; instead, they can focus their energy and resources on digital-first initiatives, ultimately helping businesses stay competitive.

In the same vein, the ability to access and manage critical network infrastructure from anywhere through out-of-band technology opens the door to remote and hybrid work models. Digital transformation made remote work feasible for many employees. Now, out-of-band management makes remote work possible for most, if not all network engineers, administrators, and technicians. Again, if there is a network disruption, these technical employees don’t need to drop whatever they’re working on and drive to some far-flung location. As such, out-of-band management serves as a valuable recruiting differentiator, helping enterprises attract the best available talent and extend their geographical reach.

Coupling Digital Transformation with Out-of-Band

Digital transformation is inevitable. In fact, research shows that 93 percent of all companies have already adopted a digital-first business strategy or have plans to adopt such a strategy. As demonstrated in this article, one of the unintended consequences of digital transformation is the increased risk of network downtime. Accordingly, there needs to be a mindset shift among companies where digital-first strategies and initiatives coincide with the simultaneous implementation of network solutions like out-of-band management.


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