Local company to launch 'smart' network appliances at Interop

New software available to existing customers

Opengear CEO, Bob Waldie

Opengear CEO, Bob Waldie

Brisbane-based networking appliance vendor, Opengear, will launch a new range of 'smart' routers and console servers and the Interop trade show in Las Vegas next week.

The Opengear Smart ACM5000 and Smart IM4200 routers and console servers are designed to automate the discovery, diagnosis and resolution of technical problems at remote sites.

According to Opengear, the new products are the first fully-automated remote management solutions to control all the infrastructure at remote sites – from applications and computers to networking equipment, security cameras and power supplies.

Environmental elements such as door sensors and temperature levels can also be managed.

Opengear CEO, Bob Waldie, said the new product families are built on the company’s next generation console server platform which features an integrated VPN router and firewall, network and serial console access, power management, local logging and scripts, monitoring and alerts and out-of-band management via 3G or regular modems.

“While other vendors are dumbing-down their in-rack management appliances and relying exclusively on central management solutions, Opengear is taking a smarter approach by extending the monitoring and alerts capabilities we were offering in the rack to embrace a programmable rule book,” Waldie said.

“We enable data centre managers and IT staff to take remediable action instantly and improve service levels.”

Waldie said as computer systems become more prolific, both in and outside data centres, the network requires smarter management options for better monitoring and management.

One of Opengear’s flagship customers is the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“Everything is smarting up and IP-connecting so it’s important to have the right QoS levels,” he said.

“We have a virtual central management system for monitoring and access, which can do things like automatically download configurations and access remote sites if they are hidden behind firewalls.”

The central management of multiple devices is on the roadmap.

The entry-level devices start at $350, and devices with 3G support starting at $870. For the top end console servers pricing begins at $2500 and $4000 with cellular 3G.

Opengear does its software engineering in Brisbane and offer a GUI and command-line Linux interface in its products.

Waldie said the software updates that appear with the new smart appliances will also be available to older devices.

The new smart products have a programmable 'rule book' with corrective actions that can be taken in response to defined events.

For example, in the event of ping failure on a managed device, alerts can be sent, devices can be reset or some custom scripts actioned. Or, if a critical UPS battery level is reached, a shutdown can be initiated before the system’s power is cut off.

With offices in Utah, Opengear will feature the new appliances at InteropNet, Interop’s network and the OpenFlow Lab, which will host demonstrations of products that support the OpenFlow switching specification.

Interop runs from May 8 to 12 in Las Vegas.

Follow Rodney Gedda on Twitter: @rodneygedda

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