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Opengear announces new version of its Lighthouse central management appliance

Published on 27 January, 2014

Opengear, a leading provider of critical infrastructure management solutions through advanced console servers, remote management, monitoring, and cellular out-of-band products, recently announced a new version of its Lighthouse central management appliance that automates the process of locating and establishing console connections on enterprise-scale management networks, while maintaining central authentication and audit capabilities.

“When there’s a network fault, re-establishing access can mean looking up spreadsheets and network diagrams to see which management ports are connected where – not ideal when the downtime clock is ticking,” explains Robert Waldie, VP Business Development for Opengear EMEA. “Not only that, logging into a remote site that’s lost connectivity to the enterprise auth servers has historically meant compromising security, for example hardcoding a master password shared by the entire ops team. Lighthouse Console Gateway solves these two common problems.”

Security best practice mandates consistent and auditable user authentication against an AAA service such as TACACS+, RADIUS, Kerberos or Active Directory. The new Lighthouse Console Gateway feature authenticates on behalf of the remote Opengear management appliance and passes through authorised connections.

“With Console Gateway, admins no longer need to know which rack or which country a device is located in, or whether it’s currently connected via the in-band network or out-of-band cellular link,” says Waldie. “Instead they use our convenient SSH interface to specify the name of the device they want to reach and Console Gateway handles the rest. It’s a win-win situation for our customers – ops get the SSH interface they prefer and IT managers know that all access is authenticated, authorised, and logged.”

The new Opengear Lighthouse leverages the extensive network and device connectivity of Opengear Data Centre and Remote Site Management appliances to offer unparalleled remote and out-of-band access capabilities for network and IT administrators, including:

Simplified central access: Lighthouse offers a convenient single point of management access to critical infrastructure scattered across tens, hundreds or thousands of data centre racks or remote locations, including those behind firewalls.

Converged remote access: Highly available gateway to management consoles without the need for in-depth knowledge of network topology or operational state. Reach any device by name wherever and however it’s connected, via the primary management network, or 3G, 4G LTE cellular and dial-up out-of-band.

Focus on security: Pass-through authentication uses central credentials to manage remote consoles – all sessions are authenticated, authorised and logged even during remote site outages. Sensitive management traffic is encrypted with strong cipher HTTPS and SSH and optional VPN.

Built for existing tools and workflow: Operators are free to use their preferred SSH client or web browser to connect to managed infrastructure, wherever it is and wherever they are – in the NOC or on the road.

“Network administrators now have the best choice of access models and connection methods when they need to remotely access critical devices in a timely and secure manner,” says Rick Stevenson, CEO, Opengear. “During outages and new installs, network administrators need quick and easy access that scales to thousands of devices and still maintains the highest level of control and security. Our newly released Console Gateway feature allows our customers to better leverage capabilities of the Opengear out-of-band management solutions they already use.”

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