Opengear has given details a successful project with UK2 Group, a growing hosting provider, to improve the responsiveness and resiliency of its data centre operations supporting mission critical customers across six countries.
UK2 Group provides dedicated server and VPS hosting solutions in 12 datacentre locations across 6 countries. The company grew quickly from operating in a couple of colocation deployments across London, to a range from small points of presence with a handful of racks to fully owned and operated datacentres with 24/7 staffing. Previous out-of-band management was done through servers connected via the RS232 port or using console servers as new POPs were deployed.
During this period of growth, a friend of the Tech Ops manager at UK2 Group won an Opengear console in a competition and raved about it. “So we tried one with scepticism on the basis that we already used console servers and had an idea of what to expect,” explains James Innes, Director of Global Technical Operations for UK2 Group, “It was our initial view, ‘How much different or better can one console server be to the another?’ But after our first deployment, it was clear that Opengear was a lot easier and more reliable than our existing console servers which we quickly replaced with ACM5004s which we rolled out to the new smaller POPs. With larger POPs we've rolled out multiple CM7132 console servers.”
“The switch to Opengear has meant we have been able to comfortably roll out larger POPs further afield of our core locations with the confidence of knowing that we are able to manage the infrastructure as well remotely as we can locally. The simplicity of the initial configuration coupled with the ability to tie the unit in with various authentication servers makes deployment in these locations simple. The console logging has also been a time saver with the ability to see output from a device prior to it encountering issues – even when its own syslogging hasn’t been able to log the problem.” Innes adds.
“With Opengear deployed we have made significant cost and time savings from having the network management being able to be done remotely. Running it out-of-band also means that if a problem occurs we don't lose access to our vital equipment leaving us able to resolve problems without having to wait to get an engineer to site.”
So far, UK2 Group have deployed Opengear SmartOOB™ at sites in the UK, France, Holland, Germany, and the US, “The last site we plan to upgrade is Japan but as this will require a site visit we are drawing straws in the office to see who get to make the 10,000 mile round trip just to visit a data centre,” Innes concludes.