Putting Network Resilience at the
Heart of Digital Transformation

...with cyberattacks and outages on the rise, companies must use out-of-band management as it will help them keep the network central to their digital transformation strategy.

 if necessary, allocate a larger budget to support implementation. Likewise, CIOs should find more opportunities to involve engineers, tapping into their expertise to ensure digital transformation remains networking-driven. While cooperation is essential for CIOs and network engineers, including alignment with their goals and needs, they are also uniquely positioned to bring about the most optimal change in their respective functions. Most notably, network engineers are ideally situated to suggest the right networking solutions to enhance cybersecurity. One such solution savvy engineers often recommend is out-of-band management.

Out-of-band management in network resilience 

As companies increase their reliance on interconnected networks, virtualized cloud services and the edge, they, as mentioned above, become more susceptible to cyberattack-induced outages. In these situations, where the network is down, CIOs must avoid putting their engineers in scenarios where they have no option but to use the network to manage the network. While it may seem evident that such a method is inefficient, the truth is that many businesses' network configuration leaves them no choice, which exacerbates the cost and duration of downtime. In other words, too many companies rely on the traditional in-band network alone. When a disruption occurs, there is no way for engineers to access and remediate issues, as they become locked out of the primary network. Alternatively, CIOs should permit network engineers to leverage out-of-band management, which will allow them to separate and containerize the functions of the management plane from the data and control plane.  

For some time, most businesses saw out-of-band configuration as reserved for “emergency only” use. However, with cyberattacks and outages on the rise, companies must use out-of-band management as it will help them keep the network central to their digital transformation strategy. An out-of-band network operates independently from the in-band network, enabling engineers to detect and resolve problems and access critical applications. Even if the primary network goes down, the out-of-band network is an alternative pathway that allows employees to perform their daily tasks and customers to access their profiles and use online applications. Indeed, out-of-band management creates a highly resilient network that can empower enterprises to maintain an acceptable level of service during faults to normal operations while also recovering rapidly from disruptions. Another invaluable benefit of out-of-band management is that it enables network engineers to manage network equipment and infrastructure remotely. Research shows that it can take a network engineer several days to go to a site and fix a problem, unnecessarily consuming time and resources. But, with out-of-band management, whenever there is an outage, the engineer or technician doesn’t need to travel physically to the site and manually remediate the issue.

Before utilizing out-of-band management to achieve network resiliency, CIOs and engineers must work together to complete an internal evaluation. During this assessment, both parties must assess how the network gets architected for remote access, automation, cellular connectivity, and scalability. This evaluation will assist engineers with day-one provisioning, emergency access and daily maintenance—in essence, every operation critical to keeping the network at the heart of digital transformation. For clarification, out-of-band management is not a substitute for cybersecurity. But, as the probability of network outages increases due to ongoing digital transformation initiatives, it is helpful that organizations also have a solution like out-of-band management to recover quickly from unavoidable downtime.

Finding an ideal vendor

CIOs should look for network solutions, like out-of-band management, that will allow their network engineers to remediate issues remotely, decrease the frequency of outages and provide critical services connectivity when the network is down. Likewise, they should prioritize finding a vendor whose capabilities aren’t limited to the worst days of the network’s lifecycle. Ideally, companies should search for network vendors that can minimize the worst days and are competent with first-day deployment and daily management. While network outages threaten businesses and digital transformation efforts, CIOs shouldn’t forgo the necessity of having a trusted partner to support those critical day-to-day operations. Ultimately, true digital transformation via a robust, resilient network must reduce downtime and bring value to the entire network lifecycle.


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