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I am working with a customer with atleast 2 private data centers. They have no terminal servers providing console access to their networking gear (switches and routers and firewalls). They have built a network management sub-network on top of the underlying data network. They have shut down both data centers for several hours twice already and lose management access.

I am wrong in thinking this is a major problem? Shouldn't every data center have out of band access to their gear? I am thinking they should have a 4G LTE and/or analog line w modem into terminal servers (for example, Cisco routers with async network modules and octa cables into each devices console port).

Is there any other proper means of out of band management for networking gear than a terminal server with octa cable into each device?

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I agree with @Ron-Trunk. Out of Band management is essentially an insurance policy for when things go terribly wrong so ultimately, I see this as a math question. First you have to determine the "cost" of having the datacenter down due to a network disruption. Then you need to calculate the cost of having/getting staff onsite vs. paying for OOB access. I spent 14 years as an onsite tech in a data center before my company decided OOB access and another tech that was 2 hours away was cheaper than me.

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Many devices have management ports (usually Ethernet) that can be used for out of band management, similar to a terminal server. You also have to consider access to other equipment like servers, storage, etc. But your main point remains.

I imagine a lot depends on whether there are staff at the data center and/or how long it takes someone to get there if there were a problem. Dialup modems or LTE have risks, and it's up to the customer to decide if the risks and expense outweigh the benefits.

I would say that if the data center was far away, having out of band management would be important for maintaining system availability.

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The out-of-band management / direct connect type links to the physical box should be used because it removes administrator connectivity to the infrastructure from the list of potential problems and tasks.

SSH accessible VPN and terminal server with public IP addresses from either the wired or LTE interfaces. iLOM/Embedded Server Management interfaces could be covered along with the networking boxes.

It's long been the tradition that when the power goes out, the phones (and data centers) still work; most 4GLTE cell towers have some timeframe of backup power.

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