The Bielefeld University IT Service Center (BITS) aspires to have its IT network infrastructure recognized as one of the most modern data centers in Germany. A key factor to achieving this goal will be measured by their ability to maintain uninterrupted user access to the systems, applications, and information on the network.

Like other corporations and education institutions with distributed IT environments, the University has equipment dispersed in multiple “tech rooms” throughout the campus. This means on-site management of the network is complicated and time-consuming if IT staff must physically be in front of the server, switch, or application that requires attention.

To solve this problem, BITS network engineers implemented an out-of-band management (OOBM) network. An IOLAN Console Server installed at the top of each rack now provides network administrators an alternate path to remotely access Cisco and HP switches, WLAN controllers, and VPN servers, as if they are locally connected through a direct serial console port connection, even if the network is down. Disruption and downtime have been minimized due to better visibility of the physical environment and status of equipment.

“Above all, we are impressed by the stability of the IOLAN Console Servers during operation,” said a member of the BITS network team. “As far as I can remember, the IOLANs have been running without a reboot. We are very satisfied.”