OOB core router connectivity wish list

Randy Carpenter rcarpen at network1.net
Thu Jan 10 06:24:57 UTC 2013

----- Original Message -----
> On Wed, 9 Jan 2013, Randy Carpenter wrote:
> > My main requirements would be:
> >
> > 1. Something that is *not* network (ethernet or otherwise) (isn't
> > that the point of OOB?)
> I don't understand this at all. Why can't an OOB network be ethernet
> based towards the equipment needing management?

How do I connect to it from many miles away when the network is down? I have connected to a misbehaving border device at a remote network via dial-up before, and was able to get it back up and running. I would not have been able to do that if the only options were ethernet or ethernet.

> > 2. Something that is standard across everything, and can be
> > aggregated
> > easily onto a "console server" or the like
> Yes, ethernet is the proposed management standard interface.
> > I don't really see what is wrong with with keeping the serial port
> > as the standard.
> Because it's slow and can't be multiplexed, 

agreed. Although, I generally don't care if it is slow, as the only need is to get the real network connected features back up and running.

> and it's expensive, only
> does
> short distance (20 meters or so), 

I completely disagree. The ability for serial to go over POTS makes it ridiculously cheap compared to building a reliable ethernet connection over hundreds or thousands of miles.

> uses different cabling, requires
> separate planning etc. There are lot of reasons to drop serial port
> support.

The separate part is what makes it useful. The only reason you should need to access the serial port is because the network is not functioning. If you move the last resort access to be network, how do you access it when you have network issues?

> An ethernet port is generally a lot cheaper compared to a serial
> port.
> Your OOB network would consist of a switch or router with ethernet
> towards
> the equipment needing management.

But having a console->serial is significantly less complex than console->IP_Stack->ethernet. So many more things to go wrong. I've never had a device that had a faulty serial port. I have seen numerous faulty or misbehaving network ports.

I like the current trend of vendors like Juniper. Dedicated management ethernet, *and* serial console port. Best of both worlds.


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