DFAT rolls out Linux-based management appliances

Open hardware and software appliance to secure remote management

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) has started deploying Linux-based Opengear console servers to remotely monitor and manage its international locations, including Australian Embassies, Consulates, High Commissions and territories.

DFAT has already installed 16 Opengear CM4116 console managers to eight international sites with over 200 scheduled for installation over the next three years.

According to Opengear, the deployment is the department's first attempt at central management of distributed IT infrastructure over IP and will allow DFAT's system administrators and network managers to securely monitor and control computers and networks anywhere in the world at any time.

The devices also promise to reduce on-site support calls as they can be used to deal with IT incidents remotely.

Opengear CEO Bob Waldie said the company is pleased to be working with DFAT to provide the new network of console servers.

"By providing a system where server, network and telecommunications issues can be dealt with remotely from one location's systems, administrators can now avoid much of the cost associated with sending technicians to individual sites," Waldie said.

"This can be of particular importance when you are dealing with a worldwide network like DFAT's."

In addition to being a serial console server, Opengear's CM4116 provides secure out-of-band management access to LAN managed devices and service processors.

With a locally developed suite of products, Opengear's engineering headquarters remains in Brisbane.

The CM4116 has 16 serial ports that provide secure access to the serial console ports on Windows, Solaris and Linux servers and serially controlled network devices.

At DFAT the CM4116 console managers will be providing access to and management of network infrastructure like routers, switches, PABXs and communications connections.

"The CM4116 is vendor agnostic so it can connect to any equipment with a serial console," Waldie said.

Waldie said the use of Linux and other open source technology also made Opengear console servers a more cost-effective solution.

"Our company's adoption of and contribution to open source technologies enables us to pass on cost savings to customers," he said.

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