The term hybrid network today encompasses traditional physical network infrastructure as well as networks created through network function virtualization (NFV) and even cloud networks. An out-of-band platform like Uplogix is in an interesting position to provide a consistent management platform for each, even as they co-exist within single organizations.

Physical Networks

This is what we all know and love — routers, switches, firewalls… all working together with wires, blinking LEDs and physical hardware that sits in a rack in a network closet. Often it’s noisy and hot, and since it’s complicated and hardware it takes knowledge and TLC to keep humming along like it should. The challenge to managing physical networks is that there are so many moving parts and they are often local to the users of the network. That means complexity and either onsite staff or remote support.

This is where Uplogix started with the idea that managing the network over the network just didn’t make any sense. By deploying network management functionality on a souped-up console server it’s possible to continuously monitor devices and then take automated recovery actions when there are issues. Add on the ability to spin up an out-of-band link over phone lines, cell lines, fiber connections or through satellite links, and remote access is always available. From that location alongside the network infrastructure gear, reliable information on service levels can be collected and used in the decision making process for automated actions. Just like an onside admin would do as they troubleshoot a problem.

Virtual Networks

The idea of deploying network gear virtually in a white box server is gaining traction.  NFV architecture can virtualize entire classes of network node functions within one or more virtual machines, or exist with dedicated network devices in a hybrid network. With new vendors and tools for orchestration and configuration, what gets lost is that as with traditional network architectures, NFV still faces some of the same challenges when it comes to reliance on the network itself for monitoring and managing the network infrastructure, rapid identification and resolution of network issues and ensuring secure access to and logging for network components. The Uplogix out‐of‐band platform brings the same functionality for continuous monitoring, secure access and network automation in traditional networks to NFV and hybrid networks.

Cloud Networks

Running in the cloud itself, Uplogix serves as a secure gateway to cloud-based services by working with existing TACACS/RADIUS and creating secure tunnels between authenticated users and cloud services closing a number of cloud attack vectors. This blocks malicious traffic to management interfaces which are often left unprotected, securing against attacks:

  • Cross-cloud attack | Uplogix can limit access to the management interface and require two-factor authorization
  • Cross-data center and cross-tenant attacks | Lateral spread is contained by applying each instance managed by Uplogix individually and permissioned separately
  • Orchestration attacks | These are avoided through the controlled admin access of Uplogix, ensuring the only management changes made are from valid sources

Managing a Hybrid Network

As your networks become ever more complicated, a tool like Uplogix provides common processes and interfaces to embrace the best each network type has to offer. No matter what kind of network you are managing, our core functionalities of separating network management from the network itself, bulletproof security, reliable access, and continuous monitoring with automated responses to issues makes sense.