Common Reliable Out Of Band Management Options at Carrier Hotels

Greetings list,

We are exploring standardizing our Out Of Band options across our network and various off-net locations and the question was brought up "What about carrier hotels? What constraints might present themselves at those locations?"

Assuming each hotel we are located in can provide either Ethernet or DSL I'm guessing that is going to come a cost (cross-connects, rack space etc..) that might end up being cost prohibitive.

So my inquiry is... What does the list find to be a reasonably priced yet reliable solution in carrier hotels for OOB? Or is that contradictory :slight_smile:

Thoughts on Cellular?

Any experience/insight would be appreciated.



Provided you can get a cell signal, we’ve been very happy with Opengear boxes. We’d been using their ACM5508 which is eight serial ports, two Ethernet, cell. It runs linux, you can ssh into it, do fancy things like keep the cell side down and use text messages to bring it up if you need to get in, does VPN, PPTP, monitors environmental things if needed, etc. They replaced that model with the 7004 and 7008 (4 or 8 serial). They have console servers if you need more ports; we have a 32-port daisy chained to a 5508 in a location we had serial growth, but their 7200-series is cell plus high density serial in one.

In a data center with particularly bad cell reception, Opengear recommended getting a high gain antenna from I contacted them and the recommendation for my specific use case was a Panorama WMMG-7-27. We had it mounted above the overhead infrastructure on top of our cage and it dramatically improved the signal to make it a non-issue.


+1 for OpenGear + LTE / cell.

Obviously POTS works and is available in any carrier hotel and not insanely expensive.

Also, lots (not all) colocation providers will give you very cheap ethernet OOB. (E.g. Our colo gives you GigE for the cost of the xconn + 2 Mbps 95/5 free.) I would ask before looking at getting a 3G/4G modem. Assuming, of course, you are comfortable with the colo provider’s network being diverse enough from your own.

We were quoted sub $200 for 10M DIA from the datacenter which included a copper handoff which would be more diverse than the cell option.


Luke Guillory
Network Operations Manager

Tel: 985.536.1212
Fax: 985.536.0300

Reserve Telecommunications
100 RTC Dr
Reserve, LA 70084

That is a good price, and a nice service from the provider.

However, why is that more diverse than LTE? If the colo provider uses the same transit and/or transit provider(s) you do, it sounds very not-diverse.

Cell site has one network in and out, that being the providers own network.

This data center has many transit providers blended into their DIA while I might only have two at the location.

While cell sites in larger cities might be in better shape than down here in the south, I've seen way to many go down around here from storms.

What's makes ATT LTE network different from the ATT transit network that sits in the datacenter? While it gives me access to a network outside the datacenter it seems to limit me to only one network.

I think you will have a tough time finding a universal solution that will fit for all DataCenters (speaking in the context of OOB communication method).

Traditional connections via Ethernet / T1 /Phone lines will cost you a fair amount (monthly service and cross-connect).

In some of the DataCenters you can use a cellular (M2M ) based solution.. (use something like a cradle point or other similar functioning devices)

In many of our DC we will exchange (bidirectional) OOB connection with another network (which is multi-homed).
Quite a few of the DC's also provide Courtesy Wifi for customer's use .. it is possible to configure an OOB to use that connection.. (takes a bit of creativity).

Since part of our network is using Fixed Wireless Technologies, we are pretty familiar with Mikrotik Routerboards they have a number of small, inexpensive devices which allow for very flexible configurations (including devices with USB ports that support USB Cellular dongles).

Faisal Imtiaz
Snappy Internet & Telecom

I use a basic 3G/GSM broadband router (Huawai, year 2007, 80 USD or so) with a 10 USD/month SIM (500 megs data plan) and a Linux box where the broadband router is plugged into one of the physical interfaces on that Linux box. Then a 5 USD/month VPS in a far away Eastern European country that most people have never even heard of, where OpenVPN runs in server mode. On the Linux box in my LAN OpenVPN runs in client mode and then some static routes that point to the broadband router for the IP address of the OpenVPN server and it's done. If I want to access my LAN I will SSH into the VPS and from there SSH into the private IP that OpenVPN assigned to the client.


We use a Lantronix serial console box (SLC-32) with a small Cisco ASA 5505
+ isolated internet. VPN is setup to assign IPs in the OOB network which
allows direct access to most management IPs as well as console ports
through the Lantronix. I also have a desktop connected with a 2nd NIC (and
no gateway on the interface pointing to the OOB) which allows me to bounce
to prod network. I love my out of band setup. I don't know your definition
of "reasonably priced", but this setup works great!