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iX7 Advance Controller: What You Need to Know About “Dual Networking”

Posted on May 30, 2017 by Nicolas Sagnes

The fact of the matter is that there is no "one size fits all" solution to data center management. Very often important decisions are made based on the needs of the end users, the long-term objectives of the facility and more. Previous generation hardware, however, did little to support these needs - often forcing data center managers to adapt to the way their technology had to work instead of the other way around.

The new iX7 Advance Controller, however, changes things significantly with the release of a new Dual Networking feature. This allows users to access and operate their PX intelligent PDU on two simultaneous, separate networks or by VLAN depending on the situation. Dual Networking offers an unprecedented level of flexibility in a wide range of ways, including when giving access to third parties to a given set of PDUs deployed, backing up the networking connectivity for a specific location and much more.

Dual Networking

Utilizing both ports of the iX7 creates 2 different applications:

Dual Network Access:

Equipped with two Ethernet ports, PDUs with iX7 controllers can be accessed on two separate networks. Infrastructure managers, co-location facility staff, or IT administrators can all see the same critical energy and environmental data provided by your PX, even if they’re on different networks or VLANs.

Extended Cascading:

Using the Ethernet port on iX7 controllers or USB ports, PDUs can be easily cascaded to mix and match connections and save money on IP drops, Ethernet ports, and patch ports.

Why is Dual Networking Important?

Also referred to as Dual Network Access, the Dual Networking feature on the iX7 Advance Controller is especially useful in situations where colocation deployment is a requirement. In this scenario, users can give access of their PDUs over to colocation providers WITHOUT giving them access to their Local Area Network at the same time. Essentially, both the tenant and the landlord have access to the PDU, just on separate networks.

This also allows for permissions like "view only" to be enabled, allowing people to define exactly what people can and cannot do with this access.

Extended Cascading is also a second, mutually exclusive application of the Dual Networking feature. In this scenario, users can mix and match between Ethernet and USB Cascading, giving them a deeper level of options into the Raritan appliances they choose to incorporate into a PX intelligent PDU Daisy Chain. Extended Cascading can be easily deployed using existing "port forwarding" or "bridging" options depending on the criteria that matters most to the business application, like user needs and IP address visibility.

More Flexibility / More Deployment Options
More Security = Access from two separate networks

Dual Networking Applications

As stated, one of the major ways in which Dual Networking can be applied involves giving access to PDUs in a colocation deployment across distinct networks. In this scenario, the customer (enterprise A) leverages a colocation provider (Colo-X) to manage their data center and deployed PX intelligent PDUs equipped with the new iX7 controller inside their racks. Enterprise A is connected to the PDU through the Gigabit Ethernet port and dedicated a specific IP Address to this PDU on their internal LAN. On the other end, Colo-X is connected through the Fast Ethernet port, with a separate IP address and network interface.

In this scenario, systems managers would be able to define user roles based on the access the colocation provider needs. They could allow them to be a "Viewer," meaning that they have no privileges and only view privileges are implicit, could define them as a "Power Control" with "Switch Outlet Privilege," or could define custom roles to better authorize remote management capabilities.

The second major application of Dual Networking comes in the form of extended cascading. Dual Networking allows the user to mix and match the appliances and modes of daisy chaining, leveraging Ethernet connections to benefit from longer cable lengths (up to 600 meters), freeing up USB ports to allow more applications.

New options like Bridging with Closed Loop STP, Extended Cascading using Bridging and even Extended Cascading using Port Forwarding are fast, easy to maintain and cost-effective solutions that allow for the direct elimination of single points of failure, superior visibility and other advantages that modern day data center leaders require.

In the End

Thanks to features like Dual Networking, the new iX7 Advance Controller makes it possible to completely re-think the way that PDUs are connected and deployed across a data center. Users now have more available options than ever in terms of securing the connectivity to the power devices being deployed, adjusting their own tolerance to risk and capital expenditure and much more. To learn more watch the iX7 Advance Controller video at http://www.raritan.com/landing/most-advanced-pdu-controller-ever-built.

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