Australian export Opengear has unveiled a new version of its Lighthouse central management appliance at Cisco Live! in Milan.

The new Lighthouse Console Gateway automates the process of locating and establishing console connections on enterprise-scale management networks, while maintaining central authentication and audit capabilities.

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Opengear chief executive Rick Stevenson said the Lighthouse Console Gateway meant less downtime if an outage occurred.

"When there's a network fault, re-establishing access can mean looking up spreadsheets and network diagrams to see which management ports are connected where -- not ideal when the downtime clock is ticking," he said.

"Not only that, logging into a remote site that's lost connectivity to the enterprise authorisation servers has historically meant compromising security, for example hardcoding a master password shared by the entire ops team. Lighthouse Console Gateway solves these two common problems."

According to a company statement, security best practice mandates consistent and auditable user authentication against a AAA service such as TACACS+, RADIUS, Kerberos or Active Directory.

The new Lighthouse Console Gateway feature authenticates on behalf of the remote Opengear management appliance and passes through authorised connections.

Stevenson said, with Console Gateway, admins no longer needed to know which rack or which country a device is located in, or whether it's currently connected via the in-band network or out-of-band cellular link.

"Instead they use our convenient SSH interface to specify the name of the device they want to reach and Console Gateway handles the rest. It's a win-win situation for our customers -- ops get the SSH interface they prefer and IT managers know that all access is authenticated, authorised, and logged," he said.

The new Opengear Lighthouse leverages the extensive network and device connectivity of Opengear datacentre and remote site management appliances to offer remote and out-of-band access capabilities for network and IT administrators.

Stevenson said console gateway gave network administrators the best choice of access models and connection methods to remotely access critical devices in a timely and secure manner.

"During outages and new installs, network administrators need quick and easy access that scales to thousands of devices and still maintains the highest level of control and security," he said.

"Our newly released Console Gateway feature allows our customers to better leverage capabilities of the Opengear out-of-band management solutions they already use."