[Satellite News 09-25-12] Uplogix identifies itself as an independent network management platform that is located with and directly connected to managed devices. The company designs its solutions to both work stand-alone and augment existing centralized management tools providing the configuration, performance and security management automation functions that are most often performed locally.
Uplogix Founder and Vice President of Product Strategy James Dollar said that reduced operational costs are the most critical benefit of his company’s solution. Dollar spoke with Satellite news about how systems management approaches must adapt to remain effective.
Satellite News: How important is the satellite element to your business?
Dollar: Our solutions really reach across the map. We provide a core decision-making product and an execution product that doesn’t depend on networking or any other functionality to work. We have a big play satellite, mostly in oil and gas and the government sector, but we also have customers like Citigroup that think of us as a data center product.
Satellite News: With such a variety in customers, how do you adapt your solutions to meet everyone’s needs?
Dollar: We absolutely have to be open to customizing our solutions. We provide a customizable best practice rule set and driver system that work with satellite industry gear from the iDirects and the Comtechs of the world. We work on everything from the radios down to the antenna controllers from people like C-Com and the IP networking gear from companies like Cisco and Juniper. Those best practice rule sets are determined by the manufacturer views on the most efficient way to fix the problem. When you apply those same systems to those in the oil and gas sector to the military, they would have a very different way of solving problems. The DoD might be much more or less aggressive in the way they handle issues. They may do things in a different order. They may add steps to the process. We have to meet every customer’s operational recovery model, regardless of what that is.
Satellite News: Does that adaptation also have to occur between regions as you cater to your international customers?
Dollar: Our business is split between about half domestic and half international. The needs generally don’t change between regions in the satellite space, though Arab countries tend to want to use their own satellites and frequencies to keep all communication over their region. Most of the rest of the world works the same. Most of our customers in the satellite realm are service providers that are already global and they don’t want a different solution for different regions. They want to maintain a single support environment. They want the same product deployed to all areas and regions of their businesses.
Satellite News: What are some of the most difficult challenges in creating active solutions to deal with new technical issues that become problems for newer systems?
Dollar: We provide a very robust system that uses non-traditional or non-production networks to both relay information back to operation centers as well as provide a two-way path for escalation of recovery tasks to the next level. If several other tasks don’t work, we can bring up an alternate satellite or cellular landline connection and then provide low-level data as the tools to support actions – all in the world of recovering outages. Any viable management system in the new architecture must have the ability to function independently of the network and bring a strong focus on ensuring network performance and availability while also providing the server management functions that are best performed locally by a local platform.
Satellite News: Can you apply the same recover set for both satellite-based and traditional networks?
Dollar: We play a lot of different roles in this area, in everything from security to network technician. It’s the same application across the board – our appliance racks in the gear with other satellite and terrestrial communication gear. If we have to escalate to using a set of remote hands, we can provide valuable tools to accomplish the recovery steps. We can do everything from build a system entirely from scratch to troubleshooting with specific components.