Unis offered cheap management boxes

Linux appliances give remote control

Linux-based systems management appliance maker Opengear has thrown a sweetener to university IT managers by offering a 40 percent discount on all of its management products.

Opengear, based in Brisbane, is an Australian owned developer of out-of-band infrastructure management solutions for local and remote, in-band and out-of-band management of servers, storage arrays, VoIP systems, routers and firewalls.

Opengear's managing director, Bob Waldie, said the university partner program was introduced to capitalize on the company's success within university campuses.

"Opengear offers them a selection of simple and cost-effective management tools that are equally powerful and reliable," Waldie said. "Opengear's infrastructure management products are a natural fit for highly informed system administrators responsible for managing very complex infrastructures."

Opengear's research and development is done at its i.Lab engineering facility in Brisbane, and the company, which uses Linux in its appliances, is an active contributor to the open source community.

The goal of the Opengear campus partner program is to support campus IT managers and academic staff so they can afford to use the best tools available to control data, voice and communications operations.

While most of Opengear's products are sold to customers in the US, Germany, Japan and China, the company is beginning to find university customers here in Australia.

University of Western Sydney Linux systems specialist Rob Garth said Opengear systems have allowed the university to effectively and securely manage a wide range of equipment.

"With equipment on three remote campuses, Opengear products have significantly reduced support times, and allowed more effective remote administration," Garth said.

Utah State University systems administrator John Weeks said competitive vendors no longer provide base-model configurations to meet its needs, "jacking up their prices with features that are not required in our environment".

"The continued reliability and functionality of Opengear's systems have meant that I can unquestionably recommend their systems to others," he said.

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