Using a Console Server Management Unit to Detect Temperatures at Remote Equipment Racks

The task of managing network equipment at remote installation sites can sometimes be difficult, especially if you don’t have a good idea of exactly what’s going on at the remote site. A console server management unit helps to ease some of this difficulty by providing network administrators with secure, reliable out of band communication with devices at remote network equipment sites, and if the console server management unit also includes rack temperature monitoring functions, it can further simplify out of band management by providing a clearer picture of environmental conditions at remote sites.

In the course of a normal day, it’s natural for temperatures in network equipment racks to fluctuate. Temperatures may be higher when the ambient/room temperature rises or during period of increased activity, or lower during periods when equipment is not in use. In order to anticipate temperature spikes and plan for cooling needs, it’s important for network administrators to be kept appraised of general temperature trends, especially in instances when rack temperatures rise to a point that may damage or inhibit network equipment performance.

A console server management unit that includes temperature sensing and logging abilities provides the ideal tool for dealing with situations where high rack temperatures might impede network performance. Temperature sensing capability enables the console server management unit to constant track ambient temperature within the rack, create a log of temperature vs. time, and promptly notify support personnel when temperatures rise beyond user-defined threshold values. This allows prompt response to rack temperature emergencies, provides administrators with a detailed record of temperature trends and helps administrators to recognize situations where additional cooling strategies might be needed.

Ideally, the temperature sensing function should be able to enable administrators to define temperature conditions that will generate an alarm, create time stamped temperature records for review by administrators, allow for the notification of support personnel when temperature values rise too high or fall too low and include the ability to notify back up personnel in the event that primary support personnel are not available. In addition, it’s also wise to choose a console server management unit that supports several different communication protocols in order to prove compatibility with the habits and needs of a wide range of different users. Other useful features to look for include the ability for the console server management unit to send “all clear” notification in the event that temperature conditions return to normal, and the ability to display temperature records in both graphic format and as straight data.

When managing network equipment located at far away installation sites, it’s vital for network administrators to know as much as possible regarding the conditions and events at these remote sites. Console server management units are deployed in a wide variety of different out of band management applications, but if you choose the right console server management product, a console server management unit can also keep you better informed about temperature trends and conditions at remote sites in addition to providing secure, reliable out of band access to command functions on remote console ports.

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