A Console Server Management Unit with Temperature Monitoring and Alarm Functions

The main purpose of a console server management unit is to provide network administrators with tools for managing remote network equipment sites without the need to constantly travel to those remote sites in person. In order to fulfill this role, obviously the console server management unit needs to support out of band management communication to allow remote access to console port command functions on offsite network elements. Although, out of band management capabilities are extremely important, it’s also useful if the console server management unit is to perform other tasks, such as rack temperature monitoring and alarm functions that help to provide administrators with a clearer picture of exactly what is going on at the remote site.

In most network equipment installations, it’s fairly common for rack temperatures to fluctuate up and down during an average work day. It’s not unusual for rack temperatures to rise during periods of the day when ambient room temperatures are higher and also during periods when network equipment is subject to heavier usage. Likewise, it’s also predictable that rack temperatures will fall during cooler parts of the day and during periods when equipment usage tapers off. Although this sort of temperature cycle is normal and expected, there are also instances where higher rack temperatures could either indicate a potential problem, and other cases where rack temperatures might reach levels that could potentially inhibit the performance of network equipment or even cause damage to sensitive network elements.

When a console server management unit supports temperature monitoring and alarm functions, this provides network administrators with one more tool that can be used to keep tabs on remote network equipment and to anticipate the need for preventative measures such as additional cooling capacity. In addition to temperature monitoring and alarm functions, high quality console server management units sometimes offer the ability to log temperature readings over time, and then present that temperature data in either graphic format or database format in order to allow closer analysis by administrators and tech support personnel.

Typically, a console server management unit with temperature monitoring and alarm functions allows administrators to define critical temperature threshold levels and select alarm notification methods and alarm recipients. When the console server management unit detects that rack temperatures have exceeded the user-defined threshold, the console server management unit can then automatically notify the appropriate personnel via email, text message, SNMP trap or SYSLOG message in order to enable prompt reaction to critical temperatures and help to avoid any damage that might be caused by prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

Half of the battle of managing remote network devices, is the challenge of knowing exactly what’s going on at your offsite data center or remote network equipment rack. A console server management unit with temperature monitoring and alarm capabilities provides administrators with an indispensable tool for accessing command functions on remote equipment, but also enables network personnel to be kept better informed regarding potentially harmful conditions at the remote site. Ideally, a console sever management unit should provide administrators with both a tool for tracking conditions at the remote site in order to detect potentially harmful conditions at a remote site, and a means to establish out of band communications with remote sites in order to deal with problems at the remote site without actually traveling there in person.

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