A Remote Control Power Switch Can Simplify a Network Administrator’s Life

When managing network elements located in remote, offsite equipment racks, even simple tasks like power reboots are often made incredibly frustrating by the very remoteness of the equipment. If that crashed router or unresponsive server was located within arm’s reach instead of inside a remote equipment cabinet miles away, it would be easy to simply cycle power to the unit and have it back up and running again in no time. In cases like this, if the offsite network equipment site lacks a remote control power switch, then often the only solution is an expensive, time-consuming service call to the remote network equipment site, just to flip a power switch Off and then back on again.

A remote control power switch provides network administrators with a secure, reliable means to control power switching and reboot functions at remote network equipment sites, without the need for onsite personnel or constant service calls to the remote site. When a remote control power switch is installed at an offsite network equipment installation, administrators back at corporate headquarters can easily create a secure connection to the remote control power switch, and then employ either user-friendly web-based menus or simple ASCII commands to initiate reboot cycles or switch devices Off or On, providing efficient reboot and power control with an immense savings in both time and support expenses.

A high quality, full featured remote control power switch provides administrators with an impressive array of tools that simplify the process of managing remote network equipment, and also help to provide a clearer picture of exactly what’s going on at a remote network equipment installation. In addition to on-demand power switching and reboot, a well designed remote control power switch can also allow administrator to define power switching schedules, that automatically power off nonessential devices during periods of low use, or switch on cooling systems during daylight hours when higher temperatures are expected.

If the remote control power switch includes monitoring and alarm functions, then it can also serve as a means to display records of various conditions and events at the remote equipment rack. Features such as temperature alarms, invalid access alarms, ping response monitors, power supply monitors and lost communication alarms can serve to both create records of important events at the remote site, and to generate notification messages when conditions or events meet user-defined alarm thresholds. Ideally, these alarm and monitoring functions work together to provide network administrators with important information regarding conditions at the remote site, enabling a more proactive approach to dealing with problems that could potentially disrupt network communication.

Perhaps the most valuable tool provided by a remote control power switch is the ability to provide power reboot and switching control via an out of band connection. This means that even when normal network communication is not available, administrators can still establish a dial-up connection with the remote control power switch in order to reboot a critical device at a remote site. This capability proves particularly vital in cases where a crashed network element at a remote site has disrupted network communication, by allowing administrators and support personnel to reboot the troublesome device without the benefit of a network connection, or the expense and hassle of a long service call to the remote network equipment rack.

If you’re faced with the task of managing network elements at remote, offsite equipment cabinets, a remote control power switch can help you to both save money on service calls, and improve the reliability of the remote site by cutting the time required to deal with simple problems at the remote site, and reducing the need to wait for a service team to travel to the site in order to deal with the problem. Rather than rolling out the service truck every time an important network element in some far away equipment cabinet decides to take a break, a remote control power switch allows administrators to control power switching and reboot functions at the remote site without even leaving the office, and without the high costs and delays that would be experienced when sending a service team to deal with the problem.

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