Intelligent Remote Power Management for Off-Site Data Centers

When it comes to power management, remote network equipment sites present an entirely different assortment of challenges and tasks from what is normally found when vital network devices are located at the central office. When managing network elements at your central office, usually all you need to do is walk into the room next door in order to perform a power reboot or switch off a non-essential device, but if those same network elements were located off-site, at a distant data center, remote equipment rack or far-away kiosk, even the most basic power management operations can prove to be a bit more of a challenge.

Obviously, managing power at a remote network site requires a different strategy than would be found when managing network elements located in a rack down the hall. When a server or router at a remote site hangs or becomes unresponsive, you can’t just walk into the next room and cycle the power in order to get the device up on its feet again; in cases like this, a carefully implemented remote power management strategy is needed.

An effective remote power management solution should provide network administrators and tech support personnel with a comprehensive assortment of tools that can be used to reboot devices at remote sites, schedule power switching operations and automatically reboot remote devices. Ideally, a remote power management strategy should minimize the need for service calls to remote sites, by providing the capability to address power issues at the remote network equipment site without the need to send out a service team every time a device at the remote site hiccups or power is lost.

Fortunately, there are a variety of convenient remote power management products that can help network administrators deal with the challenge of managing power for remote network devices. When a remote power management unit is intelligently deployed at an off-site data center or remote equipment rack, administrators can easily reboot equipment at the remote site, schedule power switching operations and deploy monitoring and alarm functions that can automatically reboot unresponsive devices without operator intervention.

Typically, a full-featured remote power management unit enables administrators to use simple ASCII commands and web-based menu systems to control power reboot functions for remote network devices. In addition to the device recovery functions provided by reboot capability, a good remote power management unit should allow administrators to schedule power On/Off switching for non-essential devices during periods when they are not likely to be used, and also include user-configurable alarm and monitoring features that can be set up to notify administrators and/or automatically reboot connected devices when specific conditions or events are detected.

When selecting a remote power management solution, it’s important to look for monitoring and alarm features that will simplify the task monitoring conditions and controlling power at the remote network equipment site. For example, some remote power management units support the ability to regularly ping user-specified devices and then reboot those devices if they fail to respond to the ping command. In addition, higher quality remote power management units sometimes include temperature and current monitoring features that can be used to either switch on cooling systems when rack temperatures rise above user-defined threshold values, or switch off non-essential devices when current consumption or temperature levels rise to a point where they might negatively impact network performance.

An effective remote power management solution can simplify the life of any network administrator who’s responsible for managing remote network equipment facilities, such as off-site data centers, remote equipment racks and kiosks. If you’re plagued with the high cost and delays associated with service calls, every time you need to control a simple power function at a remote site, a remote power management unit can help to ease the pain and inconvenience by reducing the need for service calls every time a device needs a reboot and helping you to be kept better informed regarding conditions at your off-site network equipment installations.

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