The Ideal Remote Reboot Unit for Your Network Power Management Application

There are many factors to take into consideration when selecting a remote reboot unit for an offsite data center or remote network equipment rack. Obviously, an ideal remote reboot solution should provide administrators with the ability to perform remote power switching and reboot functions via IP or dial-up connection, but a high quality remote reboot unit can also perform other power management and monitoring tasks that can help to streamline the process of managing remote network equipment.

In addition to providing secure, reliable on-demand reboot and power switching, a well designed remote reboot unit will sometimes support features such as scheduled reboots and power switching, automatic reboot, temperature and current monitoring and other power related functions. Depending on the nature of your specific network application, a remote reboot unit can often provide functionality that can help to automate many tasks that used to require an on-site tech presence, and also help administrators to be kept better informed regarding conditions at off-site data centers and distant network equipment racks.

For example, if the remote reboot unit supports scheduled power switching and reboot capabilities, this means that the remote reboot unit can be configured to automatically switch devices On or Off as needed or routinely reboot devices at a specific time of day. Typically, scheduled power switching is used to switch Off specific devices during periods of low use or to switch On other devices when they are more likely to be needed. This drastically simplifies the task of switching off servers and routers during low use periods at night, or switching on cooling equipment during daytime hours, when higher temperatures are more likely to be a problem.

If the remote reboot unit supports automatic reboot capabilities, this means that network administrators can set up specific criteria that will cause the remote reboot unit to reboot attached devices. For example, when the remote reboot unit includes a ping response monitor or ping-no-answer alarm, the remote reboot unit can regularly ping user specified devices, and then reboot devices when they fail to respond to a ping command. In addition to automatically rebooting unresponsive devices, a ping response monitor can also simply notify the administrator of a response failure in order to allow further investigation before a reboot in performed.

Temperature and current consumption capabilities enable the remote reboot unit to monitor rack temperature levels and current consumption, and then either notify administrators and/or perform load-shedding functions to switch Off nonessential devices when rack temperatures or current consumption rise above user-defined threshold levels. In some applications, temperature alarms are also used to automatically switch On cooling systems when critical temperature levels are exceeded. When a temperature alarm or current consumption alarm is triggered, a high-quality remote reboot switch can also notify administrators via email, text message, SYSLOG message or SNMP trap in order to allow the administrator to examine the problem more closely before proceeding.

Any reasonable-quality remote reboot switch should allow you to reboot and switch On/Off remote network elements, either on demand, or automatically according to user-defined triggers. But with a little bit of shopping around, you can also find reboot product that support additional functions that automate processes that formerly required an expensive service call, and provide monitoring and notification functions that are not always present on low end remote reboot products. The ideal remote reboot solution for your network application should provide basic reboot and power switching capabilities, but also provide other power management functions that mesh with the requirements of your specific application in order to cut costs, save time and simplify the task of managing off-site network equipment.

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