The IP Power Switch – A Better Way to Reboot Remote Network Elements

One of the most frustrating aspects of managing remote network equipment, is the fact that the very “remoteness” of the equipment often makes it difficult to perform even the simplest of tasks. When a vital network element at a remote site hangs and disrupts communication with the remote site, even a simple power reboot can be a difficult thing to achieve. If that troublesome network device was located at the central office, the cure would be simple: just walk down the hall and flip the power off and back on again. But when an uncooperative network element is located in an offsite data center or remote equipment rack hundreds of miles away, suddenly a power reboot isn’t such a simple solution anymore.

An IP Power Switch provides a secure, reliable means to reboot important network elements at remote sites without the need for an expensive service call, and without the wait for he service team to travel to the remote equipment site. Rather than paying for travel expenses to the remote network equipment site and then dealing with user complaints while the service team is en route to the remote equipment site, an IP Power Switch enables network administrators to immediately reboot remote network elements without even leaving the office.

When an IP Power Switch is deployed at your off-site data center or remote network equipment rack, rebooting a malfunctioning network element at the remote site is as easy as invoking a simple ASCII command or clicking on a button in a web based menu. In a high quality IP Power Switch, access to command functions can be protected by password security, IP address filtering and powerful authentication protocols such as LDAP, TACACS+, Kerberos and RADIUS. In addition to providing remote reboot capability, an IP Power switch can also be used to control power On/Off switching functions; an extremely useful capability for network administrators who need to power off non-essential devices in order to conserve power, or switch on cooling systems during periods when high temperatures threaten device performance at the remote site.

Some high-end IP Power Switch products also include the ability to meter power consumption at the remote rack. In many cases, IP Power Switch units are available with either outlet specific power metering or circuit power metering to provide administrators with a clearer picture of power consumption at the remote site. Another useful feature to look for is the ability to automatically initiate reboots and power switching based on user-defined schedules or alarms. For example, some IP Power Switch products include alarm features that enable the IP Power Switch to reboot specific devices when high temperatures are detected at the remote rack, when current consumption rises above user-specified threshold levels, or when devices fail to respond respond to ping commands.

When selecting an IP Power Switch product, it’s important to make certain that the switch includes adequate security and authentication measures to discourage unauthorized access, along with a user-friendly control interface, user activity and event logging capabilities, and a robust assortment of user-configurable alarm and notification features to help keep a close watch on conditions at the remote site. In addition, it’s also a good idea to look for IP Power Switch products that are Cisco┬« EnergyWise compliant in order to provide compatibility with prevailing power consumption technologies and to conserve and track power consumption at off-site data centers.

If you’re frustrated by the high cost of service calls to remote network equipment sites, or tired of unacceptable delays while service teams travel to remote sites just to perform a simple power reboot, it pays to look into the secure, reliable power control and reboot capabilities that can be provided by an IP Power Switch. Rebooting an uncooperative server or malfunctioning router at a remote site doesn’t have to be a huge, expensive headache; an IP Power Switch provides network administrators with convenient, reliable means to reboot remote network elements, without the costs and delays associated with truck rolls and service calls.

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