There are Two Ways to Reboot Remote Network Devices – The Hard Way and the Easy Way

When managing vital network devices located at remote data centers and offsite equipment cabinets, even simple tasks can sometimes prove to be a challenge. Often even routine remedies for common network problems, such as power reboot operations, can take on a whole different dimension due to the remote location of the network equipment site, and the amount of time and trouble that it takes to travel to the site in person. A simple power reboot, that might take two minutes to accomplish on a server or router located at your office, can require days when the server or router is located miles from the central office, at a distant network equipment site or offsite data center.

In addition to the time required for technicians to travel to the distant network equipment site and the resulting down-time while your service team is in transit, there are also huge overtime and travel costs associated with truck rolls to far-off network equipment cabinets. As daunting as these costs and inconveniences can be, it’s surprising that some network administrators still rely on an old fashioned service call every time a network device at a remote site needs a reboot, especially when one considers that power reboots can be achieved much quicker and much more efficiently using a remote power switch product.

When a remote power switch is installed at your offsite data center or remote network equipment cabinet, the task of rebooting devices at the remote site is about as easy as firing up your email client. Rather than filling out the paperwork to request a service call to the remote site and then waiting for the service team to reach their destination, a remote power switch enables network administrators to reboot remote network devices before a service team could even manage to find its way out of the parking lot … without even leaving their desks.

Operation of a remote power switch is incredibly simple. After establishing a secure, authenticated connection with the remote power switch, administrators can easily invoke a power reboot cycle or switch connected network devices On or Off with a few mouse clicks or a simple ASCII command line. In addition to these on-demand power reboot and switching functions, high quality remote power switch products often offer the option to schedule power switching operations, allowing the remote power switch to automatically power down nonessential devices during periods of the day when they are less likely to be needed, or power on devices such as cooling systems at times when they are needed the most.

If the remote power switch supports alarm and notification functions, then the remote power switch can also provide prompt notification via email, text message, SNMP trap or SYSLOG message when the remote power switch detects that rack temperatures have risen above user-defined threshold values, when excessive current consumption is detected, and when other potentially critical factors and events are observed. In addition to providing notification when potentially harmful conditions are detected at the remote network equipment rack, a well-designed, full-featured remote power switch can also switch off non-essential network devices or automatically invoke a reboot cycle. In some cases, a good remote power switch product will also support the ability to regularly ping devices in the remote equipment rack, and then automatically reboot devices that cease to respond to ping commands.

As is the case with most network related chores, there is both a hard way and an easy way to reboot an unresponsive remote network element. If you’re currently relying on expensive, time consuming service calls to reboot devices at remote sites, then you already know about the hard way. But if you want to learn more about the easy way to reboot remote network elements, check out the secure, effective reboot, power control and environmental monitoring and alarm functions provided by a remote power switch.

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