Control and Switch Power at Remote Network Equipment Sites without the Road Trip!

Ask any network engineer, and they’ll probably tell you that the task of keeping network equipment up and running and ready for use can be an extremely challenging assignment at times. It’s hard enough to keep servers and routers in good health if they’re located on-site, a short walk down the hall from your office, but if those critical network elements are located off-site, at distant data centers and remote network equipment cabinets, the job can prove to be even more of a challenge.

When a network element in an on-site equipment rack suddenly decides to take a nap, often the network administrator’s first option is to reboot the darned thing. While rebooting a server or router in a local equipment rack is usually as simple as flicking a switch or pulling a plug, the task of rebooting a server or router located miles from the central office, deep in the bowels of an off-site data center or remote, over-crowded network equipment cabinet can often be somewhat of a challenge. For one thing, you either need to send a tech team on an expensive field trip, or travel miles and miles to the remote network equipment site yourself in order to deal with the problem, and for another, the entire time that you or your tech support team is en route to the remote site, the network is still down and the complaints from angry users who can’t access the server keep rolling in.

One of the most common ways for dealing with problems at remote network equipment sites, is to make certain that your remote sites include a remote control power switch in order to simplify the task of rebooting network elements at the remote site without the expense and delays associated with a service call. When your off-site data center or remote network equipment rack includes a remote power control switch, power reboots are easy and fast. Rather than firing up the service truck and hitting the road, network administrators can reboot devices at the remote equipment site by quickly logging into the secure remote power control switch via Telnet, web or dial-up, and then invoking a few brief commands or clicking on a button on a web interface to initiate a reboot cycle.

In addition to providing a fast, economical means for rebooting remote network elements, the remote power control switch also provides network administrators with other useful capabilities, such as scheduled reboots and power switching and the ability to monitor environmental factors and user events at the remote site. Some full-featured remote control power switches also include the ability to ping a user-defined IP address at the remote site, and then automatically reboot the device at that IP address if it ceases to respond to ping commands. Another popular feature on high-quality remote power control switch products is the ability to monitor and record factors such as rack temperatures and current consumption, and then automatically switch off non-essential devices when rack temperatures or current usage exceeds user-defined threshold values.

Given the finicky nature of network equipment and the changing needs of network users, it’s pretty safe to say that network administration will never be an easy job. That said though, there’s absolutely no reason why the task of managing remote network devices can’t be made easier. A network administrator already has enough to do without the added responsibility of heading out on a road trip every time a server at a remote site hiccups or a router at an off-site data center decides to play dead. An intelligently deployed remote power control switch can provide network administrators with the capability to control power, monitor events and reboot uncooperative network elements at remote equipment sites; saving time and resources for all of those other network management tasks that won’t go away so easily.

Link to Original Content

Tags: , , , , ,

Comments are closed.