Remote Reboot Capabilities … Plus a Clearer Picture of Exactly What’s Going On at Your Off-Site Data Center

The power and reboot control capabilities provided by a remote reboot unit enable network administrators to quickly deal with problems at off-site network equipment cabinets without the expense of a service call and without unnecessary delays while the service team is en route to the remote site. Remote power and reboot control are obviously important functions, but in addition to the reboot functions provided by a basic remote reboot product, some remote reboot units also provide additional capabilities that can help administrators to be kept better informed regarding conditions at the remote network equipment site.

In many cases, high quality remote reboot units also include monitoring features that help administrators to keep track of environmental conditions, power consumption, user events and other relevant factors at the remote equipment site. This provides network administrators with a clearer picture of conditions and events at the remote network equipment site, without the need for regular visits to the site or a constant human presence on-site.

If the remote reboot unit includes both monitoring and logging features, this allows the remote reboot unit to track environmental conditions such as temperature levels, and record those readings in a temperature log or display data in easy-to-read graph format. This temperature data log helps administrators to spot periods of the day when temperatures might regularly exceed acceptable levels, and also helps to plan for future cooling needs. Likewise, if the remote reboot unit supports current monitoring and logging, this allows the unit to constantly measure current consumption and then present that information in a graph that shows current consumption versus time, allowing administrators to instantly spot devices that are consuming excessive current and simplifying the task of balancing current consumption needs in the remote equipment rack.

The ability to reboot remote network devices carries a lot of power and responsibility, and with that in mind, it makes sense to keep track of user access to power control and reboot operations. Tracking user access to power control and reboot functions is easy if the remote reboot switch includes a user activity log or “audit log.” In most cases, the audit log provides a record of user log-in and log-out times, unit configuration changes and power control activities that allow administrators to easily know which user rebooted what device at what time, and which user was responsible for configuration changes.

If the remote reboot unit includes alarm functions that are used to provide notification when high temperatures, excessive current consumption, invalid access attempts and power supply abnormalities are detected, then alarm activity can be recorded and logged also. These records of alarm events are often used by administrators to detect trends and patterns that might help to anticipate the need for additional cooling measures, indicate periods of the day when power supplies are not stable and excessive invalid command mode access attempts that might indicate an organized campaign to bypass system security.

When it comes to managing remote network devices, remote reboot capability is only half of the job. In addition to providing remote power control and reboot capabilities, a good remote reboot unit should also help administrators to be better informed regarding conditions and events at the remote network equipment site. Monitoring and alarm functions are extremely useful for detecting and responding to one-time events, but when the remote reboot unit can also record and log significant events and user activities, this provides the network administrator with a broad perspective on potential sources of problems at the remote site, and allows administrators to see wider trends and take a more forward thinking approach to managing devices at the remote network equipment site.

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