There’s More to Remote Power Management than Just Remote Reboot and Power Switching

When a network engineer adds remote power management capabilities to a network equipment rack, usually the principle goal is to provide on-demand reboot and power switching functions for an off-site data center or remote network equipment cabinet. Although on-demand reboot and power switching is indeed the central purpose of most remote power management applications, there are also other useful power-related capabilities that a remote power management solution can provide that can help to further simplify the task of managing remote network equipment.

In addition to allowing administrators and tech support personnel to reboot remote network devices, comprehensive remote power management should also support other features such as environmental alarms and event alarms, plus automatic reboot and power switching functions such as scheduled reboot and scheduled power switching, plus the ability to automatically reboot network devices that cease to respond to ping commands. A remote power management plan that includes alarm functions, the ability to schedule reboots and power switching and the ability to automatically reboot unresponsive devices helps to both keep administrators and tech support personnel better informed regarding conditions at the remote network site, and also frees tech support personnel from the routine task of manually rebooting devices in a remote equipment rack on a regular basis.

The ability to monitor conditions and events at a remote network equipment site, and then automatically perform alarm/notification and reboot/switching functions is a particularly useful remote power management function. A monitoring/alarm function enables the remote power management unit to constantly monitor factors such as rack temperature, current consumption, open circuit breakers, power supply events and other important factors and then provide notification and switching functions when the monitored condition exceeds user defined parameters. This allows the remote power management solution to automatically switch on cooling systems when high rack temperatures are detected, or switch off nonessential devices when current consumption rises above acceptable levels. In addition to performing automatic reboot and power switching functions, event alarms and environmental alarms should also be able to notify the appropriate network personnel when an alarm is generated. Ideally, the remote power management application should support several different communication protocols, such as email, SNMP Traps and SYSLOG messages in order to fit the needs of a variety of different network support personnel.

Scheduled reboot and power switching capabilities are also an essential part of effective remote power management, because they allow network administrators to define a daily or weekly schedule that can be used to automatically initiate reboot and switching functions according to a user-defined schedule. A scheduled reboot/switching function can be used to automatically reboot network devices at the beginning of each network day, switch off nonessential network devices during periods of the day when they are not likely to be used, or switch on back-up devices during hours of the day when heavy network use can be expected.

When the remote power management application includes a ping response monitor or ping-no-answer alarm, the remote power management unit can then constantly ping network devices at user-defined IP addresses, and then immediately reboot devices that fail to respond to several successive ping commands. Instead of simply waiting for users to complain, a ping response monitor enables network administrators to take better control of network management by providing the ability to automatically reboot unresponsive as soon as they stop responding. Ideally, the remote power management unit should also provide the option to notify administrators and tech support personnel before actually switching unresponsive devices at target IP addresses, or simply provide notification that a device is not responding to ping commands without performing an automatic reboot in order to allow the situation that caused the ping command failure to be further investigated.

The basic function of an effective remote power management solution will always be the capability to perform on-demand reboot and switching functions. But in addition to those two very vital capabilities, there are many other tasks that a truly comprehensive remote power management application should also be able to perform. Obviously, not every remote power management application requires a ping response monitor, but it pays to shop around when selecting a remote power management solution in order to make certain that the solution that you choose, provides the best fit with the specific needs and peculiarities of your individual remote power management application.

Link to Original Content

Tags: , , , , , ,

Comments are closed.