Intelligent Switching and Reboot Control for High Amp Dry Contact Relays

When a network device at a remote equipment site suddenly refuses to cooperate, often the best solution is to simply reboot the remote device. While this is generally a pretty easy order when the remote device in question is a simple AC or DC powered network element, remote reboots can often prove to be much more of a challenge if you’re dealing with a high amp device such as a Cisco Catalyst 6500 switch or an industrial HVAC device. There are literally dozens of products on the market that can remotely reboot or switch power to an ordinary AC or DC powered device, but none of these devices are suited for remote rebooting or switching of a high amp dry contact; for a job like this, you really need a remote relay control switch.

A remote relay control switch allows you to easily open, close or reboot remote high amp dry contacts, without the hassles of a field trip to the remote equipment site or the expense of a constant human presence at the remote site. In addition to providing secure, reliable switching of remote high amp dry contacts, a high quality remote relay control switch can also provide other benefits, including the ability to monitor, record and report factors such as temperature levels, current consumption, invalid access attempts and other relevant conditions and events at the remote equipment site.

Advanced remote relay control products also offer the option to define threshold values for monitored conditions and events and then automatically generate a report when the remote relay control determines that any monitored factor has exceeded the defined threshold value. For example, if the remote relay control includes a temperature alarm, the remote relay control can constantly monitor rack temperatures and then automatically notify network administrators or support personnel via email, SNMP trap or SYSLOG message when temperatures exceed user defined threshold values.

In addition to these monitoring and alarm functions, some remote relay control products also include features that can be used to automatically open, close or reboot a dry contact whenever a device at a user-defined IP address fails to respond to a ping command. This essentially allows the remote relay control to keep constant watch over a device at a user-defined IP address, and then automatically reboot that device if it becomes unresponsive.

In addition to on demand contact switching and the ability to open/close/reboot contact when a device becomes unresponsive, a full-featured remote relay control unit will sometimes offer the option to open, close or reboot a dry contact according to a user-defined schedule. This type of feature can prove extremely useful for taking devices offline during periods of low use, or switching on devices such as cooling equipment during periods when devices are more likely to be needed.

Although a simple power reboot is often a quick way to get an unresponsive device back up and running again, simple power reboots often aren’t as simple as they initially seem. This is especially true in cases where rebooting involves opening and closing a high amp dry contact, and even more true if the device in question is located in an equipment cabinet in a remote, inaccessible location. If you’ve already seen how easy it is to control a standard AC or DC powered device using a switched PDU and wished that some sort of product was available to provide the same convenience for switching or rebooting high amp dry contacts, you owe it to yourself take the time to check out the many features and capabilities that can be provided by a remote relay control switch.

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