Remote power control.

Remote power control

Simply put, remote power control is the ability to reset or reboot PC, LAN/WAN, telecom, and other computer equipment without being at the equipment’s location.

For whom

Who needs remote power control? Everyone, especially any organization with a network that reaches remote sites. This can include branch offices, unmanned information kiosks, alarm and control systems, and even HVAC systems for climate control. Other applications include unmanned remote monitoring stations, satellite control equipment at communications towers, cellular towers, and radio equipment.

Avoid major communications problems
For system administrators, the ability to perform a power cycle or remote reboot is a way to avoid major communications problems. When equipment locks up and no longer responds to normal communications commands, it’s usually up to the system manager to reset or reboot it.

After the power cycles on and off, normal communications resume. Often, there aren’t any technically trained personnel at the site who can perform maintenance and resets on equipment. Even if it is a manned station, there is a risk that the wrong equipment could be rebooted. To save traveling time and minimize downtime, remote power control enables the system manager to take care of things at the office without having to travel.

A must for network equipment

Even if you don’t have remote sites, remote power control is a must for your servers, switches, routers, and other network equipment plus the climate control equipment at your main data center. Even though you may be local, when problems occur in the middle of the night, headquarters can seem very far away.

The ideal system uses out-of-band management

Power can be controlled remotely via RS-232 commands over modems on existing or special phone lines, over the TCP/IP network, or locally with terminal software. The ideal system uses out-of-band management, an alternate path over an ordinary dialup line that doesn’t interfere with network equipment.

An effective remote power control system incorporates the following:
  • An existing phone line, such as a line being used for a fax, modem, or phone.
  • Transparent operation. The system shouldn’t interfere with or be affected by normal calls.
  • Security features. The system should prevent unauthorised access to network equipment.
  • Flexibility. System managers should be able to dial in from anywhere and control multiple devices with one call.
  • Have power control devices that meet UL® and FCC requirements.