Today’s networks are growing and becoming more costly and complicated. Widely distributed networks and remote branches are accelerating rapidly. With budget for network management staff and other resources becoming scarce, it is becoming increasingly important to build in capabilities to improve the response time to a network outage or problem. Power management is a key element of managing the network. And while outfitting key locations with universal (uninterruptible) power supplies (UPS) is common for many enterprises, many more don’t take the next step of implementing a remote power management solution to give them the full range of protection and cost-saving benefits.
Power management consoles provide the ability for remote power administration. These are network-managed devices that resemble power strips and from which equipment draws power. These consoles are then plugged into a UPS for added protection. Power management consoles allow remote control of the power on a per-receptacle basis, allowing remote cycling of equipment and other management capabilities.
For many equipment issues, cycling power can be the fastest or only way to correct problems. Through a software interface, technicians can monitor power, and control individual power receptacles. In the event of a system freeze on a server or internetworking device, the technician can immediately reboot and the equipment and quickly return the network to operational status without interrupting other equipment attached to the UPS.
Power Management Benefits
* Avoid site visits
* Recover from software lockouts
* Activate standby equipment
* Shut down defective equipment
* Monitor power consumption for changes
* Audit power before adding equipment
* Control power sequencing
* Eliminate inrush current after outages
* Maximize UPS runtime by shedding load
The single most important justification for remote power management is saving the cost of site trips to alleviate common issues, including:
1. Restoring network connectivity by rebooting key servers or network equipment after a failure caused by a software upgrade or patch.
2. Remotely activating standby equipment and shutting down primary equipment.
3. Detecting gradual increases in power consumption from attached systems that can indicate a coming hardware failure, for example, when disk arrays draw more power trying to keep aging bearings spinning.
4. Knowing in advance whether equipment expansion or upgrades can be done within a rack’s power level.
5. Sequencing power to outlets on power up to eliminate current inrush and maximize use of circuit ratings.
6. Maximizing UPS runtime by shutting down non-critical equipment.
These reasons all relate to providing increased availability and reducing cost. While a UPS is sometimes considered sufficient protection for equipment, a complete power management solution requires control in addition to power outage protection. If your equipment is important enough to require a UPS, it is important enough to require power control.