Reliability in the Data Center
Keep the heart of the station beating strong
If two outlets aren't enough, then consider the opengear.com Opengear IP Power 9258. This unit also allows remote access via a browser for independent control of four ac power outlets (maximum current per outlet is 6A; total current limit is 15A). This device also has a console port, so it can be controlled externally via a modem and telephone line -- very handy if the remote device you need to boot is a DSL modem or perhaps a router or switch that has stopped and killed remote access to your LAN. The 9258 also supports SNMP.
Finally, if you need more than four outlets, you may want to consider the PX series of ac power controllers from Raritan. These not only allow control of the ac power outlets remotely, but it can also monitor the voltage and current on a per-outlet basis. The device can be configured to sequence the outlets if needed. There are many PX versions available, handling voltages from 100 up to 400Vac, and between 15 and 80A total (input current). These also have serial port access, and like the other devices mentioned, they support SNMP.
The other important thing to consider is this -- having multiple computers all in one location means you'll need a device that will allow you to look at each of them using the same keyboard, mouse and monitor -- more commonly known as a KVM switch. You could give two users complete access to eight different computers by using a single Blackbox ServSelect III KVM Switch, for example. This particular device supports PS2 keyboards and mice, provides 1600 by 1280 resolution, and can be cascaded to increase the number of computers to be accessed.
Another well-known manufacturer of KVM devices is Avocent. The first device I'll mention is the AutoView Analog KVM. This device supports USB and/or PS2 mouse and keyboard. It connects to each machine by way of a small dongle (for lack of a better description) that hangs on the back of said machine, and then connects to the KVM switch via a Cat-5 cable (up to 100' away). And yes -- you're thinking that (like the remote power switch) you'll want remote access via IP, right? In that case you would obtain the Digital KVM. That device has an onboard Web interface that allows two users remote access to any of the machines connected to the KVM switch. There's also a local-user port for access to the connected machines.
- continued on page 4
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