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What is remote power management?

Posted on 8/24/2020 7:00:00 PM by Middle Atlantic Team

There’s a recurring gag in “The IT Crowd,” a British show about the IT department in an office building. Every phone call begins with the beleaguered character asking “Have you tried turning it off and on again?” 

There’s a reason for that. It solves a majority of issues with locked up electronics. But what if you could solve many client equipment problems without having to step foot in the building (a.k.a. “rolling a truck”) or even getting a phone call to ask “have you tried turning it off and on again?” There are many product solutions in the market that give you the ability to remotely solve common issues with AV systems. This helps prevent situations that leave clients without access to their AV system for hours, potentially during a big meeting, conference, or class. Saving clients the frustration of having to reschedule a meeting pays off for your business relationship and provides the AV experience your client expects. 

Power Problems with AV Equipment 

Beyond the occasional device reboot, proactive monitoring is key to preventing total system failures, so get proactive with your services. It’s no secret that AV equipment can be severely damaged by undervoltage (a.k.a. the silent killer), which you can’t spot by sight. Monitoring the quality of the power to the devices and sending you alerts when specified thresholds are reached can save and extend the life of the equipment.

Equipment can also be damaged by overheating, which you may not catch right away if a fan goes out and you don’t happen to be there. Remember, every 10°F (6°C) rise over 85°F (29°C) in a rack reduces the life of digital equipment by 40%! With environmental monitoring in your remote power management system, alerts can be triggered when the temperature gets too high, or can automatically trigger a fan to turn on.

There is also a feature in some systems called AutoPing. AutoPing is designed to continuously check if the network is still connected, so if for some reason the network goes down you are alerted and you can bring the network and equipment back online.

 RackLink user interface across multiple devices

How Remote Power Management Keeps You Ahead of the Game 

Being able to catch these issues right away through proactive email or text alerts saves the client from having to replace equipment or call you for simple tasks. It also comes with the added benefit of strengthening your business relationship. Trust is built by fixing issues before they become problems. 

A challenge you may run into when working toward implementing a remote power management system is working with the IT department. The IT department can be hesitant or combative about not wanting to put an “unknown” IP device on their network. The primary reason is network security. Any device on the network creates a potential vulnerability to a network hack. 

Middle Atlantic PDUs with RackLink offer the industry’s most robust suite of features for these situations. 

Middle Atlantic PDUs with RackLink have features like; individual outlet control, AutoPing, amperage/voltage/wattage monitoring, temperature/humidity monitoring, sequencing, data logging, SNMP and more. From a connection standpoint, the PDUs with RackLink are flexible and can be connected in many ways to fit your unique situation. You can connect directly to the client’s network, connect via a separate AV network, connect to any cloud platforms or control systems all through IP, RS-232, WiFi, APIs and/or contact closures. This flexibility allows for you to work with the client’s preference on how to remotely manage and monitor the AV system power.

How to Work with IT Departments and Network Security 

To appease the IT department and the sensitivity to network security, Middle Atlantic developed the Premium+ PDU. Premium+ was built on the most trusted platform for data center network security using Raritan’s Xerus™ technology. Frequent firmware updates ensure that Premium+ is always protecting from threats to the network.

Hopefully this has provided you with valuable information to overcome some of the challenges or objections you might face when determining the best AV system for your clients. Remote power management, and remote management in general can keep AV systems up and running, give a longer life to the equipment, minimize system downtime, and build trust in your services. Our goal as AV providers should be to maximize the uptime of the AV experience. 

Get proactive and see how Remote Power Management can be a part of your overall AVaaS (AV as a Service) package for clients. More on that in the next blog post. So stay tuned. 

If you’re interested in learning more about RackLink™ click the link to schedule a no-obligation demo.