Remote Management and its Limits

Date August 14, 2008

Well, it appears that one of the cables in my new rack is bad. Specifically, it looks like it's the one going to the "red" switch. It's not really surprising, I suppose, given the last minute rush to find color matched cables. What this means is that I've got to walk someone through replacing it remotely.

Having remote management ability is important. Whether it's IP KVMs (we've got that), or the ability to perform web/ssh/telnet/rdp (we've got all those too), there's literally only so much you can do when you're not at the site, and that's frustrating. I'm 400 miles away; I can't just hop on over and change out a cable, and the timetable for us getting our stuff turned on precludes anything except using the remote hands service of the colocation.

I know most of us have a single location for our IT stuff, and it's usually in the same building we do work in. Heck, at the ISP, my office was /in/ the server room. Bad for the ears, but I could hear when things like hard drives were dying. Pinpointing an exact location was a little harder, since almost none of the hard drives were hot-swappable.

Anyway, at this point, I'm extremely glad we have support at the colocation. If you decide to move into a colo, I highly recommend getting one with remote hands.

3 Responses to “Remote Management and its Limits”

  1. shamrockhoax said:

    ----Background info----

    We have a performance testing environment (read datacenter lab) located at a seperate site.

    It is a to scale model of our entire network infrastructure (friggen huge).

    Within this lab, we let those attempting to play around in hopes of a better chance of passing the test.
    ------------------------------

    Well, in order to allow full remote capabilities there are several virtual connections set up that allow a remote user to break an interface connection from the remote side and then resolve the issue.

    Kind of related to your post, although you were talking about server management.

    I just thought this capability was pretty sweet. Wish I were allowed to take you through the lab, it would give you a nerdgasm (it did me).

  2. Anonymous said:

    To listen for an individual noisy hard drive use a kids sucker-dart like the bows-and-arrows shoot. gently put the suckered end to your skull somewhere on the forehead or side of head (not a soft bit, the idea is to transmit the noise to the skull and hence to the ears.)
    Gently touch the other end on each drive in turn and apply just enough pressure to "hear" the noise thru the rubber sucker end. Doctor's stethoscopes are unfortunately too dangerous due to conductive parts near the tip

    PS lock the door in case people think you are mad before u start this.

  3. Matt said:

    @Anonymous

    Well, I've got to admit, I've never heard that one before. I'm really tempted to go get one of those guns and try it. Even if it doesn't work, hey, I get a dart gun!

    Excellent advice on the closed doors, too ;-)

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