Thursday, August 14, 2008

Remote Management and its Limits

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.