[clug] remote power cycling many machines

Robert Edwards bob at cs.anu.edu.au
Sat Apr 4 22:14:34 UTC 2020

On 4/4/20 11:06 pm, Chris Smart via linux wrote:
> On Sat, 4 Apr 2020, at 20:11, Robert Edwards via linux wrote:
>> What have others tried/can recommend?
> I guess it depends if you want to just kill the power and turn it back on, or whether you want to use the computer's soft buttons (or if you want KVM). When I was looking for some machines to work on OpenStack Ironic I also looked at similar things as you (cards and Pis). I just ended up buying mini-ITX boards with BMCs, so I don't really have a solution to suggest.
> However, in case it's useful, if it's just power then I guess you're after sort of small remote PDU like in datacentres, maybe something like this (bet it's expensive though):
>  > 

Thanks Chris.

That is certainly a candidate option.

> I know you know this, but if switching AC the device is going to need to carry Regulatory Compliance Mark (RCM)[1], which makes things trickier and more expensive (cheaper ones on Amazon, but won't help) and can't role your own.
> Not that this helps you either, but I use WiFi Smart GPO (~$20 each) running my own code so it's not cloud connected. I bought these from Bunnings, when they sold them:
> https://www.brilliantsmart.com.au/smart-products/electrical/wifi-plug-with-usb-charger/

(supressing urge to make obvious reference to "brilliantsmart", "Smart
GPO", "smart-products" - do we need a disclaimer from you?)

I guess you reflashed with Tasmota or did you go totally bespoke?

Still, WiFi is not really an option for me (see response to Brett's
similar suggestion).

> IMO that would probably be the easiest and cheapest solution for you. If WiFi is that unreliable (or you're concerned about credential leak if someone steals the device and dumps the firmware) then maybe it would be a problem, but I guess it depends just how much of a risk that is, how unreliable WiFi is and how often you need to do the remote switcheroo. Devices also probably only support standard WPA2, not Enterprise.
> I think the soft power and reset switches in a computer are 3.3 or 5V? If so, you could probably switch that pretty easily with a $2 ESP module (but WiFi again) or an ESP/Arduino with Ethernet shield ($50?). You would have to open the cases and dangle wires out though...

Funnily enough, I am more inclined to open the cases and install
a relay board with dangling wires, than to perturbate the software
install of the machine. Many of these machines are used for research
work where timing and/or tightly controlled software environments
are very significant to the published results.

Bob Edwards.

> Might be able to do something useful with WOL or vPro and its lovely vulnerabilities?
> [1] https://www.acma.gov.au/step-5-label-your-product
> -c

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