[clug] remote power cycling many machines

Robert Edwards bob at cs.anu.edu.au
Sun Apr 5 21:46:07 UTC 2020

On 5/4/20 12:04 pm, Neil Pickford wrote:
> I know there have been lots of high tech suggestions, however you could 
> go real low tech.
> Set BIOS for allways on, Power switch timer on the machine that turns it 
> off for 1 minute at 00:01 weekly on a Sunday night. That way if a 
> machine freezes you just have to wait for the timer reboot on Sunday 
> night. Monday morning each device will be fresh for the week.
> Also gives researchers remotely playing with their machines an incentive 
> not to brick them early in the week.

Thanks Neil.

Interesting idea... Not sure how my users would react to a compulsory
hard power-cycle of their self-managed machine once a week... (I know
how I'd react if _my_ server was hard power-cycled once a week, but
maybe it is a case of expectation management...).

Could be a good strategy to push more of them to the cloud - "we don't
force reboot your VM each week..."

Bob Edwards.

> On 4/04/2020 8:11 pm, Robert Edwards via linux wrote:
>> Hi all,
>> Hope you are all keeping safe and healthy.
>> During these strange times, I find myself responsible for a larger
>> than expected cohort of random machines spread across multiple
>> buildings in various peoples offices, which they are no longer
>> permitted physical access to.
>> These machines have been left running but seem to randomly need to
>> be power cycled for various reasons - some are running 'doze and
>> others, running Linux, seem to get randomly shutdown by various
>> remote users for whatever reason.
>> Many of the servers in machine rooms that I am responsible for
>> have various forms of Lights Out Management (LOM), such as iDRAC
>> or BMC etc., so can be remotely managed, as required (generally
>> don't need it, though).
>> So, for this vast array of random machines in offices, I have been
>> researching various generic options for LOM and/or remote power
>> control.
>> There used to be some PCI cards that could do much of this (eg. 
>> https://www.startech.com/support/SV1110IPPCI) but seem to be largely
>> discontinued. These days Remote KVM over IP seems to be the
>> preferred option, but generally has no provision for power 
>> control/cycling.
>> There are instructions on the web to set up, eg., a RaspPi to do
>> this, but making up 20 or more seems like a big job (eg.
>> https://github.com/Fmstrat/diy-ipmi).
>> I could go for "smart" power-boards, but need a wired way to
>> control them (I don't want to rely on WiFi or other wireless
>> technologies).
>> What have others tried/can recommend?
>> cheers,
>> Bob Edwards

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