Automatically Rebooting Routers and Gateways

Often times it is not the PCs or servers that cause a network interruption. The routers or gateways can also get confused and hang, requiring the traditional "yank the power" remedy. Depending on its location and the type of personnel available, it may be an easy task or it may be quite horrendous and expensive (most down time is horrendous and expensive).

A more automated method is to connect the AC power of the router/gateway to an IPC (International AC power Controller, $115.00). And connect the IPC's serial port to a "Control PC" at the site. Use the "control machine" to ping an IP address through the router. If there is no reply, the assumption is that the router is hung. Then simply send a serial port command from the "control machine" to the IPC to have it reset the router.

If you want to be doubly sure that the router is at fault and not the initial pinged address, you could ping a second address through the router. This could all be accomplished automatically with a small program.

As an added capability, a Network Administrator could also have direct remote access to the "control machine's" serial port through its IP address. This would provide direct power ON and OFF control in addition to the reset. Serial Net could help you with this task. And of course, you still could also have telephone access to the IPC if you have a telephone line there too.