Power Tip 4: Adding Remote Users Working From Home

Posted by Isaiah LaJoie on July 30, 2020

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To address the needs of its customers during the quarantine, Server Technology has designed a webinar series that breaks down the ins and outs of remote power management.  The interactive webinar series, “PowerTips Live,” was developed to support you and your team. Live demonstrations of intelligent PDU features are available to help you better manage your operation remotely. This article is a recap of the fourth tip in the series, which addresses adding remote users who may be working from home so that they can access your intelligent PDUs, or IP power strips.

Here’s the situation:  perhaps you can’t access your facility, or you may have limited windows in which to do so.  With more of your staff working from home and needing to access the facility’s network PDUs, it is far better to give them their own user accounts than to have them sharing a default admin account. Having individual user accounts makes all actions visible in the appropriate event logs generated by the PDU.

Have a lot of folks who need access?  Keep in mind that PRO2 firmware supports up to 112 individually defined user accounts per PDU.  Multiply that by the number of PDUs in your facility, and you will quickly see that your whole neighborhood could sign in.  But before we go down that road, let’s talk about how to get started.  There are really only two steps involved:

First, you will need to access the default account credentials web interface.  Start by clicking the Configuration menu.  In the dropdown, you will find the Access page.  After accessing this page, you will see that different users are listed.  Alternately, you can also look under the network tab – and you will find LDAP and RADIUS settings there as well.

Next you will need to create new admin or user accounts.  Under local users, you will create a new account for your remote user.  During this process you will pick a password, and then click apply.  You will then see a list of new accounts for which the default is user-level access.  It is best practice to change the access level to administrator.  Once there is a second admin-level account, log back in and remove the default account.  When this step is complete, you can create other non-administrative users on the account. 

Please note that there are a number of different access levels: full admin, power user, user, reboot-only, on-only, and view-only.  On-only users have the ability to switch outlet on – usually used during installation process — while view-only users can see the data, but do not have control of the unit.  Server Technology’s approach to access is similar to the way notifications and thresholds are created.  You have the ability to grant access all the way down to the outlet level, which means that you can provide visibility to the network PDU on an outlet-by-outlet basis. 

The video also includes detailed information on creating strong passwords, as well as supporting SNMP user accounts and third-party authentication.  If you need further support, we at Server Technology are here to take your calls!  For more details on how to add remote users who are working from home, check out the Power Tip #4 video on YouTube.

Power Tip 5: Extending the Operational Life of Critical Devices