Remote Cloud Reset with a GSM Power Socket

It doesn't happen often but it does happen: Just when you are on the other side of the world, your cloud services at home hangs up. The DSL router looses sync, the VPN gateway has decided to go belly up or one of the servers stops cooperating. So what can be done? If one could only perform a reset…

In the past I've used a power socket with a timer to cut power once during the night to reset everything. Crude but effective with the slight disadvantage that in the worst case I have to wait till the next morning for my services to come back. Another slight disadvantage is that late at night local time is not necessarily a convenient time in another timezone for the VPN service to go down for a couple of minutes during local daytime. So I was looking for a more sophisticated solution and have found a cool "out of band" way to reset my network at home, a GSM Power Socket.

In Germany the GSM power socket is sold under the brand name of "GSM-One", for example via Amazon for 89 euros. To switch power on or off a simple SMS with a command code inside is used. The power socket then returns a status message to confirm the command. Very cool. Even cooler is the the SMS alert message when a power outage occurs and an SMS status report once power returns. Very nice, this puts me back in the drivers seat again no matter where I am.

In other countries, the device is sold under different brand names. In the UK for example it Sells as "Lindy GSM Power socket" for a shocking 142 UK pounds. For those not familiar with currency exchange rates between pound and euro, it's around 1.1 at the moment. Quite a hefty surcharge to order it in the UK…

3 thoughts on “Remote Cloud Reset with a GSM Power Socket”

  1. What would be great is a power socket with a network interface which would cut the power when detecting timeouts!

  2. @Christophe, the ‘GSM’ aspect here brings is the asynchronous and IP network independence aspect. How do you propose to use ethernet, when the way to reach the same ethernet is questionable, as in the example above ? However, now I believe there are several GSM to ethernet gateways which are available, that could indeed be used.

  3. really interesting ideas, I think this is something that would go well with my existing server monitoring tools to make sure I always have complete control of a situation

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