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Have a cluster of desktop computers that are used to process data. Sometimes they crash and it would be nice of we could send a signal to the motherboards on them to restart the machine if we stop being able to connect via SSH.

Is there a piece of hardware that exists that can receive a signal signal via USB or serial port instructing it to connect two wires in the same way that pressing the "reset" button on a desktop case would?

In this way, the mechanism could be connected to the restart pins on another desktop's motherboard, and one computer could be used to restart another computer after it crashed. This seems like a pretty simple thing to do and I know I could do it with an arduino or something if I had the time, but seems like there should be something out there already that allows for this.

Thanks so much!

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3 Answers 3

Use a controllable ("smart") PDU. Then you could cycle the power socket for just a given machine.

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Switched PDU.

Here's an APC one, but other brands do exist. Basically it's like a power strip, except with C13/C14 sockets, and a bunch of relays, so they're web/snmp controllable.

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You want a watchdog timer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watchdog_timer). They exist as PCI card, Ethernet, or USB acessory. Google for ""pc watchdog".

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