New PCUs

New nodes must be connected to a network addressable power controller unit, or PCU. The PCU will allow both you and PlanetLab Support staff to power cycle your nodes from a remote location when the need arises.


Current generation servers will commonly have remote management options. For instance, the HP Proliant servers come with built in iLO remote management hardware. Dell and IBM have remote management add-on PCI cards, for a small additional price. As well, Intel has recently been offering Active Management Technology (AMT). AMT is very attractive because it can be configured to use the same IP address as the host.


Alternatively, if you are adding support for existing hardware, you can use vendor independent PCUs; the ones listed below (BayTech and APC, among others) were evaluated years ago and might not be readily available. But, some similar options are available.


HP iLO/iLO2 (Integrated Lights Out)

The Integrated Lights Out module offered in the HP DL3xx Series servers and others, is an excellent option if you are still considering purchasing a node. This option includes both a scriptable status console, accessible over SSH, as well as a secure web interface for more advanced operations, such as viewing the machine console.

Intel AMT (Active Management Technology)

Intel AMT Overview : At the time of writing this option is available in some Desktop configurations from HP, such as the HP Compaq DC7700P Small Form Factor model. Other vendors will be sure to include this option in time. As mentioned above, this option allows for your host machine to use only a single IP address.

DRAC (Dell Remote Access Controller)

Dell's Remote Access Controller is a common option from Dell Servers. Details for configuring this are available from Dell's Support site.

eRIC Remote Management Card

Untested currently by the PLC support team, but if you are willing to work with us to get it configured and controllable remotely, then this is a fine option.



We have evaluated the APC Switched Rack PDUs. Known working models include:

  • Rack PDU, Switched, 1U, 15A, 100/120V, (8)5-15 (AP7900)

Be sure to purchase the model that accepts the correct input voltage and frequency for your country. The APC units may be more widely available than the BayTech units. APC maintains a How To Buy web page that lists resellers.


We have evaluated a 4-port power switch configuration from BayTech that supports SSH access. The configuration consists of a DS4-RPC host module with a DS62 Ethernet module and a DS74 Console module. This configuration has been assigned a special part number by BayTech and is known as the BayTech DS4-RPC-UC552. It is available in the United States from Anixter for approximately $650. If you have more than 4 nodes, there is also an 8-port configuration available upon request. Please note that not all of the inventory is searchable on the Anixter webpage. In the US, please send e-mail to to obtain a quote. Other resellers include:


Additional configurations used by some PlanetLab sites, but not evaluated by us are below. If you have personal experience with any PCU that you would like included here, please email us at, and reference this request for information.

BlackBox PS5xx

Cyclades PM 8i-10A

Cyclade Remote Power Switches . Features SSH and Web access.Â

Dataprobe IP-41x

This switch has been discontinued by the manufacturer. The next product in the series is the IP815 Remote Reboot.

ePowerSwitch 1/4/8x