Server Fault is a question and answer site for system and network administrators. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Say I have got a big room loaded with servers and a big cupboard size battery as a ups. Now the electricity fails. Is there some way for the servers to know that they should shutdown? Does the ups send some network broadcast to all the severs? Is that some standard thing?

I'm new to all this, but i've got the feeling it is all very individual.

That would mean a big battery ups is only good if Rudolf kicks in, in the next few minutes.

And when Rudolf is tired you start shutting down the servers manually? Are we really so low-tech?

What are the basic steps to getting a system running safely? Configure the UPS and configure every server to shutdown every piece of software on a shutdown command?

share|improve this question
"Are we really so low-tech? [...] configure every server to shutdown every piece of software on a shutdown command?" I know your low-tech comment is specifically directed at the shutdown question, but don't you know that servers already have the capability of shutting themselves down? – Ward May 23 '11 at 5:55
isn't specifically directed... – Ward May 23 '11 at 6:04

The "standard" soution is to get an SNMP card which sends out a so called SNMP trap to you monitoring station when the battery is low. Your monitoring station receives this signal and decides as appropriate e.g. shut down all the servers.

Depending on your UPS vendor/class SNMP card can be:

  • built in
  • sold separately
  • unavailable
share|improve this answer

A lot of UPS' will connect to the server via serial or USB where there will be some software monitoring the status of the power and battery levels. When the power is interrupted the server can shut down after a pre-defined period of time or when a battery level is reached. Some can also communicate over your network, or you can have one server control over the network any others that are powered via the same UPS

share|improve this answer

In a shared big UPS style config you will need to monitor your UPS separately and take appropriate action. This is typically done over SNMP.

By way of example, check out the MIBs for Liebert:

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.