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I've got 2 APC Smart UPS 3000's, one of which has the management card (AP9617). They're both currently being used purely for battery backup, and since we've had repeated power issues in this building, I'd love to get some of the servers to shut down gracefully before the juice runs out.

The media is long gone, and documentation seems a bit sketchy on the APC site (I imagine this guy's been long discontinued). I'll see if I can break it down into some straightforward questions.

  • What options does the Net card give me? I grabbed the network shutdown software from the APC site, and it refuses to get past the first screen without a 2nd IP address. This is a bit baffling. (I'm able to log in and configure the card directly from its IP, but the options there seem focused entirely on notification)

  • Regarding the non-card unit, I'm assuming the RJ54 port labeled USB is only going to work with the cable provided (which was thankfully left in the bag). Am I correct in the disappointing assumption that I can use this to instruct exactly one server to shut down? Any software I should pick up to enable this? I believe 2008 server has already started disaplying a laptop-esque battery meter in the systray.

  • Any germane points I've overlooked are most welcome! I'm not afraid to study up anywhere you point me, but I seem to have started chasing my tail.

[edit] I should mention that my primary goal is to get the 2 production virtual servers set to shut down. The DMZ virt server would be a stellar secondary goal. Anyone else I can connect is tertiary (but would still be lovely). Thanks in advance for any pointers!

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5 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Your observations re: the web interface on the card itself having to do only with notifications are correct. The shutdown functionality is in the software on the server computers.

Powerchute Network shutdown is fairly crappy. I've had mixed luck with it. Particularly galling is that you can't easily replicate the configuration between servers just by copying a file.

I've been playing around with APCUPSd for Windows after running it on Linux and I've been very pleased. I don't have it production anywhere yet, but I hope to by end of summer. Have a look at it. It's a lot more "Unix-ey" as opposed to APC's ugly-assed Java software.

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I totally agree with Evan Anderson's comments. We use APCUPSD on all our Linux and Windows boxes as well.

Each of our APC's smart or USB cable connects to Linux box which in turns hosts a service for other servers to connect and listen too.

I toss out the junk software that comes with APC's hardware every time!

If you run with APCUPSD, then you can make it work in your DMZ - punch a port for the listener and you're all set. APCUPSD uses UDP port 3551 by default; parameter is NISPORT and this is configurable as well.

You can also configure APCUPSD to send email alerts when switching to battery, shutdown, and self test results.

Loving APCUPSD!

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apucupsd is good stuff –  MikeJ Sep 4 '09 at 2:48
    
Thanks for the tip on APCUPSD. I seriously dont understand why this isnt built into server OS's by default. –  MikeJ Sep 4 '09 at 2:49
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If i remember we had encountered this before and used a workaround. We were using zabbix to monitor the APC UPS via snmp witch provide informations about battery status, power source etc,etc. Switching to battery launched a trigger into zabbix who in turn runs remote shutdown scripts on the servers after a defined time.

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For the non-card unit, yes you can plug in the UPS to only one server. However, certain versions of the PowerChute software will allow you to run one copy on the server the UPS is connected to and have it broadcast the shutdown to the other servers in your network.

I prefer having a network management card in each UPS though, and they're only around $200, so why not just buy another one?

Edit: Also, I agree with the other posters that apcupsd is vastly superior to the PowerChute software, but I thought I'd some info on the vendor-supported solution.

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Your first bullet point confuses me - we've got network shutdown installed on all our servers (Linux/Win2K3/Win2K8), and it's always a case of running the installer, pointing it at the management card's IP address and letting the server register itself with the UPS.

If your servers are in a different, restricted subnet you'll either have to make sure that communication is possible to/from the default port on the card, or just manually register the server's IP with the management card and hope. You're not trying to do a double-instance install or something, are you?

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Not doing anything crazy - one server so far, just confused that it tells me to enter the IP for the mangement card (no problem) resulting in the error "you must enter more than one IP address". –  Kara Marfia Jul 9 '09 at 17:47
    
Okay, yeah, that is weird. –  RainyRat Jul 9 '09 at 18:49
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