Here is a bit about our setup:

  • We have 2x Smart-UPS RT 6000 XL units with network management cards
  • We are running Powerchute from a network server
  • Powerchute is connected to the management cards of both UPSs
  • UPSs are set to do a graceful shutdown via Powerchute when the battery duration is under 20 minutes
  • We also have a command file that runs with Powerchute
  • Although our setup is redundant we do not have an equal load on each server due to APC switches for single power devices

The problem is that as we do not have an equal load on each server the batteries drain at different rates. This means that the UPSs both get to the specified low battery duration at completely different times. The problem here is that UPS 1 may have run down to 5 minutes and is in desperate need of initiating a Powerchute shutdown - UPS 2 still has 25 minutes of runtime so no shutdown is initiated. Consequently UPS 1 goes down and takes all the servers with and then shuts down UPS 2 as well! What we need to happen are 1 of either 2 things:

  1. Powerchute initiates the shutdown as soon as either UPS reaches the 20 minutes low battery duration setting - and doesnt wait for both
  2. The UPS with the heavier load expends its entire battery but does not shutdown both UPSs and lets the load be switched across to the UPS that still has runtime remaining. That way when the UPS that still has runtime reaches its low battery duration it can proceed with the graceful shutdown via Powerchute.

Hope that makes sense, any help is greatly appreciated!

  • I don't understand why you have a server running PowerChute connected to both UPS units. The UPS units are meant to connect to the network and communicate with the PowerChute software on each host that you want to have communicate with the UPS. Also, do you have the UPS units configured with Sync Control? – joeqwerty Feb 6 '11 at 20:59

When you have the network management cards, you don't need to run Powerchute. Instead, do the following:

  1. Ensure that the two UPSes have Sync Control configured, so that they communicate with each other.
  2. Install Powerchute Network Shutdown on each host connected to the UPSes. It will ask you if you're connected to multiple UPSes, and their IP addresses.

Now it's a while (years) since I've tested this setup with devices that only have a single UPS, but my recollection is that the sync control will mean that the UPSes shutdown at the same time, and each UPS will send a signal to PowerChute Network Shutdown to shutdown the server.

Remember to make sure that your host's firewall isn't blocking the PowerChute signals!

Mad props to joeqwerty for jogging my memory.

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