Configuring unattended shutdown of servers

Hi,
I have several servers that are connected to APC UPS units.  After recently experiencing a power failure that outlasted the capacity of the UPS units I'm looking for a way to shut these things down properly in the event of another power failure.  

What I am looking for is the best solution, simple and effective to set up some way to have these servers etc to shutdown properly in the event something like this happens again.  

This is a Windows environment, small medical office,  APC UPS units (4).  5 servers total and one RAID enclosure.

I'm interested in any software and/or hardware solutions that can help me with this.

Any and all suggestions are welcomed!
macwalker1Asked:
Who is Participating?
 
Glen KnightConnect With a Mentor Commented:
No, it will work with USB cables, the UPS software that comes with APC UPS's supports 5 servers (I think)

Goto: http://www.apc.com/tools/download/index.cfm and select PowerChute business edition from the drop down box.

You can download it and have a go with it.  If i remember correctly (I use network UPS's now) you can install the software on a single server, and then the agent on the others.  It will then send a signal to the agents to shutdown on your set criteria.

If each server has it's own UPS then connect them up via USB and install the Business Edition of the software and configure each one.
0
 
Abhay PujariCommented:
What exactly you mean? What is your requirement? Do you want alerts and then you trigger a shutdown?
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
The RAID enclosure isn't such a problem because the chance of data loss once the servers have been shutdown is pretty minimal.

APC software will shutdown the servers correctly if it's installed and configured. You can specify a time limit (amount of battery remaining before shutdown) etc.
0
Improve Your Query Performance Tuning

In this FREE six-day email course, you'll learn from Janis Griffin, Database Performance Evangelist. She'll teach 12 steps that you can use to optimize your queries as much as possible and see measurable results in your work. Get started today!

 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Should have made that more clear.  I would settle for anythhing that would allow me ample time to either remotely shut down,  or would completely and automatically do that so if weren't in a position to do it remotely it could be done without my getting in there.

I looked into an APC solution.  However if I understand correctly the UPS units need cards installed in order to do that?  Is that correct?  There's a USB connection on all of them and that's it.  

At the very least I'd like a notification that there has been a power failure and then I can either shut them down remotely or if I'm in the area I can run by and do it.  

Based on this experience, it appears these UPS units held on for maybe 20 mins before running out.  

Fill me in on the APC solution you speak of wise SAGE.  

Thanks!
0
 
malcouCommented:
Which model of APC du you have ?
As Demazter says the auto shutdown function is standard on the software with the APC UPS
Have a look here :-
http://www.apc.com/tools/download/index.cfm
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
malcou > Any particular reason why you chose to repeat my comment?
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Thanks for all these quick replies!  The models are APC Smart-UPS RM 1500VA USB & Serial - UPS - 980 Watt - 1440 VA.  

We are a small medical office and rarely find ourselves in such a need so these aren't very large units.  Two were in place when I took over keeping up with this type of thing.

I'll take a look at the links above now and see what that might do for me.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Forgot to mention, being I have 4 UPS units and 5 servers, I guess I could connect them to the UPS units based on importance/priority and then the last two put on a single UPS.
0
 
Glen KnightConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Yes that would work, but if you are only getting 15-20 minutes battery life on them anyway then you will want to shutdown after say 5 minutes of being on battery to ensure you get a safe shutdown
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Good point.  I'm looking at the link you provided above, however I'm a bit confused as it doesn't seem to make it clear which one provides a single place to manage, i.e. using agents or if I need to install individually on each server.  

Would the PowerChute® Network Shutdown v 2.2.4 version be what I need rather than the Business edition?  Not questioning your vast knowledge, just want to be sure how I'm to approach this.

Thanks!
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
The Network Shutdown is a paid for product (I believe) but the Business Edition is a free product.
No sense paying if you don't need to :)
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Gotcha.  Trying to configure now.  However I don't see a place to input contact info like an email etc.  Only a contact name.  Maybe I'm doing it wrong?
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
I am not sure to be honest, I will see if I can get hold of a copy and have a look for you, it's been a while since I have used it.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Hey I found it, entering info now.  I have server here that no one really uses so I can test everything out on it. So I've configured and ony have this one server connected to this one UPS.  So I'm going to simulate a power failure here and see what happens.  

The way the configuration reads is a little confusing with regard to the OS shutting down properly. There's a sut down option in there that I just ran, (power connected to the UPS at this point) and it did in fact shut it down, BUT I also told it to restart as well.  So there's where I'm a little confused about my options.  

Ideally I would like for it to shut down, then when power is restored to boot back up if at all possible.

I think I've got something funky going on with this server.  It has an issue with actually shutting down.  If you tell it to "Shut Down", it restarts.  You have to manually turn the thing off I just realized.  This is the server by the way with the RAID array/enclosure attached to it.  Can I make it shut that down too?
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
Once the server that the RAID array is attached to has been shut down it is safe to pull the power on the RAID, most of them don't have power switches anyway.

>>If you tell it to "Shut Down", it restarts.  You have to manually turn the thing off I just realized.
This is more than likely because the server blue screens when shutting down because it is failing to unload a driver or service.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Thanks for the info. I.E. the failing to unload a driver or service.  Any way to track that down?  Also, just pulled the plug on the UPS, configured it to shutdown after 10 seconds so I could see what it would do.  It did exactly what it should.  NOW I'm going to put the power back on and see if it boots up.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
it appears to have worked! Plugged the UPS in and vrooom the server started booting! YEAH!! Now, since I only have 4 UPS' and 5 servers that means that two are going to have to be connected to one somehow.  If I'm running USB, there's only one USB port per UPS.  Hmmm so how can I have 2 servers connected to one UPS but manage to shut them both down properly?
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Also, it didn't email me as I configured.  It said something about SMTP when I entered both my work email and my gmail.......
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
You can track it down by Right clicking on My Computer > Under the Advanced tab in the section Startup and Recovery click Settings > and uncheck the Automatically restart.

This will present you with a blue screen that will provide more information (although to be honest this should really be another question as it's completely unrelated to the original question)
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
What SMTP server do you have onsite?
You may need to configure it for relaying?
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Sorry about that other question getting thrown in there. I'll address it elsewhere.  Doing the "Runtime" test now so I can determine how long it can run I guess.

SMTP server on site.....Our mail USED to be via exchange in house, but is now hosted.  So how would I go about configuring for relay, or can I given the mail is "hosted" off site?

So far all of your comments have helped me tremendously.  Once I've determined that I have this "test" set up working I'll apply it to them all.  

Also to revisit, how will I go about using one UPS with two servers?  Or would it be best to do the APC version that allows central management?  I don't mind paying if it's the best route to go and gives me some piece of mind.
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
If your server is hosted offsite then you should simply be able to supply it with valid credentials and it should relay.

As for the extra server, I though the Business Edition included an agent that could be installed on another server? I may ne wrong in which case you will need to download the network version (and pay for it) to give you the central management.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
On chat with RackSpace now to get our SMTP info and see if I can configure that.  You may in fact be right on the versions....I'll check in a minute.  However I'm thinking I might like to have central management of this.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Well so far so good, but the email notify isn't working.  I pulled the plug on it and it immediately told me that message to NAS02 to NAS02 failed. Clearly I have something wrong as I don't need it to message itself!
0
 
SteveIT ManagerCommented:
Make sure you add the e-mail server IP address into the relay option of your SMTP connector to allow the ip to relay.

I have added our UPS, copiers, switches and a few other ip's to enable report e-mails to be sent not blocked
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
The SMTP connector is not going to help if te exchange is offsite!

As long as you are using the correct credentials, you may need to use port 587 to connect to your exchange SMTP server if it's Exchange 2007 or 2010
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
it is exchange 2007 via RackSpace hosted service.  They gave me the following info to use: non ssl smtp is smtp.emailsrvr.com then a selection of ports to use.  However I'm a little confused on the set up from this standpoint.  In Powerchute it asks for your "SMTP" email address?  Are they just asking for my email address in general or am I supposed to use the above info in conjunction with my email address?

Thanks again for helping a relative newbie here.  I'm learning from you guys everyday!

0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
There will be somewhere to configure the server settings in powerchute.

Let me see if I can find it.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
There is a spot where I entered that info but then when you select to add recipients it asks for the "SMTP" email address.
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
When you add recipients this needs to be a valid email address on the exchange server
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Ok I got it.  I'm going to pull the power once more and see if it notifies me.  Amazing how these little things can get so complicated.  I'll need to award a bazzillion points for this!
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
I already see an issue, I'm working on the "agent" side of this, not the "server" side of this.  That is why I don't see what is in that paragraph apparently!
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
Ahhhh, so have you found where to make the changes?
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Well I realized that I had installed the "agent" and was configuring from there, not the "Server", that being said, when installing the "server" part when I try to configure, it asks for an I.P. address of the UPS, but I'm accessing this via USB, not an installed network card.  

I've been able to shut it down etc. and have it reboot when power is restored as it should before I installed the "server" edition, but given it can't communicate with the UPS without an I.P. address then I'm kind of stumped as what I should do.  

Just go back to the "stand alone" way I was doing and do that for each one?
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
Last time I installed the business edition it worked with USB UPS's

let me see what I can find out.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Doesn't appear to be now, unless I downloaded the wrong one.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
As you are configuring, you receive a window that says "configure discovery" and you enter a range of IP's.....still doesn't work for me.  But I'm no SAGE as you are there!
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
I see wise one, but I can't get it to "see" said UPS, and my email test failed during the config too!
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
Hmmm, I don't have access to test it at the moment but I will tomorrow.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Could I maybe need to open a port?  If so, where in the name of power failures do I do that?  I'm brain dead now!  I've done it before!
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
I'm fried for today I'll revisit tomorrow afternoon!
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Ok demazter....I'm back on this thing.  I think last I was trying to get the software to communicate via USB.  My test emails fail and it can't "see" the UPS.   So what do you think I need to do?
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
OK, I have just installed the free business edition and it is just the agents.
To install the tool to allow you to configure central management you need to BUY the 5 node version.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
I actually have gotten it completely configured for the "test" server and UPS I've been working on.  Had to go in and change the BIOS setting with regard to how it responds once power is restored, as it didn't want  to reboot according the APC.  It works fine.  However, the other UPS units as well as this one, are not on the "network" so how would I be able to have the management console see those?  Am I missing something obvious?
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
they would communicate with the Management server via the network, if this isn't available then it will not work.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Hmmm I see that there's a place to "configure discovery" but the only server it "sees" is the one the management console is installed on.   Where you enter the IP address range, for instance it already is listed as 10.0.0.* I can't add a specific range or specific IP.

Can I connect two servers to one UPS, install the agent and have the one UPS control both servers?
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
I have to be honest, I am not 100% sure.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Well, I'm finding out.  Adding the agent to another server that no one is accessing now, going to connect it via the serial cable and see if it will "discover" it.
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
done for the day!
0
 
Glen KnightCommented:
did you get any further forward?
0
 
macwalker1Author Commented:
Sorry for such a loooooong delay getting back to you folks.  Thanks for all your help.  I feel I have pretty much gotten these five servers to behave as they should in the event of a power failure.  I do however have issue with my SBS not "completely" shutting down as it should.  But I'll did into that more later.

Thanks for all your help.  Now on to the next issue with web server security!
0
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.