Looking for a device that will monitor the electricity and shuts down servers after x time

Posted on 2012-08-13
Last Modified: 2012-08-29
I am looking for a physical device that will monitor our 120volt line and when a power outage happens, will send a signal to all our servers telling them to shutdown.

Our servers are on ups and this is usually the job of the ups but we have 2 APC Symetra LX 16kva ups and tried PCNS but it is not working at all, I tried with their tech support and blabla at the end they couldn't fix it. So there must be some company who is building devices that would do the trick.

thank you
Question by:SigSupport
    LVL 33

    Accepted Solution

    First off, I wouldn't accept that answer from APC.  Keep moving up their chain of command until you get a satisfactory response.

    In the meanwhile, how about getting a small UPS - maybe from another company like CyberPower - and see if that software works on your servers.  If so, you could use the small UPS just for signaling/shutdown purposes.
    LVL 30

    Expert Comment

    APC makes one of the better products out there and a lot of major server rooms are using their product(Microsoft).

    If you have a reseller nearby,they should have a tech that can analyze your issues.

    For the amount of money you spent,I cannot believe it was installed without testing everything for functionality.
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    APC's PowerChute is supposed to work with multiple servers:  If it isn't, get a different tech or manager.

    Author Comment

    The small ups in a good workaround paumacd, I'll check it out.

    Concerning your comments about APC, yes I agree, a big company like this should not provide crap but the issue is more complicated. The ticket was open for months and we looked to a lot of stuff. It is easy for a company like them to tell us it is not an apc's problem it is either a Microsoft Windows problem, a firewall in between problem, a switching routing problem etc.
    At the end, their crappy interface does not provide a plain simple stupid "Test Now" button and that's why after months and countless hour spent on it with them I abandoned.
    Since a could not simply do a test from one of the UPS to one test server that I didn't mind shutting down, we couldn't figure out the problem.
    Their "test" they were proposing to me was to uninstall pcsn on all server except one test server (right there that was unacceptable, too much work) and then removing all client listed on that server except the test one, shutdown all servers attach to that UPS and do real ups unplug testing on Saturday nights and Sunday nights and see where was the problem. All this because they were not providing a simple test algorithm, so I told them "you suck forget it" and they were quite happy to close the ticket and not send it to a higher level in the company. Even though I probably have around 100 000$ of their equipment in my server room, they really ARE NOT client oriented and I learn that the hard way.
    LVL 33

    Expert Comment

    I'd still pick it back up with APC.  Ask to speak to the managers' manager's manager.  Keep going up.  Eventually you'll get a suit who doesn't want you going over his head...

    Regarding the PCNS software - how does it connect to the UPSes?  USB?  TCP/IP?  If it's TCP/IP, can you put something like WireShark on a host and see what traffic goes back and forth between the host and the UPS?

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