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APC Network Shutdown - UPS never shut down in power outage, thus servers never came back up

Posted on 2013-11-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-24
We have a SmartUPS 1500 with a network management card 2.  We have four servers that are hooked to it and get their signaling (Windows) from the card via the Powerchute network shut down system.

The unit and servers are remote, so it's not easy for us to start them remotely.

The situation that occurred - power went out, long enough that all the servers shut down.  The UPS itself never shut down though, so when power came back up and stayed up, the servers never powered up.

Now we know there is a setting in the network shutdown agent to power down UPS after the server shuts down - but that's making a big assumption we feel.  We have four servers - how will we know which one will shut down LAST, thus signaling the UPS to shut down.  Make sense?

Anyone have any ways around this they've found?

Thanks.
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Question by:dipersp
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by:Sommerblink
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It has been a while since I've used that particular model of UPS, but I remember that there was a setting in the Management interface called "UPS Turn Off Delay" or the like.

If you shoot me the exact model number (unless it is the SMT1500), I used this document: http://www.apcmedia.com/salestools/SCON-7NBSEM/SCON-7NBSEM_R6_EN.pdf

On PDF page 13, printed page 11, there in the Configuration settings it discusses the Turn off Delay, on when the UPS will remove power from the UPS before actually removing power to the outlet.

As far as finding out how quickly servers shutdown, this will be determined by real-world experiences, and downtime.

And some sage advice in the Powerchute user manual:
IMPORTANT:
After installing and configuring PowerChute Business Edition, we strongly recommend that you test your configuration before relying on it in a production environment.

I would probably recommend installing some network-capable switched PDUs. APC also sells these. This way you can flip the power of a server remotely.
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by:dipersp
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SUA1500.  The link you have should be close enough.

Yes, understood on that setting about removing power from the UPS.  But "guessing" at how long the servers will take to shut down or which will go down first doesn't fly for us.  It would be NICE if APC had a way to see that there is no longer a load on the outlet (Or we can set what the max load can be to define this.)  Obviously this isn't there today, so was hoping for some other thoughts/ideas.

The switched PDUs are great and we do deploy some of these, but powering them up when everything is offline doesn't help unfortunately (Remotely.)

Any other thoughts out there?
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Sommerblink earned 500 total points
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Well, if you set the BIOS to the setting that "Always Power On" when power is applied will be what you want to configure on the server. This way, even if stuff doesn't go right in a power-loss event, you can still kill the switched port(s) and then switch them back on to boot the server.

Also, remote management cards would be great in order to get an out-of-band status report on the server in question.

Another thing that I do for less important servers (provide services which are tolerant of fault), if the BIOS provides provides it, they allow the server to power on every day at a certain time. This way if I accidentally power off a machine or a machine goes offline, at 4AM (or whatever) tomorrow, the machine will power itself back on again.
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by:dipersp
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We'll need to play with this in the lab a bit.  Going to close this out for now.  

Part of the issue is, if EVERYTHING is powered down by the UPS, we don't have a way to get back in remotely, so. . .
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