Schedule Power Outage of Server Room

Scheduled Power Outage in server room

hey All - our building is having a scheduled power outage and i need to power off every electrical appliance in the office and server room, i am hoping to get some advice and tips on what to backup and how i should power back on and what i should power on first. would love some advice

here is what i have

DC - bare metal backup
DNS - need to figure out how to backup
DHCP - will backup if needed
AD - will backup
exchange svr 2010 hybrid environment - not sure if i need to backup, will look into it
file server - full backup
radius server -
network switch - backup running config
firewall - backup running config
wireless controller - backup running config
router - backup config
APC - power off
IT GuyAsked:
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Massimiliano LoiSenior System EngineerCommented:
Weird you don't have UPS and/or a plan to manage this.
Anyway, by reading your "inventory", I would proceed shutting down the following way:

- backup servers
- "normal" servers (file server, radius, dhcp and so on)
- Exchange server
- Domain Controllers (and DNS)
- Firewall
- Router
- Switches

Backups should always be good and tested (even if you don't have to switch off the datacenter).

Hope this helps.


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IT GuyAuthor Commented:
we have 2 UPS - but the outage is for 15 hours
William FulksSystems Analyst & WebmasterCommented:
Since different servers take different amounts of time to boot, the order you turn them back on really doesn't matter.

What's more important is that you also unplug everything from the power, especially if they are doing some kind of power-related maintenance in the building. We recently did the same thing in our server room and both shut down and unplugged everything.

As far as backups go, I would play it safe and do a full image backup of everything if you have the capacity to store that. Older servers sometimes have a not-so-funny way of not wanting to turn back on after you power them off.
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JohnBusiness Consultant (Owner)Commented:
We have done this.

Users turn off their workstations in an orderly way.
Shut down servers and like gear in an orderly way as noted above.

Leave the Network gear on until the end and either leave it on to shut down in time or shut it down at the end. Depends on the size of your UPS and the Network gear power draw.
nociSoftware EngineerCommented:
A clean shutdown should not require an EXTRA backup... order has been given before

when power is restored...
first get your network back up (routers, switches, ....)   then dhcp, dns, radius server, firewall and other network management related servers,   wifi is non critical and can be done later. or no need to wait for.
From the servers start with your DC, then the remaining systems.
UPS are not meant to keep your systems up when power goes out.  A UPS is there to allow you to initiate a safe shutdown of the server when an outage occurs.  If you planning on keeping the systems up and running, then you need backup power, which is completely different, and separate, from UPS.  You still need a UPS with backup power.

If your servers still use spinning disks for boot, then you should definitely have backup, and extra replacement disks ready; definitely if those disks are over 2-3 years old.

Having had to deal with quarterly power outages over a 3 year span, with half of them lasting well over 2 hours, I found that the DC/DNS needed to come up first, or around the same time as your network switches, routers and firewalls.  You should have a newer, faster physical DC to allow a quicker start process, if you have frequent power outages.   I usually power up the switches right at the same time as the physical DC/DNS.

VMs need to wait for ESX systems to start before they will start, and that can take much longer than you expect, depending on how you configured the BIOS for startup. ESX can also takes several minutes to start, and will severely delay the VMs from coming up.  If your DCs are only VMs, you'll have to wait a very long time before you can start some network equipment.  You should have documentation for this.  Some firewalls (with VPNs) may be dependent on the DC and DNS for authentication and you may have to restart them if they came up before DNS, otherwise some authentication functions don't work, or you have to manually rebind them.
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