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APC Powerchute settings - Confused

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BH_apc
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196

APC Powerchute settings - Confused

This was originally posted on APC forums on 8/17/2009


I am really starting to get frustrated at APCs approach to the single server user base.

The documentation for the single agent power chute versions are incomplete and seemingly error prone (or omitting some serious points). As per a previous post of mine - is still seems there is a limit of 10:30 for an OS shutdown delay before power to a server is just pulled by the UPS. This means if you buy a UPS with 60 minutes of run time and tell it to shut down as soon as power fails - it is still going to cut power to your server after a maximum of 10:30 minutes - even if your server isn't done shutting down (and yes some servers do take that long!). So, if you have anything to the contrary on that - please let me know because all my tests indicate that to be the case and no one from APC has yet been able to tell me otherwise.

That being said - I'm upgrading and installing some new SmartUPS using the newer web-based agent (instead of the console). As always, terminology has changed and it isn't well documented.

I have under "Protected System" the following:
Time Required For Shutdown Sequence 20 Minutes
Low Battery Signal 120 Seconds
Command File Enabled No
OS Shutdown Delay 10:30 Minutes:Seconds
OS Shutdown Type Shutdown

I don't know if this is correct, because the definitions are very lacking and are further confused by the fact that you also need to configure similar settings under the ACTIONS category under Events.

What I need to do is simply trigger a shutdown event after on battery power for 2 minutes. Then, after 2 minutes on battery - begin system shutdown and use ALL available battery charge to allow for shutdown (I don't care if the battery get's depleted...but if there are 35 minutes of run time on the battery - then allow for 35 minutes of shutdown). Contrary to the way that APC wants us to think - I have never seen a Smart-UPS device shutdown based on any signal from the server - it just shuts down after a pre-determined time. So, if there is a server that may take 10 minutes to shut-down, but sometimes takes 20 - well then I don't have a choice to tell my UPS to shut down after 10:30. I need to maximize the security for these devices.

So I need to understand what settings to have under protected systems. I also need better documentation to how the ACTIONS page relates to these settings. It appears that by default the green shutdown bubbles are only enabled for Critical events. Well, Power Failed isn't considered a critical event and therefore by default there isn't a shutdown - so I am very confused how to tell it that 2 minutes after power fails begin a shutdown event. Because the Low Battery Critical event is defined as "The UPS has dropped below its low battery signal time." - but, as always, that term isn't really defined or used elsewhere in the same capacity.

I'm hardly in the minority of small businesses who want to do EXACTLY what I want - in fact I would think the majority of users want:
* To shut down after a couple minutes of on power (to ensure it isn't just a transient event)
* To maximize their time for shutting down the server (as it varies depending on uptime, services running, etc).

Please assist me in understanding how to properly configure this and (if you are an APC employee) why this is so counter-intuitive and difficult even for someone with years of experience in IT (and with other power vendors).

Thank You


Accepted Solutions
BH_apc
Ensign
Ensign
0 Likes
0
196

APC Powerchute settings - Confused

This was originally posted on APC forums on 8/17/2009


I am really starting to get frustrated at APCs approach to the single server user base.

The documentation for the single agent power chute versions are incomplete and seemingly error prone (or omitting some serious points). As per a previous post of mine - is still seems there is a limit of 10:30 for an OS shutdown delay before power to a server is just pulled by the UPS. This means if you buy a UPS with 60 minutes of run time and tell it to shut down as soon as power fails - it is still going to cut power to your server after a maximum of 10:30 minutes - even if your server isn't done shutting down (and yes some servers do take that long!). So, if you have anything to the contrary on that - please let me know because all my tests indicate that to be the case and no one from APC has yet been able to tell me otherwise.

That being said - I'm upgrading and installing some new SmartUPS using the newer web-based agent (instead of the console). As always, terminology has changed and it isn't well documented.

I have under "Protected System" the following:
Time Required For Shutdown Sequence 20 Minutes
Low Battery Signal 120 Seconds
Command File Enabled No
OS Shutdown Delay 10:30 Minutes:Seconds
OS Shutdown Type Shutdown

I don't know if this is correct, because the definitions are very lacking and are further confused by the fact that you also need to configure similar settings under the ACTIONS category under Events.

What I need to do is simply trigger a shutdown event after on battery power for 2 minutes. Then, after 2 minutes on battery - begin system shutdown and use ALL available battery charge to allow for shutdown (I don't care if the battery get's depleted...but if there are 35 minutes of run time on the battery - then allow for 35 minutes of shutdown). Contrary to the way that APC wants us to think - I have never seen a Smart-UPS device shutdown based on any signal from the server - it just shuts down after a pre-determined time. So, if there is a server that may take 10 minutes to shut-down, but sometimes takes 20 - well then I don't have a choice to tell my UPS to shut down after 10:30. I need to maximize the security for these devices.

So I need to understand what settings to have under protected systems. I also need better documentation to how the ACTIONS page relates to these settings. It appears that by default the green shutdown bubbles are only enabled for Critical events. Well, Power Failed isn't considered a critical event and therefore by default there isn't a shutdown - so I am very confused how to tell it that 2 minutes after power fails begin a shutdown event. Because the Low Battery Critical event is defined as "The UPS has dropped below its low battery signal time." - but, as always, that term isn't really defined or used elsewhere in the same capacity.

I'm hardly in the minority of small businesses who want to do EXACTLY what I want - in fact I would think the majority of users want:
* To shut down after a couple minutes of on power (to ensure it isn't just a transient event)
* To maximize their time for shutting down the server (as it varies depending on uptime, services running, etc).

Please assist me in understanding how to properly configure this and (if you are an APC employee) why this is so counter-intuitive and difficult even for someone with years of experience in IT (and with other power vendors).

Thank You

See Answer In Context

2 Replies 2
BH_apc
Ensign
Ensign
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196

Re: APC Powerchute settings - Confused

This was originally posted on APC forums on 8/17/2009


Thanks Voidstar...that issue is pretty dated by now as it was a Service Pack 1 fix which has been on most servers for 2-3 years.
A small business server can take a long time to shut down (or startup) not just due to those issues, but also due to Exchange logs being committed and flushed, SQL databases starting and stopping (the monitoring service seems to often delay things when used). I occasionally run into servers that appear to be running clean according to their logs, and even after some deeper debugging there isn't always a solution. One can try to script the shutdown of the services first - which can sometimes help.

Often, after applying patches (or if in the middle of applying patches) if power goes out the server may take extended periods. My major concern with the SmartUPS (or at least the powerchute software that they provide) is that you can't take advantage of what you pay for. If a client pays for a UPS with 30 minutes of runtime - they should be able to have 30 minutes to shutdown - and not have power yanked away after only 10 minutes. There are VERY FEW smaller businesses which want to choose the options to "maximize runtime" when configuring a UPS. After all with most UPS systems these companies use you are going to get maybe 10 mins runtime on a low-end model and maybe 45 mins on a high-end. When power goes out, an organization is more interested in conserving their data and safe shutdowns - not doing an extra 30 minutes of work! This isn't true of course of organizations that need 24/7 uptime - but those organization's generally don't need to much time on their UPSes before the generators kick in anyway!

Hopefully there are some powerchute Gurus out there - since out of 5 people that I have spoken with from APC give 5 different answers on how things are "supposed to work"

thanks

BH_apc
Ensign
Ensign
0 Likes
0
197

APC Powerchute settings - Confused

This was originally posted on APC forums on 8/17/2009


I am really starting to get frustrated at APCs approach to the single server user base.

The documentation for the single agent power chute versions are incomplete and seemingly error prone (or omitting some serious points). As per a previous post of mine - is still seems there is a limit of 10:30 for an OS shutdown delay before power to a server is just pulled by the UPS. This means if you buy a UPS with 60 minutes of run time and tell it to shut down as soon as power fails - it is still going to cut power to your server after a maximum of 10:30 minutes - even if your server isn't done shutting down (and yes some servers do take that long!). So, if you have anything to the contrary on that - please let me know because all my tests indicate that to be the case and no one from APC has yet been able to tell me otherwise.

That being said - I'm upgrading and installing some new SmartUPS using the newer web-based agent (instead of the console). As always, terminology has changed and it isn't well documented.

I have under "Protected System" the following:
Time Required For Shutdown Sequence 20 Minutes
Low Battery Signal 120 Seconds
Command File Enabled No
OS Shutdown Delay 10:30 Minutes:Seconds
OS Shutdown Type Shutdown

I don't know if this is correct, because the definitions are very lacking and are further confused by the fact that you also need to configure similar settings under the ACTIONS category under Events.

What I need to do is simply trigger a shutdown event after on battery power for 2 minutes. Then, after 2 minutes on battery - begin system shutdown and use ALL available battery charge to allow for shutdown (I don't care if the battery get's depleted...but if there are 35 minutes of run time on the battery - then allow for 35 minutes of shutdown). Contrary to the way that APC wants us to think - I have never seen a Smart-UPS device shutdown based on any signal from the server - it just shuts down after a pre-determined time. So, if there is a server that may take 10 minutes to shut-down, but sometimes takes 20 - well then I don't have a choice to tell my UPS to shut down after 10:30. I need to maximize the security for these devices.

So I need to understand what settings to have under protected systems. I also need better documentation to how the ACTIONS page relates to these settings. It appears that by default the green shutdown bubbles are only enabled for Critical events. Well, Power Failed isn't considered a critical event and therefore by default there isn't a shutdown - so I am very confused how to tell it that 2 minutes after power fails begin a shutdown event. Because the Low Battery Critical event is defined as "The UPS has dropped below its low battery signal time." - but, as always, that term isn't really defined or used elsewhere in the same capacity.

I'm hardly in the minority of small businesses who want to do EXACTLY what I want - in fact I would think the majority of users want:
* To shut down after a couple minutes of on power (to ensure it isn't just a transient event)
* To maximize their time for shutting down the server (as it varies depending on uptime, services running, etc).

Please assist me in understanding how to properly configure this and (if you are an APC employee) why this is so counter-intuitive and difficult even for someone with years of experience in IT (and with other power vendors).

Thank You