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Questions for NMC and Powerchute Shutdown

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nlynton_apc
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Questions for NMC and Powerchute Shutdown

This was originally posted on APC forums on 6/26/2017


I haven't used Powerchute in a good number of years, so this will be essentially new to me.  We have recently gotten 3 5000 UPS and 1 3000, all with NMC 2 cards.  After some difficulty with one of the cards (it would only take a DHCP issued address, none of the other 4 methods would work), I have gotten the NMC cards on the network.  These will be on different networks, so essentially it will be one NMC for each "domain". So for example I have windows domain A, B, C and D.  These are each on a separate network which cannot talk to another. 

Unfortunately due to the way we are set up, the servers are dispersed across the network and not all the servers are actually powered by the controlling UPS.  They are powered by different UPSs (one of the 4 with NMC) across the domains.  Each UPS will be responsible for detecting a power outage and notifying servers to shutdown.  I eventually hope to put the correct servers on the correct UPSs in their respective domain, so that the affected servers are directly powered.  But I cannot do that at the moment.

Now that you have the background, my intention is to use the UPSs as shutdown providers for all the servers on the same "domain".  If I install and configure powerchute network shutdown (on each desired server) to use the NMC on it's "domain", but same network (even if it's not physically powered by the UPS) will it respond to shutdown commands?  I know I will have to do a bit of juggling to get the correct shutdown times for battery time (my problem), but I just wanted to make sure that I wasn't missing something obvious about using NMC to shutdown servers it isn't directly powering.

About rebooting.  How does that actually work?  If I keep the setting for keeping the UPS "on" when all the servers have gracefully shutdown (is this a time thing?), will the windows servers reboot automatically when the power comes back on?  How does it do this or how can I accomplish this?

What Configure event settings in PCNS and or NMC do I need to configure to accomplish my goal?

Thanks.


Accepted Solutions
BillP
Administrator Administrator
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Re: Questions for NMC and Powerchute Shutdown

This reply was originally posted by Bill on APC forums on 6/26/2017


Hi,

On 6/26/2017 10:43 AM, Norman said:

Is 30 minutes the actual longest time that the UPS will remain on battery?

No, The low battery duration is how much remaining runtime is available when the UPS will signal low battery. So, if you set the low battery duration to 30 minutes when the battery reaches 29 minutes of runtime the UPS and NMC will signal low battery. All PCNS clients that are listening to the NMC will begin the OS shutdown. 

On 6/26/2017 10:43 AM, Norman said:

Is there a setting somewhere else that I can initiate shutdown if the battery drops to say, 10% capacity?

Nope. Shutdown is based on runtime. I have entered an enhancement request to allow for shutdown based on percentage. I hope to see the feature in a future release. As for now you can configure low battery on the NMC, configure PCNS to start a shutdown after the UPS has been on battery for X amount of time, or configure PCNS to start a shutdown when runtime remaining fall below X time.  Using the PCNS features you can stagger the shutdown of units. Shutdown events are discussed in the help file and User's Guide starting on page 46. 

See Answer In Context

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BillP
Administrator Administrator
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Re: Questions for NMC and Powerchute Shutdown

This reply was originally posted by Bill on APC forums on 6/26/2017


Hi,

On 6/26/2017 9:03 AM, Norman said:

If I install and configure powerchute network shutdown (on each desired server) to use the NMC on it's "domain", but same network (even if it's not physically powered by the UPS) will it respond to shutdown commands?

Yes. All systems that are on the same network segment with the NMC and configured to listen to the NMC IP address will receive a shutdown command. The NMC will send out a broadcast message that all configured PowerChute clients will react to. See Application Note 101 for more information. 

On 6/26/2017 9:03 AM, Norman said:

About rebooting.  How does that actually work?  If I keep the setting for keeping the UPS "on" when all the servers have gracefully shutdown (is this a time thing?), will the windows servers reboot automatically when the power comes back on?  How does it do this or how can I accomplish this?

In your configuration I suggest power the servers up manually since AC may be restored to the servers but not to the UPS/NMC they are listening to. If the UPS/NMC is not back on line the servers could power up and then down again. 

In most normal configurations the server is plugged into the UPS. When AC is lost the NMC informs PowerChute and the server is power down. If the NMC has been programmed to do so the UPS will cut power to it outlets and the UPS will power down. When AC is restored the UPS will power back up and restore power to the outlets. Assuming the server have been configured properly via the system BIOS the servers will power back up when AC is restored. 

nlynton_apc
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Re: Questions for NMC and Powerchute Shutdown

This was originally posted on APC forums on 6/26/2017


Thanks for the quick answers!  You have answered my pressing questions.

I do have one more question.  I was intending that my run time on battery be around 1 to 1.5 hours before shutdown.  I want to maximize the time the servers stay up. We are in a brown out area and power outages usually last no more than an hour, so i wanted to see if we could ride out the outage.  I see on the configuration menu that the low battery duration (which I read as, the amount of time on battery and off AC), is between 0-30 minutes.  Is 30 minutes the actual longest time that the UPS will remain on battery?

Is there a setting somewhere else that I can initiate shutdown if the battery drops to say, 10% capacity?

BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
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113

Re: Questions for NMC and Powerchute Shutdown

This reply was originally posted by Bill on APC forums on 6/26/2017


Hi,

On 6/26/2017 10:43 AM, Norman said:

Is 30 minutes the actual longest time that the UPS will remain on battery?

No, The low battery duration is how much remaining runtime is available when the UPS will signal low battery. So, if you set the low battery duration to 30 minutes when the battery reaches 29 minutes of runtime the UPS and NMC will signal low battery. All PCNS clients that are listening to the NMC will begin the OS shutdown. 

On 6/26/2017 10:43 AM, Norman said:

Is there a setting somewhere else that I can initiate shutdown if the battery drops to say, 10% capacity?

Nope. Shutdown is based on runtime. I have entered an enhancement request to allow for shutdown based on percentage. I hope to see the feature in a future release. As for now you can configure low battery on the NMC, configure PCNS to start a shutdown after the UPS has been on battery for X amount of time, or configure PCNS to start a shutdown when runtime remaining fall below X time.  Using the PCNS features you can stagger the shutdown of units. Shutdown events are discussed in the help file and User's Guide starting on page 46.