Friday, November 04, 2005

UPS Protection Reminder

So you don’t work in the enterprise… what does that mean? Well, for one, it means that Liebert (Emerson) isn’t likely going to come out and help you architect a power-solution for your customer’s new “server-closet”. Now, they’ll do a bang-up job if you’re putting together a new datacenter, but for 1 – 5 servers? They’re probably overkill.

Beyond that, I’ll tell you what it doesn’t mean. And I almost can’t believe I have to post something like this; but it doesn’t mean that you can ignore scheduling servers to shutdown gracefully in the event of a power-outage. Those UPS devices that you have connected to your customer’s servers do more than protect against power-events like brownouts. Like 99% of them are smart, they’ll detect a power-outage, look at the power-usage, and determine a good time to send a shutdown signal to your servers.

Those of you working in a medium, or enterprise environment take this for granted. I do too when I’m doing integration work for an enterprise customer - it's just a given. But I can’t tell you how often I’ll visit a potential client on the SMB side of the business, only to find that the previous IT group responsible for their servers neglected to install the software/agents for managing power-outages.

What, you have multiple servers connected to 1 UPS?

No problem.

Software agents get installed on the servers that don’t have the hardwired (USB, serial) connection (You can even buy add-on cards that let you hardwire multiple servers to one UPS). When a power-outage happens, the UPS talks to the hard-wired server, who then sends shutdown signals to the agents running on the other “clients”.

It’s that simple. Don’t risk your customer relationships, or data corruption on something like this.

Go check out Liebert, APC, Tripp-lite, … whoever… everyone makes something that will work. Just make sure you get the communication cable and configure the shutdowns.

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