[SASAG] VMware Server UPS Management

Kurt Buff kurt.buff at gmail.com
Wed Oct 17 11:59:24 PDT 2007


On 10/17/07, Lee Damon <nomad at castle.org> wrote:
> I'm using apcupsd to monitor my UPSs.  It has a network mode that can
> listen to the one box (also running apcupsd) that has the UPS connection
> and DTRT when the UPS signals a problem.
>
> Of course this means I get 8 notices every time the power flickers but
> that's better than none.
>
> note: I have no idea if apcupsd is available for windows but I expect
> there are equivalent programs out there.
>
> nomad
>
> Eric Kahklen wrote:
> > As the threat of windstorms presents itself, I started to double check
> > our APC systems for the small number of servers we have.  This summer I
> > began testing VMware Server running a few Windows 2003 Guests.
> > Unfortunately the APC Power Chute agents can't see the UPS's because I
> > cannot physically connect the guest via a USB or serial cable.  Has
> > anyone found a good solution for this type of situation? I'd also be
> > interested what other people are doing for battery backup solutions in a
> > small environment.
> >
> > Thanks,
> > Eric

I have used the APC software that comes with the UPS to initiate
shutdown for the machine that is connected via the serial port, using
an external batch file.

It makes sense that the OS providing the hosting would be able to do
the same for itself, after issuing appropriate commands to the guests.
In particular, Win2k3 has its own shutdown command that can be used to
shut down remote machines, and if that proves unsatisfactory, you can
use PSShutdown, which is a utility from the former Sysinternals team,
and which can be found at http://www.microsoft.com/sysinternals -
however, you'll want to be aware that these tools now require you to
dismiss a popup EULA statement upon first use, though I find the
Sysinternals tools to be invaluable nonetheless, and recommend all of
them.

Also, if the APC unit comes with network connectivity, getting the
appropriate MIB and monitoring the UPS for a switch to battery power
will allow your network monitoring tool to react and issue graceful
shutdown commands to the guests and host, assuming it has that
capability. The tools I'm using currently - Servers Alive - certainly
can, again, via an external batch file. The interesting thing about
Servers Alive (last I checked) is that it's free for monitoring up to
10 clients, and does monitor SNMP as well as pull data from web pages,
so this might be a reasonable alternative for you. Find it at
http://woodstone.nu/salive/features.asp

Kurt



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