Eaton UPS Safely Protects Systems with Graceful Shutdown

 
 
By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2010-11-29
 
 
 

Eaton Intelligent Power Protector joins the UPS makers management suite to extend graceful shutdown of physical host systems including those hosting VMware virtual machines.

Intelligent Power Protector (IPP) started shipping on Oct. 4 and is available as part of a free download for up to 10 IP addresses. When IPP is combined with Eaton's Intelligent Power Manager and an Eaton plug-in for VMware vCenter 4, the combined package is a suite of tools that neatly handled the graceful shutdown of affected systems before the UPS battery power ran out. But only if your organization uses Eaton UPS hardware with specific controller cards.

IT managers who are accustomed to Eaton's mass configuration and management tool called IPM (Intelligent Power Manager) will have little trouble using IPP. IPP has every appearance of being built from modules pulled out of IPM to such an extent that the two products, although available as a suite, cannot be run on the same system. IT managers who used Eaton's Netwatch product should also have no trouble implementing the graceful shutdown policies provided in IPP.

I tested IPP using an Eaton UPS 9130 that provided conditioned power and battery back up for an HP DL360 G6 and an HP DL380 G6. The HP systems are part of the physical host infrastructure of the VMware vSphere 4 test environment at eWEEK Labs. I installed IPP on a Windows system on the same subnet as the HP servers. I also installed Eaton's management software along with a plug-in for vCenter 4 on the vCenter server. All instances of IPP and IPM used discovery tools to scan the network and find in the Eaton 9130.

IT administrators will need to plan for system security when using Eaton's IPP and IPM applications to control management costs. To access power sources--Eaton's term for UPS systems equipped with specific interface cards that provide management features--login/password credentials are usually required. While it is possible to change these credentials using management tools from Eaton there is a bit of variety between the UPS management cards such that passwords are sometimes advised and sometimes mandatory. Keeping track of machine and user credentials will be a non-trivial task for IT managers who are widely install Eaton UPS systems.

IPP controls local computer shutdown scenarios using timers that control duration and shutdown type, such as hibernation. There is enough flexibility in the shutdown configuration policy module to handle nearly every contingency. I set up policies to prioritize the DL380, which is the ESX host that runs most of the core infrastructure VMs including our lab domain controller and DNS server over the DL360. Systems can be put into hibernation mode, shutdown entirely or controlled with a shutdown script to perform custom actions. The shutdown module also controls the outlet action so that I was able to turn the outlet off after a power event or leave it active so that connected systems would come back on when utility power was restored.  

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