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A couple questions configuring PCNS

APC UPS Data Center & Enterprise Solutions Forum

Schneider Electric support forum for our Data Center and Business Power UPS, UPS Accessories, Software, Services, and associated commercial products designed to share knowledge, installation, and configuration.

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DrewMarold_apc
Ensign
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A couple questions configuring PCNS

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/4/2016


When configuring the Shutdown settings on the NMC, what's the difference between "Start of Shutdown: Low battery duration", and "Controlled Early Shutdown: UPS runtime remaining is less than XX minutes"? The help file says the former "Defines how long the UPS can continue to run on battery power after a low-battery condition occurs." Does this mean the value I put here establishes what constitutes a low battery condition? How is this different from the runtime remaining value further down?

The second question is, if pcns is monitoring more than one ups, is it possible to tell which one triggered an event? So for example I'm monitoring 2 ups', each of which protects a different set of equipment. Ups1 loses power, starts to run low on battery, and triggers a shutdown event. Is there a way of knowing who triggered the event, so a script could shutdown the stuff on ups1, but not on ups2?

Thanks!

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BillP
Administrator Administrator
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Re: A couple questions configuring PCNS

This reply was originally posted by Bill on APC forums on 3/7/2016


Hi,

For case 1 you should follow the scenario on page 11 of Application Note 180. Even though the site is not geographically different this scenario will work. 

For case 2 you can trigger shutdown of UPS based on low battery and or a threshold violation. So if the High temperature threshold is violated or the Maximum temperature threshold is violated if configured a shutdown will happen or a command can be run.  You cannot configure PCNS to run a command file if the High temperature threshold is violated and then shutdown when the Maximum threshold is violated. However, you can have a command file run if a temperature violation happens and then have another command file run when low battery is hit and the UPS is commanded to shut down. 

See Answer In Context

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voidstar_apc
Janeway
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Re: A couple questions configuring PCNS

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/5/2016


On 3/4/2016 3:53 PM, Drew said:

The help file says the former "Defines how long the UPS can continue to run on battery power after a low-battery condition occurs." Does this mean the value I put here establishes what constitutes a low battery condition?

Bingo. Note that the "low battery condition" doesn't directly shut down the UPS. Rather it just alerts any PCNS client that they must shut down. Those PCNS clients may tell the UPS to shut down.

The "Controlled Early Shutdown" actually triggers a UPS shut down. So in practice there are three ways to shut the UPS down: PCNS conditions, Controlled Early Shutdown*, and Outlet Group Load Shedding*. First condition to trigger shutdown wins. 

* Depends on UPS model

The second question is, if pcns is monitoring more than one ups, is it possible to tell which one triggered an event?

I'm not sure -- maybe a PCNS expert here can help. You can certainly log into the NMC and check the logs.

BillP
Administrator Administrator
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Re: A couple questions configuring PCNS

This reply was originally posted by Bill on APC forums on 3/7/2016


Hi,

On 3/4/2016 3:53 PM, Drew said:

The second question is, if pcns is monitoring more than one ups, is it possible to tell which one triggered an event? So for example I'm monitoring 2 ups', each of which protects a different set of equipment. Ups1 loses power, starts to run low on battery, and triggers a shutdown event. Is there a way of knowing who triggered the event, so a script could shutdown the stuff on ups1, but not on ups2?

I need to know the version of PCNS installed and how you have PCNS configured e.g. Redundant UPS, Advanced Redundant UPS? Basically, with Redundant UPS PCNS will only react if the is an event on both UPS. With Advanced Redundant UPS you can configure PCNS to react to an event on only one of the UPS. PCNS versions 4.0 and 4.1 offer Advanced Redundant UPS configuration. 

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DrewMarold_apc
Ensign
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259

Re: A couple questions configuring PCNS

This was originally posted on APC forums on 3/7/2016


I'm looking at this for a couple scenarios. In all cases I'm running 4.1. I have 4 SmartUPS RT6000RMXL with varying stacks of battery packs, spread across several racks. A couple of them have temperature probes plugged into the NMC to monitor the lab temperature. My primary use is in reacting to temperature events, with a lesser concern over power.

Use case #1: Shutting down VSphere cluster. I have a 6 host vsphere cluster, all in the same rack connected to one ups. vCenter is installed on a physical Windows server, which is in a different rack & ups, and pcns is running on that server as well. I configured it as Advanced, and added the ups that powers the cluster rack, and a ups with one of the temp probes. In Host Protection, I added all the ESXi hosts to the ups that powers the rack. In Shutdown Settings, for both I have selected 'virtualization shutdown', and 'Shut down PC server'. Enabled vm shutdown/startup in Virtualization Settings. On the NMC page, I set a Low Battery Duration of 15 minutes.

So with all that, I want it to shutdown the cluster if either we're low on battery, or the temp is too high. If I understand it correctly from some of the other threads I read, when it hits the 15 minutes remaining mark, it's going to trigger the shutdown, and I don't have to explicitly select that for the runtime events. Is that correct? For the temperature event, the description just says 'out of range'. Does that mean it hit the warning threshold, or the critical threshold? I'm guessing it's the latter but just want to be sure.

Use case #2: Shutdown everything else. Here's where knowing which ups triggered an event comes into play.  I will preface this by saying I'm probably straying into 'trying to be too slick for my own good' territory here. But the idea is to have pcns running on one server, monitoring all the ups'. Since they're all going to have different runtimes based on load & number of battery packs, I was thinking that a low battery event on ups X, triggers a script to shutdown the equipment protected by that particular unit. This would keep the infrastructure up as long as possible during a power event, maybe even proactively shutting some stuff down early to keep more the more critical things up longer. High temperature events could trigger from multiple sources, and would initiate full shutdown.

I've been trying to automate some of this disaster response stuff for some time, I'm psyched to try and leverage PCNS as much as I can to handle it for me.

BillP
Administrator Administrator
Administrator
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260

Re: A couple questions configuring PCNS

This reply was originally posted by Bill on APC forums on 3/7/2016


Hi,

For case 1 you should follow the scenario on page 11 of Application Note 180. Even though the site is not geographically different this scenario will work. 

For case 2 you can trigger shutdown of UPS based on low battery and or a threshold violation. So if the High temperature threshold is violated or the Maximum temperature threshold is violated if configured a shutdown will happen or a command can be run.  You cannot configure PCNS to run a command file if the High temperature threshold is violated and then shutdown when the Maximum threshold is violated. However, you can have a command file run if a temperature violation happens and then have another command file run when low battery is hit and the UPS is commanded to shut down.