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UPS Monitoring Matrix 9 April 2007

Posted by Mark in VMware Server.

I spent part of my Sunday reading through the nut and apcupsd manuals to get more familiar with these packages. All my research is theoretical at this stage; I just needed to make a decision about which UPS monitoring package to invest my time in this week.  Both of these packages have a good executive overview of power management configuration.  As I suspected in my comment to Saturday’s post, these are useful reading to plan your power management conceptually before getting tangled in the quirks of rpm -i‘s or make install‘s.

I realized that I better make sure I have a client machine running the monitor in my rack that can control power management. It won’t do to have the UPS beeping at me and all of my desktop machines dead because their lightweight batteries caused a shutdown before the rack UPS ran out of juice.  And I also came to the realization that I would have to get the courage up to do a simulated shutdown at some stage before one happened at a less opportune time.

Here is a matrix comparing the three UPS monitoring software packages on the key points I needed:

  PowerChute apcupsd nut
All components can run on Linux No Yes Yes
Requires Linux GUI N/A No No
LogWatch monitoring ? 1 2
Big Brother monitoring (deadcat) Yes Yes Yes
Package maintenance (yum) No No No3
Shutdown for these slave OSes
Linux Yes Yes Yes
Solaris Yes Yes Yes
Windows Yes Yes Yes
  1. “The apcupsd philosophy is that all logging should be done through the syslog facility”.
  2. Looks trivial to set up with upslog client.
  3. The only official releases from this project are source code.

In conclusion, I am going to put my money on the nut horse.   I gave up on PowerChute early on since it gave me the impression it was not seriously addressing the Unix world (and I wouldn’t be able to do much to change that).  Nut looks like it has a cleaner design than apcupsd, though it may lag behind somewhat in implementation.  I hope I am not disappointed in WinNUT as a simple client to shutdown virtual Windows PCs, but I will at least give it a try.


1. Jon - 15 May 2008

Could you let me know what you’re conclusions were regarding APC UPS software for Linux? I’ve just got an APC SmartUPS 750I for a new server I’m setting up and discovered as you did that the APC Linux software isn’t up to much.

How far did you get with NUT? Did you also try apcupsd?

I was hoping you could save me some time by giving me a few more details!

I’m running Red Hat Enterprise v5.1 in case you’re curious..


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