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Schneider and Dell integrate UPS, HCI for graceful shutdown

For when the outage lasts so long that your UPS runs out of charge

Schneider Electric has teamed up with Dell Technologies on an automated shutdown system for hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI), based on the integration of its APC PowerChute with Dell's VxRail HCI platform.

According to Schneider, this new capability was developed as part of a joint effort with Dell to try to reduce the complexity of the hybrid IT environment.

The idea is to ensure a graceful shutdown of all the virtual machines and their workloads operating on a VxRail cluster in a situation where mains power has failed, but the uninterruptible power supply (UPS) has exhausted its battery runtime.

“When power is interrupted and UPSs extend past their battery runtime, our partners can’t just flip a switch and shut down operations,” said Schneider's SVP of EcoStruxure Solutions, Kevin Brown.

Instead, there has to be a proper shutdown process, or organizations risk losing work or corrupting data held on their systems.

The integration brings together three components: UPS equipment from Schneider's APC subsidiary, the APC PowerChute software, and Dell's VxRail, an integrated and pre-configured platform that stands up HCI running a VMware-based environment.

The APC PowerChute software communicates over the network with the APC UPS, and prevents possible data corruption by performing a graceful operating system shutdown in the event of an extended power outage, without the need for operator intervention.

"PowerChute integrated directly with the Dell VxRail API enables a safe shutdown of virtual machines followed by the VxRail cluster including hosts; often referred to as a graceful shutdown with no loss of work, no data corruption, and no hardware damage," Brown said.

According to Schneider, a new capability offered as part of this integration includes the option for an automatic restart so that when power is restored, the HCI systems automatically come back up, minimizing downtime.

The new feature is also part of Schneider's updated EcoStruxure Data Center Infrastructure Management (DCIM) software, announced last month alongside a line of Modular Data Center units that are designed to make it faster and easier to deploy datacenter infrastructure.

Earlier this year, Schneider's APC Smart-UPS products were found to have three critical security flaws dubbed TLStorm, which made them vulnerable to a "complete remote takeover." Schneider said at the time that patches were available, and it was also working to develop remediations and mitigations for customers. ®

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