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July 7, 1997

APC PowerChute Plus 4.3

Netware administrators who are migrating networkwide management tasks to Novell Directory Services (NDS) now have another tool to ease the process. The beta version of American Power Conversion's (APC's) PowerChute Plus 4.3 for NetWare implements an NWADMIN snap-in that lets you monitor the state of any APC uninterruptible power supply (UPS) attached to a NetWare 4.x server.

The updated PowerChute administration console also incorporates improved support for NDS.

Figure 1
Figure 1

Snap-in monitoring

The snap-in provides at-a-glance status information on the UPSes being monitored, letting you view UPS status without having to load the PowerChute management console. It displays the server being supported, the UPS' state (whether online or battery-powered), serial number, firmware revision, and battery state. This information is provided by the PowerChute server NetWare Loadable Module (NLM) in a somewhat real-time fashion.

Disconnecting the UPS from the power outlet caused an alert to be generated by the NLM, which was reflected by the snap-in almost immediately. However, the information presented in the snap-in is currently read-only, so you can't configure the UPS from within NWADMIN. Support for configuration through the snap-in is expected in a future release.

Easier administration

Besides the snap-in, another benefit of using NDS for UPS monitoring tasks is the elimination of Service Advertising Protocol (SAP) broadcasts on NetWare networks.

Because the UPS state is stored in NDS, there is no need for SAP broadcasts to be used with PowerChute on NDS networks. For large, distributed organizations, this is definitely a plus.

Also, by leveraging NDS, administrators can now define UPS "operators" similarly to the way they define print operators. These users can be given read permissions to the UPS object in the NDS tree without assigning wholesale administrator rights throughout the organization.

Using the PowerChute configuration tool, administrators can have alerts and notifications sent to these UPS operators.

Although the snap-in is not as powerful as it could be, it is convenient to have a UPS that supports NDS. Other vendors should follow APC's lead in this regard and implement similar (or superior) NDS integration.

This is the first uninterruptible power supply (UPS) product to provide direct support for Novell Directory Services (NDS) through the use of an NWADMIN snap-in.

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