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Monitoring a USB-Connected UPS

Using the Check a Performance Counter task it's possible to poll the remaining charge reported by a USB-connected battery backup device.

Receiving an online alert for such a task will depend on the equipment that maintains the site's Internet connection having power protection and the outage being sufficiently localized it doesn't affect the connection provider (any connection failure should instead yield a heartbeat alert).

DISCLAIMER: The information provided herein is intended as an example only. No representation is made as to its accuracy, completeness or suitability for a particular purpose or platform (see also the Winserver Wingman EULA). Please test your own implementation thoroughly in the specific environment within which it need function and ensure that it operates as required.

Tested On: Windows Server 2012 R2 Essentials with Emerson Liebert GXT3

On Battery Only

This option causes manipulation of the counter based on the reported state of the AC power supply;

  • If mains power is online the charge remaining will always be reported as 100%. This serves to allow a notified event to be cleared as soon as possible after power is restored (rather than waiting until the device is again fully charged).
  • If mains power is offline the reported current charge will be capped at 95% (values below this will be reported as-is). This serves to ensure the task may be configured to raise an alert as soon as a loss of power is detected.

Leaving this option off will likely result in short-term outages not being notified at all (which may or may not be desirable).

Task Parameters

Assuming we wish to he notified as soon as an outage is detected (and as soon as possible after it ends) we might configure the following task;

Check the UPS is not on battery each minute.

Task Parameters

Task Type: Check a Performance Counter

Frequency: 1 Minute

Counter: Battery Charge

On Battery Only: Yes

CAUTION On: (value) ...is less than or equal to; 95%; 1 time.

FAILURE On: (value) ...is less than or equal to; 85%; 1 time.


Report Frequency

Where battery-backup is concerned minutes count which is why we've recommended the minimum 1-minute test frequency. Mention should be made of how online reporting notifications work with higher task frequencies.

Escalating alerts are always reported immediately, so in the case of the example above, the first evaluation where battery charge is reported at or below 95% (immediately on losing AC power with the On Battery Only option selected) a CAUTION notification will be posted to the web service (and an e-mail notification sent if required by your account settings in conjunction with any other current alerts). If charge subsequently falls to 80% a FAILURE will be immediately notified.

De-escalating alert levels are withheld until at least 5 minutes after the previous notification so if the power comes back on and the counter returns 100% any time in the next 4 test cycles the clearance will not be notified until the 5th (7 minutes after the original CAUTION was posted).

This is intended to minimize repetitive e-mail notifications and unnecessary traffic for high-frequency tasks which are on the cusp of an alert condition (and might otherwise notify constantly) while still ensuring problems are reported as soon as they're detected.

24 September 2016