Busting top 5 PowerChute myths

This audio was created using Microsoft Azure Speech Services

At Schneider Electric, we strive to make business continuity easy for our partners and we have the team and the behind-the-scenes technology to make it happen. That technology includes PowerChute™ Network Shutdown, which automatically shuts down your virtual infrastructure and powers it back up when critical events, like power outages, happen.

Even though we’ve revolutionized PowerChute in the last few years and consider it an essential component of data center protection, I still hear misconceptions about it. So, just as the Ghostbusters of ‘80s movie fame aimed their particle throwers at an array of spirits, I’m doing my own busting – blasting through those PowerChute myths and setting the record straight on this innovative technology that should be part of your mission critical IT infrastructure.

Myth #1: My virtualization cluster is resilient enough to handle power problems

It’s a mistake to assume that your virtual infrastructure resilience will take care of the issues brought on by a power outage especially when a whopping 80% of data center managers and operators have experienced some type of outage in the past three years, according the Uptime Institute’s 2022 Data Center Resiliency Survey.

A power interruption can mean a hard shutdown and that can lead to data loss and machines being corrupted. PowerChute provides what we at Schneider Electric refer to as graceful shutdown – to protect data integrity. Unattended start-up minimizes system downtime when power is restored.

Myth #2: My virtualization software will detect a power outage and migrate the load

The only way this might work is if the Host it migrates the load to still has power. But we know that when a power outage happens, it is often an entire building or data center that loses power, not just one Host. Unless your data center has a generator that kicks in immediately when there is a power interruption and that generator is large enough to support everything in the data center, you could be out of luck.

Myth #3: PowerChute is complex to deploy

While the systems that PowerChute protects are complex, deploying PowerChute is not. For ease of use, a pre-package appliance with PowerChute installed can be deployed in the cluster. And a set-up wizard provides step-by-step instructions, walking you through the process. Most deployments take a half hour to an hour to complete. And, on the off chance you need assistance, we are here to help.

Myth #4: PowerChute is expensive

PowerChute typically costs less than 5% of the hyperconverged infrastructure cluster it is protecting – a minimal amount compared to the cost of data corruption caused by a hard shutdown. The pre-configured start-up sequence when the power returns minimizes downtime, saves on costs and effort associated with sending personnel to remote sites, and reduces the need for onsite IT personnel.

Myth #5: You must reconfigure PowerChute if you add to the cluster

When you add virtual machines to the cluster, you do not need to reconfigure PowerChute. You can simply extend the shutdown time, which is quick and easy to do via the PowerChute user interface.

Reconfiguring PowerChute comes into play if you add an extra Host but just as PowerChute is not complex to deploy, neither is reconfiguring PowerChute to accommodate this change. Again, if you need assistance, we have a team ready to help.

Who you gonna call?

So, now that I’ve busted the top PowerChute myths, I am going to borrow a phrase from the Ghostbusters theme song and ask, “who you gonna call?” I encourage you to call your IT Partner or contact your local APC sales team to learn more.

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