Power Detection

It’s rather rudimentary, but I do not get a proper notification when we lose power.  Part of this was being spoiled for my first several years that I worked here because there was always someone at work, either an off-shift supervisor or a security guard, who would call me to let me know if power had been lost.  Another part, though, was simply overcoming the technical hurdles of getting the APC UPS units to get a notification through to me via SNMP.  My workaround thus far was to rely on a particular error the key access system for the doors would send me when there was a power hiccup, but after the last brief outage I determined that relying on that fallback measure wasn’t very reliable and that I should set about getting the SNMP messages to work.

The first step was to set up the antiquated network management cards for the APC units.  This was rather simple and just entailed pointing their SNMP settings at the HP Systems Insight Manager setup that I use.  (As an aside, I should point out now that my older APC card had a limit of eight characters for the password but I didn’t notice it until I guessed my way back onto the unit).  I then had to compile the MIB files, but when I tried to import the CFG file into Insight I was getting errors over the lines that had a severity of SEVERE.  After  searching around I came across this post that clued me in and after changing all the ‘SEVERE’s to ‘WARNING’s the CFG successfully imported.  This wasn’t a big deal to me since I planned on setting Insight up to e-mail me WARNING messages as well anyway. (Just looking within Insight it would appear that the error is being generated because there is no ‘SEVERE’ setting within the package.  I would then theorize that swapping out all the ‘SEVERE’s for ‘CRITICAL’s would also work.)

I then wanted to set Insight up to send me an e-mail AND a cellular text message.  After looking around I’d found that I could text my T-Mobile phone by sending an e-mail to <phone number>@tmomail.net.  On older versions of Exchange I remember how to allow a specific system to anonymous relay, but I couldn’t find an equivalent setting in Exchange 2007.  I’d set up a separate connector specific to the Insight server, but it turns out that the relay settings need to be set within the Exchange Management Shell.  After doing that I was getting my text messages from the APC UPS units, but the only issue left to resolve is to figure out how to get the texts in a more consistent fashion since I would receive some texts right away, and others upwards of an hour after the event that generated it.  Long term I might have to rely on a pay-for service, although an even pricier out-of-band method that removes the e-mail server from the loop is even more appealing.

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