VMware Integration Makes Eaton UPS Stand Out

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There's certainly no shortage of highly capable software for managing data center hardware, monitoring its operation and reporting on its health and efficiency. But several things stood out as the CRN Test Center this week looked at Eaton's 5130 RT 1000, a 1000VA 2U rack-mountable UPS, plus the latest version of its Intelligent Power Software Suite. The 5130 also is available in models up to 3000VA.

Eaton 5130
Eaton 5130

Perhaps most impressive was the tightness and depth of its integration with VMware. Not only can the software perform an orderly shutdown of ESX servers when faced with an impending power failure (as can most others), it's smart enough to first suspend any VMware instances running there. Even better, Eaton's utility also can invoke VMware's vMotion feature, and can move virtual machines running on a failing server to one that's healthy.

We also liked Eaton's VMware plug-in, which gives administrators the ability to observe and manage power devices right through the vCenter Server console. Of course, the software also sends alerts and notifications of power events at user-specified levels. These settings also can be modified by browsing directly to the UPS's IP address. Of course, all of the 5130's network capabilities rely on the presence of Eaton's ConnectUPS-MS Network Management card, a $249 option to the 5130, which lists for $659 including a four-post rail kit and tower stand.

The 5130 also affords control over the power outlets, either as a single group of six or as one group of four and to the remaining two individually. This clever feature can be useful for extending battery life by selectively powering down non-essential equipment during an outage. Separation of power outlets also enables selectively rebooting a server, for example, without also restarting a router or storage array that might also be accessed by other resources.

Next: A Clean, Easy-To-Navigate Web-based InterfaceIn the rare event that you might need to access a UPS directly, we found the Web-based interface to be clean and easy to navigate. A standard two-pane layout groups features into categories in a column on the left and clicking on one brings up a settings form on the right.

Most fields are editable, either with drop-downs or blanks. Changes are possible to device name, IP address, host, domain, DHCP and other network settings, provided the user has administrative credentials. Firmware updates also can be performed here.

Eaton claims that the 5130 is at least 94 percent efficient, meaning that only six percent of the total energy that runs through it is used by the UPS itself. In an attempt to confirm this, we measured the unit's total power consumption with several computer systems attached to it, and then subtracted the power used by those systems.

Total power consumption was 339 watts, of which 306 watts was consumed by the attached systems. The 33 remaining watts used by the 5130 equates to an efficiency of about 91. We also noted that efficiency grew along with the UPS's percentage of output load. The measured 339 watts was shown by the network management card to be 31 percent of the unit's output load level.

Eaton 5130 series UPSes support the addition of as many as four extended battery modules, are covered by a three-year warranty, and include management software. The Eaton 5130 RT1000 is a CRN Test Center recommended product.

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