Acknowledging the fact that I’m essentially now running a server farm from my apartment, I finally got an UPS installed here over the weekend. My plans call for having the UPS supply power to the three computers that run as servers, and have one of those computers also hooked up to the serial port of the UPS in order to monitor it (and direct a gentle shutdown of all the involved systems in the case of a power failure).

As ideal as these plans sound, turning this configuration into reality isn’t as easy. Due to what I can only explain as either terrible software design or corporate greed, APC doesn’t provide any method for machines to communicate with the monitoring computer and shut down gracefully; instead, they want you to buy a $300 add-on card that allows you to plug your UPS into the network, and then use software that interacts with that card. It’s lunacy, but it means more money for them. Lucky for me, though, the power of Google turned me on to NUT, a freeware tool that claims to be able to do the right thing. I’ll keep you posted as to whether it works as advertised.