Enabling a Graceful Shutdown of Hyperconverged Infrastructure at Edge Computing Sites

edge computing

Hurricanes, blizzards, wildfires, and other weather events in recent years have grown in magnitude and intensity. One of the habitual casualties of this trend is the power supply – the bigger the storm, the more likely it is to cause blackouts.

This situation poses a challenge for hybrid IT infrastructure management, particularly at edge computing sites that run hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions. With HCI, even a short power outage can create big problems because shutdown and restarting procedures must follow specific steps to avoid data corruption or loss.

Micro data centers that run HCI sites, whether part of an edge network or standalone, can support anything from a retail store to a school to a manufacturing operation. They usually have minimal or no staff, especially when they are part of an expansive edge network. It would be virtually impossible and prohibitively expensive to staff every site. HCI is suited to unstaffed sites because the technology is easy to install and features remote management capabilities.

A blackout at one or more of these sites could cause hardware damage and data corruption unless proper power backup protection is in place. To prevent such a scenario, organizations first need to ensure every HCI location has an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Second, when an outage outlasts the UPS runtime, they need a process to ensure an unattended graceful shutdown and sequenced IT infrastructure reboot. The shutdown process should take place automatically to maximize uptime. Unattended startup also eliminates the need to dispatch technicians to reboot IT infrastructure at every site.

Graceful shutdown solution criteria

Organizations need an automated shutdown solution to manage extended power disruptions impacting HCI. So, what should they look for in a solution?

First, they should consider a solution that can communicate with the UPS over a distributed network to gracefully shut down hyperconverged infrastructure. It needs to be configured to activate a step-by-step sequence in the proper order to protect hardware and data.

Next, the solution should be set up for an automated restart once power is restored. Ideally, the process should be automated, requiring no human intervention. This saves on truck rolls to the site, which saves time and money. Automatic restart also minimizes downtime to get the business back up and running faster.

Look for a solution that is fully tested and validated in the market. Companies should seek out vendors that have gone through the process of testing and crafting solutions specific to HCI needs. For edge computing sites, look for vendor solutions designed for distributed IT environments with remote capabilities. Some examples of companies with a proven track record in HCI solutions are Dell, Cisco, HPE, Nutanix, and VMware.

An integrated and validated shutdown solution

A graceful shutdown option helps bring peace of mind to organizations running hyperconverged infrastructure because they know they can get through a blackout without losing data or suffering equipment damage. As one of Dell Technologies’ long-standing strategic partners, Schneider Electric teamed up with Dell to deliver PowerChute™ Network Shutdown version 4.5, delivering seamless integration with Dell VxRail HCI systems. Explore this latest innovation for network-based, graceful, unattended shutdown and restart during prolonged power disturbances.

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