Your Linux Data Center Experts

The APC AP7750 is what's called an Automatic Transfer Switch. It's like a power strip that has two input cords. If power dies from one of them, it will switch quickly over to the second source. Much like a stand-by UPS, only without the batteries. However, it's got some rough edges in the actual implementation.

First of all, while the site and documentation say it supports SSH, it doesn't. According to APC support, they will be adding it, hopefully in the next version of the firmware, but they have no idea when that will be. I was also quite unhappy with the web site, because while the hardware itself will tell you what version of the firmware you have, the web site will allow you to download firmware but doesn't tell you (even in the downloaded file) what version the firmware is or what it fixes/changes. Worse, their tech support people said the latest version was just totally different than the version which shipped on the box.

Also, the reset button on the management card is hidden behind this pin-hole, so it's nearly impossible to depress if you need to reset the card. It's the smallest hole I've seen, the only thing I could get to fit in there was a stripped wire from a twist-tie I had. But, the wire was too flexible to press the button because of how narrow it was.

I realized after I got it and tried using it that the output ports are not individually switched. I had thought they were, but obviously I was wrong. At $450 for each unit, I'm surprised that they aren't individually switched. Also, it's designed to be mounted in the rack such that the front panel, with the blinkin-lights mounts against the front of the rack. The screw holes are not such that you can mount it with the plugs flush against either side of the rack unless you drill new holes. At 1U height, that gives you very little space to get in between equipment to plug new gear in after it's installed with gear above and below it.

Now, for the pluses. It does indeed work as promised. You can use the management card or the front panel to select which port is preferred. The management card can also be used to check current drain on the switch. They also include a bar that you can mount to the switch and zip-tie the cables to the bar so that you don't accidentally unplug cables. That was a really good idea.

There's not a lot of competition for that sort of device that I've seen. These guys work, but they're expensive and I had a lot of problems with the implementation of them.

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