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What is Server Room Environmental Monitoring?

Black Box Explains

Environmental monitoring products enable you to actively monitor the conditions in your rack, server room, data centre or anywhere else you need to protect critical assets. The conditions monitored include extreme temperatures, humidity, power spikes and surges, water leaks, smoke and chemical materials. With proper environmental monitoring, you're alerted to any condition that could have an adverse effect on your mission-critical equipment. These products can also alert you to potential damage from human error, hacking or prying fingers.

An environmental monitoring system consists out of three main elements: a base unit or hub, probes or sensors, and network connectivity and integration. The hubs may contain one or more built-in sensors, as well as ports for hooking up external probes. They also include an Ethernet port and have software for remote configuration and graphing. This software may also work with existing network management software, such as SNMP systems.

What do Server Room Environmental Monitoring Systems offer?

  • Data measurement

    The environmental monitoring appliance displays the values measured by the attached probes, e.g. temperature, humidity, airflow, status of dry contact, door open/close, motion detector and other sensors.

  • Data collecting and graphing

    The measurements are periodically stored in the internal memory or external storage media and displayed as graphs.

  • Alerts and notifications

    When the measured value exceeds the predefined threshold, it triggers an alert: a blinking LED on the front panel, an audible alarm, SNMP trap, e-mail, text message, etc. The environmental monitoring appliance can also active an external alarm system like a siren or strobe light.

Types of Server Room Environmental Monitoring

Server room environmental monitoring can be comprised of monitoring of temperature, humidity, fluids, leaks, smoke, fire, and other environmental parameters to ensure maximum reliability while lowering cooling costs and achieving greener IT. Such activity helps protect mission-critical equipment from failure and prevent a decrease in performance, intermittent failures, total equipment failure and data loss.

  1. Server Room Temperature Monitoring

    Server room temperature monitoring is the automated process that is put in place to warn IT administrators in case server room temperature rises above a certain level. It's a critical task to ensure the performance of the server is not disturbed by excessive room temperature.

  2. Server Room Humidity Monitoring

    Most electronic components are designed to operate within a specific humidity range. Whereas high humidity environments can cause disk drives to fail, causing loss of data and downtime, low humidity environments increase the risk of electrostatic discharge (ESD), which can cause immediate and catastrophic failure of electronic components.

  3. Server Room Motion Detection

    Many server rooms are left unattended after hours, or even during the day. Other employees may unintentionally sabotage the server room by leaving a door open. Installing motion detectors is a simple and affordable way for IT staff to keep aware and to get alerted of all activity in the server room.

  4. Server Room Smoke Detection

    Additional smoke detectors in the server room will ensure IT staff has as much notice as possible in the event of a fire. This allows responsible personnel to begin implementing disaster recovery procedures as early as possible, minimising overall downtime.

  5. Server Room Camera Surveillance

    CCTV cameras are a great way to provide security for the server room. They not only provide video footage of specific event like door opens, motion detection, etc, they also act as a visual deterrent to criminals. The clear sharp pictures can be sent to IT staff anywhere via e-mail, FTP, MMS, or streamed directly to a cell phone.

Benefits of Server Environmental Monitoring

  • Reduced downtime and increased equipment reliability

    When things go wrong, you're the first to know. Minimise downtime by being alerted about conditions that cause damage to servers and other network devices.

  • Reduced OPEX

    Server environmental monitoring devices help you cut replacement equipment costs and redistribute the workforce more effectively.

  • Increased employee satisfaction

    Built-in notification features like e-mail, SMS, and SNMP traps, enable employees to better manage their work.

AlertWerks™ Monitoring Hubs and Intelligent Sensors: The Black Box line of Environmental Monitoring Systems

With AlertWerks™ hubs and sensors you can monitor multiple environmental conditions, including temperature, humidity, airflow, smoke, security, and voltage. The installation is quick and easy. Connect the hubs to your network, attach the sensors, and you are ready to remotely view the status of your data centres and other facilities. Check for temperature, humidity, and liquids. Know when server cabinet doors are open or closed, and whether the cabinet is overheating. And monitor assets and infrastructure from anywhere in the world.

For more information, visit the AlertWerks™ solutions page.