Viruses, spyware, and network threats get most of the attention, but environmental factors like heat, humidity, airflow, smoke, and electricity can be equally devastating to IT equipment, and thus to a company’s operation.
Keep an eye on network closets, server rooms, and enterprise level data centers with fully scalable environmental monitoring solutions ITWatchDogs has to offer. Configure alert notifications to receive Email, SMS, SNMP or voice call alarms to notify you when something goes wrong. Switch specific outlets on or off on alarm or manually through the GUI.
- WHAT TO MEASURE
- FEATURED PRODUCTS
An optimal environmental monitoring strategy includes multiple temperature sensors. These should be placed on top, middle, and bottom of individual racks to measure the heat being generated by equipment, and at the air conditioning system’s intake and discharge vents, to measure efficiency. Probes should also be placed around critical devices, because the temperature inside a rack-mounted device could be as much as 20 degrees higher than the surrounding area. A probe near the room’s thermostat can help monitor what the thermostat is ‘seeing’ as it controls the air conditioner.
High humidity may lead to corrosion on electronic components and low humidity levels may cause issues with static electricity.
Make sure air is flowing through the racks in addition to monitoring A/C vent intake and outtakes.
Moisture and humidity sensors should monitor for leaks inside cooling equipment, potential leaks that come from nearby pipes, or water caused by a flood or disaster. Water sensors should be placed at the lowest point (wherever water would tend to puddle) on the floor, and underneath any pipe junctions. Air-conditioning condensation trays should also be equipped with sensors to detect overflow.
Voltage sensors detect presence or the absence of line voltage. Identify the frequency of brown outs for measuring uninterruptable power supplies and service provider performance.
Electrical failures can cause air-conditioning equipment to shut down even while an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) ensures that servers stay up and running a sure recipe for overheating a server room in short order. The best approach is to monitor current coming into the data center, and arrange for an orderly shutdown of IT equiment in case power is knocked out. The hour or two of downtime is far preferable to the widespread device failures that would result from an overheating condition.
Smoke alarms can trigger power shutdowns. Also, they’re usually not tied to an alerting system that contacts IT personnel. Alarms may be noticed by facilities managers—or the local fire department—but the maintenance of sensitive server equipment is not their top priority. Here, the best approach is to wire the smoke alarms directly into the climate monitoring and alerting system, essentially extending the functionality of the climate sensors to the smoke alarm.
Dry-contact sensors that detect the opening and closing of a door should be installed at the room entry points and on the doors of server and UPS cabinets. On a busy day, these sensors can send alerts numerous times and present a time-consuming irritation, but managers can configure alerts to account for weekday vs. weekend operations, work hours vs. overnights, and other factors to help reduce the number of alerts sent and pinpoint unusual activities.
Real-time surveillance of sensitive areas in the data center and tie into the Web-based console, so administrators can get a first-hand look at the environment wherever they may be.
Power Consumption & Switching
Determine how much power a specific device or power strip is consuming to help keep an eye on overall energy usage and prevent overloading of power circuit breakers. Turn outlets on or off on alarm or manually through the web-based GUI.
Watchdog 100-PoE $329.00
Climate monitor with on-board temp/humidity w built-in PoE
Watchdog 1250 $579.00
Climate monitor with LCD Display, buzzer & more
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- How to Protect Your Data Center
How to Protect Your Data Center from Environmental Threats Viruses, spyware, and network threats get most of the attention, but environmental factors like heat, humidity, airflow, smoke, and electricity can be equally devastating to server room equipment, and thus to a company's IT operations. Identify monitoring techniques to keep you aware and ahead of costly environmental threats.
- Increasing Uptime
Increasing Uptime with Improved Environmental Monitoring Workers and customers, empowered by smartphones and widely available Wi-Fi services, want and are demanding 24x7 access to email, company network resources, and Web sites. Learn more about the causes and remedies for downtime.
In an older building such as ours, monitoring of the data center and termination rooms is a crucial component of maintaining a high level of availability. Unintended interruption of the teaching and learning process is never a good thing, and I.T. WatchDogs devices help us keep a handle on the environmental issues that can directly impact our District’s operations. A couple of years ago, one of our WeatherGoose units began sending a flurry of SNMP traps including temperature, humidity, light, and sound. As we approached the wiring closet to investigate, a loud hiss could be heard, and the door to the room was warm to the touch. As it turned out, a steam fitting had burst and quickly destroyed all the I.T. equipment in the room. The mighty little WeatherGoose gave us the notifications we needed before becoming saturated itself, and the associated camera provided several images before it’s demise as well. Incidentally, the camera images turned out to be helpful when it came time for the insurance claim. With the exception of that incident, we haven’t had a WeatherGoose or MiniGoose fail us yet. We continue to utilize and deploy I.T. WatchDogs units in our wiring areas, data centers, outbuildings, and remote sites and recommend them to our peers and colleagues as well.
-Temple Murphy, Network Manager, Community High School District 128, Illinois
My first experience with the effectiveness of Weathergoose II product was at an employer after I had finally received approval to have an environmental monitor added to the server room. Only a couple weeks after setting up the Weathergoose II, I started getting notifications starting at 12:50AM about a water alarm. I initially thought that the device or sensor was just acting up because it was so new, but the numbers kept getting worse with each alert.
Long story short, there was water pouring into the server room less than a foot in front of server cabinet from conduit, as I discovered thirty minutes later when I got onsite and saw water running from underneath the server room door. I was able to get buckets to collect the water and a peer to help clean up the mess (Thanks, SamN !). And yes, I discovered the water source and was able to stop it. This happened on the same night as the company owner’s daughter’s wedding, when most of the company management were already at the wedding location (the company is family owned; my boss was marrying the owners daughter). That Weathergoose II with a water sensor attached, and configured to send alerts via e-mail, undoubtedly saved that company some serious money and certainly kept the owner's daughter's wedding from bad news. It was a no-brainer to add the optional smoke detector and a network PTZ camera after that episode.
Additionally, the sound sensor in the Weathergoose II has alerted me to a failing server fan and UPS alarm, the temperature sensor has alerted me to several AC unit failures, and the light sensor lets us know whenever someone enters the room and turns on the lights.
When people balk at the cost, I tell them that they would be crazy to put in a server room without environmental monitoring.
Following are my community posts related to the IT Watchdog Weathergoose II environmental sensor:
-Douglas Rehfeldt, Network Administrator