What is Server Room Environmental Monitoring?

Environmental monitoring systems enable you to actively monitor the conditions in your rack, server room, data center, or anywhere else you need to protect critical assets. The monitored conditions 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.

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.

Server_Room_Monitoring_Diagram
Key Description
A Door Sensor
B Siren and Strobe Light
C Camera
D Smoke/Fire
E Rope Water
F Dual Temperature Humidity
G Front-Rear Temperature String
H Hub
Benefits of Environmental Monitoring Systems
  • Increase Uptime and Reliability
    When things go wrong, you're the first to know. Minimize downtime by being alerted about conditions that cause damage to servers and other network devices.
  • Minimize Response Time
    Built-in notifications like email, phone, SMS, and SNMP traps enable employees to quickly respond to environmental issues that may arise.
  • Reduced IT Investment
    Real-time environment data can be used to prevent or lessen the impact of outages in IT equipment. 
Types of Environmental Monitoring

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 and data loss.

  • Temperature Monitoring
    Temperature monitoring is the automated process that is put in place to warn IT administrators in case the rack or room temperature rises above a certain level. It's a critical task to ensure the performance of the equipment is not disturbed by excessive temperature.
  • 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.
  • Motion Detection
    Many server rooms are left unattended after hours, or even during the day. Or employees may unintentionally sabotage by leaving a door open. Installing motion detectors is a simple and affordable way for IT personnel to keep aware and to get alerted of all activity in the server room.
  • Smoke Detection
    Additional smoke detectors in the server room or data center ensure that IT personnel are informed as quickly as possible in the event of a fire. This allows them to start implementing emergency recovery procedures at the earliest possible stage, minimizing total downtime.
  • Camera Surveillance
    CCTV cameras are a great way to ensure security in the server room or data center. Not only do they provide video footage of specific events, such as opening doors, physical movement, etc., they also act as a visual deterrent to criminals. The clear, sharp images can be sent to IT personnel anywhere via email, FTP, and MMS, or streamed directly to a mobile phone.
Features of AlertWerks Environmental Monitoring System

With AlertWerks hubs and sensors from Black Box, you can monitor a variety of 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 server room, data center, 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.

  • Data Measurement and Reporting
    The AlertWerks hubs display the values measured by the attached sensors. The measurements are periodically stored in the internal memory of the hub or external storage media and displayed as graphs.
  • Alerts and Notifications
    Users can define warning and critical alarm states as well as notification actions, including SNMP traps, emails, SMS, sirens, etc. When the measured value exceeds the threshold it triggers an alarm condition.
  • Easy Setup and Management
    The AlertWerks hubs are ready to run right out of the box. Plug the sensors into the RJ-45 ports of the hub and they automatically configure and go on-line, ready to report any status change.
  • Web-Based Management Interface
    An easy-to-use Java™-based web UI enables you to access the AlertWerks hubs over any IP network – even the Internet.
  • Scalable Platform
    The AlertWerks hubs can be daisy-chained to expansion hubs, increasing the total sensor count to more than 500.
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