Keeping Data Centres Online

Rooms filled with dozens of servers are often the centre of a battle between IT equipment emitting heat and air conditioners trying to keep temperatures down. To the chagrin of many IT technicians, overworked HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems sometimes simply cannot handle the load, and they have to turn to electric fans as their saving grace or risk equipment damage. Computing equipment suppliers are also increasingly unlikely to honour warranty claims unless the customer can demonstrate operation within the specified parameters.

But with a new wireless sensor networking solution from Sensicast Systems Inc.,, available in the UK from Adaptive Wireless Solutions Ltd.,, IT technicians may never have to worry about overheated data centres ever again.

The SensiNet Data Center Monitoring solution uses a network of smart wireless sensors to monitor a number of key conditions that have the potential to cause equipment downtime, including temperature, humidity, moisture, airflow, power and chilled water system status. Sensors can be placed on equipment racks, attached to the surface of machinery to measure IT equipment “skin” temperature or probes placed deep within racks themselves to get measurements close to the heart of the problem

Wireless sensors can cut installation time by up to 90% and the mesh technology employed means set up and configuration can be accomplished quickly without the need to conduct a site survey. Also because the sensor nodes are wireless they can be moved around easily to enable differing points to be monitored in an effort to identify trouble spots. This also makes it simple to temporarily monitor new equipment in detail to ensure the installation remains within equipment manufacturers specifications, avoiding problems with equipment failures and warranty claims.

All data collected from the sensors is sent directly to in-house or Internet-based software applications to help technicians make time-critical decisions. The system identifies locations that are prone to environmental problems and sends alerts to technicians before the issues causes downtime or damage to equipment.

Completing the solution with the class-leading OnCall® data centre monitoring application, available from Adaptive Wireless Solutions Ltd, provides even more advantage for data-centre managers. With powerful exception monitoring, escalation, alerting and messaging and the capability to seamlessly integrate data from SensiNet wireless devices with data from SNMP devices into a complete management system, OnCall® is unrivaled.

Companies can track and analyze data centre energy use, crucial data when it comes to implementing energy saving initiatives. What’s more, facility managers can link the sensor system with building control automation software to streamline energy management.

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January 2008

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