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Mutiny Blog

Monitoring, not just your network infrastructure: Integrating your environmental monitoring into your network.

Centralised network monitoring is now an accepted part of company infrastructure. Monitoring systems give the ability to view and drill into cross-site network information and detect network issues before they cause real disruption. However, many network monitors are just that. They do not supply the technical team with information about the environments in which servers and other hardware reside.

Issues of overheating are more common than you may think. With entire businesses working on networks with often one data centre the importance of ensuring a safe operational environment becomes ever more apparent. Not having the correct monitoring can lead to over-cooling (and higher energy costs) or at the other end, overheating of your servers.

Potential Threats:

Not limited to just temperature, there are a number of sensors available to give businesses the ability to track a range of threats to their mission critical IT:

  • Fire suppression solutions:

    Though fire detection equipment will hopefully be never used, it is vital that it is operational when it’s needed. Monitoring these devices ensures that it is always functional and on-line, alerting when they fail or go off-line.

  • Damp ingress:

    Water ingress and damp can quickly destroy your servers and systems. Leak detectors can be used to detect issues with coolers and/water sensors near the AC units, near drain openings, along rack bottoms and under piping to warn about issues as soon as they arise.

  • Humidity:

    Humidity sensors such as those included with our Jacarta solution allow you to identify the level of vapour in the air, potentially warning you when air conditioners fail or flooding occurs.

  • Static electricity:

    If server room air is too dry, or if equipment isn’t grounded and bonded correctly, electrostatic discharge can damage systems and harm employees. Static electricity sensors monitoring can be placed in your datacentre to watch for potentially large charges.

  • Accessibility:

    Often overlooked, but often the most important aspect of environmental monitoring for your data centre is understanding who and what is inside your datacentre. Simply connecting your door entry systems to your monitoring will allow you to identify suspicious activity and provides an audit trail if needed.

Having your monitoring controlled in one place and alerts sent directly to the individuals responsible allows for faster issue resolution and less risk to your datacentre.

Environmental monitoring outside the datacentre.

Currently environmental monitoring is predominantly used in the protection of data centres and servers. But it is reasonable to predict that with the advent of smart cities and smart buildings more devices than ever will be attached to IP networks and the internet. Environmental monitoring will be in our homes, offices, and public buildings. In fact it has started to happen in our homes with the advent of products such as devolo’s home control and Hive thermostats. Home devices which allow you to monitor many aspects of your home whilst you are away. Easily monitor your fridge temperatures, if your lights are on in your house and how warm your house and control them remotely.

Ensuring safety and comfort in public buildings.

In the case of public buildings such as schools, universities or hospitals, instead of separate systems, centralised monitoring and control would allow the all-important operational aspects of the buildings to be supervised. Again, with increasing numbers of devices and systems on the IP network such as door entry systems and movement sensors, security could be monitored in the same place. Temperatures and humidity could be regulated and fire safety ensured.

Monitoring is coming and will be increasingly important to all our lives. Monitoring will ensure increased efficiency, comfort and regulatory compliance.

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