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Environmental Monitoring and maintaining uptime

by Stuart Berry October 23, 2018

Server Downtime Environmental Monitoring

As the growth of ecommerce continues, server uptime is more essential to businesses than ever. Uptime is a measurement of how long servers remain operational without crashing or rebooting. The interactions between servers and their surrounding environment often threaten consistant server availability. A crucial part of sustaining high availability lies in spotting and monitoring environmental threats, which allows management and staff to execute prompt responses to detected dangers before they escalate.

Rapid changes in temperature and humidity, water infiltration, power outages, human error and invasive intrusions are the more usual environmental threats faced by businesses. Each of these threats can be monitored, but often to varying success in the real world. Typical environmental monitoring tends to constitute personnel observing the physical environment and reporting problems. When employing manual observation, many issues based on human error can arise, such as gaps in monitoring, the inability to recognize threats, accidental oversights, etc. An automated environmental monitoring system effectively addresses such issues.

Through immediate detection and notification of threats, dedicated environmental monitoring systems prevent damage to server hardware and enable high uptime rates. Systems constantly monitor selected areas for environmental threats, which not only include ambient temperature and humidity but also conditions inside the server rack – where the need to identify problems quickly is crucial. Other hazards, such as intrusions, are detected by door contact sensors, glass break detectors, and motion sensors. Smoke detectors and liquid water and chemical sensors identify the presence of unsafe events.

Personnel are immediately notified if the system detects an abnormal condition, allowing execution of preventive actions before a problem occurs. Alerts can be sent over the internet, telephone, or cellular network. Since dispatching all available information to personnel is critical, still pictures or video footage during an alarm are also frequently transmitted. By giving personnel a clear view of the actual changes in the server room, those concerned can be confident of taking the correct course of action.

While environmental monitoring systems can help to prevent environmental damage to servers, they may not be shielded from such attacks themselves. For example, some environmental monitoring systems on the market may be susceptible to these problems: if power fails in the building, the monitoring system may also lose power; or if the network goes out, it may not be able to report a failure. Therefore, high availability and stability are essential in environmental monitoring systems in order to maximize server uptime, which NTI incorporates in its ENVIROMUX product line.

The various ENVIROMUX monitoring systems and ENVIROMUX-MINI-LXO constantly monitor critical environmental conditions, such as temperature and humidity, contact sensors, and network devices with fully customizable settings. Featuring output relays that can be triggered on pre-programmed conditions or manually by remote users, the units can unlock doors or even activate emergency systems. Couple a USB 3G cellular modem with an internal backup battery or dual redundant power, and total power and network outages can still be announced to off-site personnel. The ENVIROMUX units keep all monitored areas safe and provide maximized server uptime – the ideal situation for businesses.




Stuart Berry
Stuart Berry

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