As Internet commerce climbs in popularity, server uptime is essential to businesses. Uptime is a measurement of how long servers remain operational for users without crashing or requiring a reboot. The interactions between servers and their environment often pose a major risk to server availability. A crucial part of sustaining high availability lies in identifying and monitoring environmental threats, which enable prompt response to detected dangers before they escalate.
Rapid changes in temperature and humidity, water encroachment, power outages, human error and invasive intrusions are the most common environmental threats faced by businesses. Each of these threats can be monitored, but their effectiveness varies by the method used. 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 weaknesses.
Through immediate detection and notification of threats, dedicated environmental monitoring systems prevent damage to server hardware and maintain necessary high uptime. Systems constantly monitor selected areas for environmental threats, which not only include ambient temperature and humidity but also inside the server rack – where early detection benefits are 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 are often 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. A clear view of the actual changes in the server room can be essential to 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 ENVIROMUX-2D/5D/16D 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 who may have never known there was a problem. The ENVIROMUX units keep all monitored areas safe and provide maximized server uptime – the ideal preventive measure for businesses.