The flawless functioning of the server and other apparatus, as well as the security of confidential datum stored on it, depends on the physical health and safety of the equipment, in particular. That is why it is critical to constantly monitor the actual state of the hardware located in the server rack. To achieve these goals, access of unauthorized people to the server room is limited, and regular monitoring of apparatus conditions is carried out.
However, to fully control all parameters, such as air temperature, door opening, control of maintenance staff, or server fan operation, it is necessary to install a server rack monitoring system.
Reasons to Have Monitoring Apparatus in the Server Room
Data centers usually house high-performance and expensive hardware placed in server storage cabinets that can be purchase on sysracks. Its failure or even temporary downtime can cause financial losses. The most sensitive devices are:
- a hard drive – when heated, the material from which its key components are made (heads, magnetic disks, etc.) expands, due to which important information can be lost;
- a processor – if it overheats, a clock skipping mechanism may occur, which reduces hardware performance, or a computer may shut down;
- motherboard bridges are chipsets that generate a lot of heat and are also sensitive to temperature rise.
Thus, any change in the environment (temperature, humidity, fire, flooding) can significantly damage functioning devices or cause harm that leads to system malfunction or breakdown.
Types of Monitoring
To guarantee and maintain optional performance conditions for telecommunication apparatus, you need to primarily control the following parameters:
- Microclimate and an air conditioning system. For this, air conditioners, adapters for remote control, as well as temperature and humidity sensors are used.
- Power options. They are transmitted by special sensors.
- Access to the premises and actuation of the security and fire alarm. An automated control system is responsible for this.
- A video surveillance system. When a warning signal occurs, it sends a series of photos of the server room along with the message.
Why do Problems Occur?
There are many situations in which the operation of particular equipment may be disrupted. Here are some of them:
- equipment overheating, when the cooling system is faulty, and the server room is close to water or heating pipes;
- air conditioner leak is located above the cabinet enclosure. The worst result is burnout of electronic components or a short circuit;
- the impact of electromagnetic interference on equipment;
- power supply problems.
TOP-6 Monitoring Devices for Server Equipment
Power monitoring (PDU)
This is a device for power distribution, which allows users to evenly distribute electricity between all consumers. It is in demand for the proper organization of server rooms. Without a PDU, if the servers are rebooted (simultaneously started), some hardware may require more power, which will lead to the inability to start other equipment.
Rack Power Distribution Units (RPDs) are high-quality electrical devices that are necessary for the reliable distribution of electricity from a single external source between consumers located in the server cabinet or rack. Such devices structurally have one input for power supply from an external single-phase or three-phase network and a certain number of sockets.
The function of measuring the current flowing through each outlet allows you to optimize the consumption of electrical energy, as well as correctly distribute the total power. On devices that support this function, there is an information display for visualizing readings.
For sensitive equipment accommodated inside the rack, even a slight overheating can be fatal, or significantly reduce its service life. That is why monitoring the temperature inside furniture can completely eliminate the risk of hardware damage from overheating.
A typical solution for protection from temperature differences is to install an air conditioner that operates all year round 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. But the air conditioner can fail, which will lead to a violation of the temperature regime. You can find out about the breakdown of the air conditioner too late when the consequences of the breakdown will be inevitable. A smart server rack temperature monitoring system will help avoid such cases.
In addition, an increase in humidity creates danger for rack components, which can cause a risk of a short circuit. To minimize such risks, a set of humidity control sensors is installed, which will give a signal to the administrator in case of its increase (for example, if condensation occurs).
Air pressure sensor
Controlling the differential pressure with a ventilation system is one way to keep a room clean and prevent dangerous contaminants from leaking. To prevent the pollution of high-precious hardware with debris, excess pressure is maintained in the room. If it is required to avoid leaks of polluted air, a negative pressure drop (vacuum) is created in the room. Air pressure sensors monitor and help maintain the required level of pressure.
As a rule, server racks are located in closed rooms with limited access. Yet, it is necessary to control people who open the rack door and perform any work inside it. To achieve this goal, rack doors are equipped with electronic locks that can be unlocked using magnetic key cards or remotely using a control system.
The vibration sensor is a device that reacts to vibration phenomena and registers them. It is designed to determine vibration velocity, vibration displacement, and vibration acceleration. Timely determination allows users to identify shortcomings and malfunctions in the operation of devices and prevent breakdowns.
How to Pick Monitoring Equipment for the Server Room?
It is recommended to consult experienced systems administrators and engineers. They will help you pick on the optimal set of apparatus to provide the best possible system management over your data center. They will listen to your needs and choose the right platform.
But first, you should clearly understand what equipment is stored inside, how the interior is arranged, what systems come across the room. Make a layout with identifying all the key systems and making server cabinet placement.
A server room is a special premise, in which computing and telecommunications equipment is house. In order for the hardware to work without failures, the room must meet a number of conditions. It is important to maintain a certain level of temperature and humidity, as well as airflow. This and much more guarantee the smooth operation of computing devices and the safety of important data. Server rack environmental monitoring systems help cope with this issue and keep the environment of data centers under control.