There are several good reasons for monitoring a server room or datacentre for temperature and humidity, but should you place sensors and detectors at the server rack or room level and just how many sensors is the right number?
Rising cooling requirements are a common problem faced by many organisations as they adopt the latest server technologies, including high power computing. The higher the power draw of the latest servers the greater the need for air conditioning as their kW power draw adds an equal demand to the size of the air conditioning required. Edge Computing and micro data centres add another layer of complexity to the need for a dedicated remote environmental monitoring system.
Temperature levels within racks, server room or datacentre environment are one of the most important environmental factors to regularly monitor. Sudden room temperature rises can indicate the failure of a critical infrastructure system such as an air conditioner and lead to server failures and worst case a fire starting. Hot-spots within server racks can literally ‘cook’ the electronics and batteries within in-rack UPS systems. Low temperatures can be a sign that the cooling system operating parameters are set too low, leading to excess energy usage and higher operating costs.
A current clamp typically consists of two parts which are secured around the cable to be monitored. The clamp uses the ‘Hall effect’ and the magnetic field caused by current flowing through the monitored cable which induces a small voltage across the sensor. The voltage is proportional to the current and is amplified and measured to generate a reading. The use of a clamp meter prevents the need to cut into or damage a cable and allows the clamp to be placed onto ‘live’ in-situ installations without disruption.
A relay is an electrically operated switch and in environment detectors, low current switching signal relays are used to indicate a change in operating state from ON to OFF or OFF to ON. A signal relay can be Normally Open (NO) or Normally Closed (NC). When a change in state is monitored, from NC to NO or NO to NC, an action can be taken. An example is a Smoke Alarm sensing smoke and changing the state of a relay as an audible and LED alarm is signalled. The relay can be monitored remotely by an environment monitor.
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