The Comms or Server Room is located in almost every workplace in the world. The size and scale of these rooms can vary, but the one aspect that does not vary is that they are vital for business continuity therefore these rooms, big or small, are considered critical environments.
When we talk about risks to servers, the first thing we think about is the risk from cyber-attacks and other software related challenges. What can sometimes be overlooked is the risks to the hardware itself. In today’s current environment, building occupancy is very low in many organisations, which can lead to a reduced ability to physically monitor the Comms Room environment.
But what does that mean? What should we be paying attention to and what are the main environmental parameters that we should focus on? Furthermore, how can we use technology to remotely monitor these and other environmental parameters?
In this article, we will discuss two of the main environmental parameters that impact Comms Rooms, while outlining the best and most reliable methods to monitor them.
Is it hot in here?
Like any computer, a server and the processors that drive it generate heat as a bi-product. Servers are usually clustered together in racks located in server rooms, which create a lot of heat. While servers have inbuilt cooling systems, these systems are only capable of operating when the room ambient conditions are within approved tolerances. If the room temperature gets too hot, due to a failure of the Air Conditioning for example, the servers will shut down in an uncontrolled manner, causing an IT outage for the organisation. Such outages can lead to a loss of revenue and / or reputational damage for the organisation therefore it is critical that Server rooms are monitored 24x7x365 days.
Acacia have installed Temperature and Humidity Sensors for many of our clients since the start of the pandemic. Our solution has ensured that their Server rooms are constantly monitored through our unique Azolla software Computer Maintenance Management System (CMMS) platform (www.Azollasoftware.com).
Azolla is the only CMMS system capable of directly connecting to IoT sensors and determining if the sensor is within its set parameters. Once the temperature of the room goes above a critical value Azolla will identify the problem and will automatically generate a work order and send it to one of our engineers for action. This unique solution provides actionable alarms that are recorded directly on the CMMS and tracked to completion, similar to a helpdesk service. Our technicians receive the work order on their hand-held devices and once they rectify the problem will close the work order in real time. This solution provides a fully auditable tracking service that is tied to our SLAs.
Our sensor technology is battery powered, connecting to a sim-based sensor gateway, allowing ease of installation, ensuring total security while providing real-time data updates, giving peace of mind and helping save time and money.
Water plus Technology = ☹
Many server rooms have some water source passing through them, or above them in the ceiling void. Water leaks within, or close to a server room can result in an unplanned outage of the IT system. Such outages can lead to a loss of revenue and / or reputational damage for the organisation.
The severity of damage caused by water is often dependent on reaction time to the leak. Acacia has installed leak detection sensors in many of our client buildings that are linked to the Azolla CMMS platform. These sensors are constantly monitored and Azolla will respond in the same way as described earlier if a water leak is detected in the Server Room, which provides peace of mind for our clients.
Maintaining a complex critical environment can be a major challenge but the challenges faced when a system fails are far more extreme.
With our cost-effective IoT package specifically designed for Server Room monitoring, we check for both Temperature and Humidity fluctuations as well as Water Leaks in real-time. Our unique Azolla CMMS solution monitors easy to install IoT sensors in real-time and will automatically generate work orders that go directly to our engineers for action. This automates a process that has previously relied on a person raising a helpdesk call that is eventually logged to a CMMS system, losing valuable time to respond to a critical alarm. Our solution is fully auditable and ties into our client’s SLAs.