Technical Bulletin – Sensor Special

Technical Bulletin – Sensor Special

Sensor Specifications

We have recently updated our sensor specifications documents to include some new additions to the range. You can view the new documents here:

interSeptor and interSeptor Pro Sensor Specifications

iMeter and iMeter Lite Sensor Specifications

Two recent additions to the range are a brand-new smoke detector and a temperature sensor for use with the iMeter hardware that is suitable for use in fridges, freezers and more extreme environments.


Virtual Sensors – What They are and How to Use Them

The iMeter and iMeter Lite have a Virtual Sensor functionality. This allows you to monitor networked equipment and send alerts in the event of potential threats/downtime. They can be used in a number ways but here are three typical uses:

SNMPGet – if you have SNMP enabled hardware then the virtual sensor function can be used to collect data. For example, by collecting data from your UPS you could receive alerts in the event of On Battery, Power Failure or Fault conditions.

Ping Task – receive an alert immediately if any of your network hardware becomes unreachable. This is especially useful for equipment that is not in constant use as a problem could go undetected for some time until it is required.

Boolean – this function is slightly different in that it can provide users with warnings if various other sensors enter pre-determined states at the same time. For example, if one temperature sensor breaches a high warning, but not critical, threshold then you might only want an email alert to be sent. However, if three temperature sensors all enter a high warning state at the same time you may want it to be treated as a critical condition despite none of the individual sensors breaching a critical threshold. Using the notification and alerting matrix this could then trigger an additional alert such as a phone call or SMS text message.


Power Monitoring Sensors – “Is it possible to monitor the current flowing through a single phase 2/3-core cable?”

Whilst most engineers would say ‘No, that can’t be done’, we can say ‘Yes, we can do it’. Our unique PowerZook and intelliAmp sensors clamp around 3-core power cables and provide current data without the need the need to cut cables and isolate wires.

Are you interested in monitoring your power usage with zero downtime for installation? Please click here to find out more.

Rack Power Sensor

 

Data Centre and Server Room Water Leak Detection – Top Tips

Though temperature and humidity conditions are often the first parameters IT Managers look to monitor, feedback from our worldwide customer-base suggests that the next biggest environmental threat to data centre and server room uptime is water ingress. Water leaks are particularly dangerous in Server Rooms and Data Centres as they can go unnoticed for long periods of time until they cause catastrophic damage.

 

Please see below our top tips for deploying an effective water detection solution:

Use multiple sensors in different zones to quickly ascertain leak location

By using multiple sensors and naming them appropriately in the web-browser interface of your Jacarta device you can quickly locate where a leak has occurred. This is especially useful when using the sensor under raised floors.

Think ‘Up’ as well as ‘Down’

Whilst most leaks are likely to materialise at ground level (or even below in the case of basement IT installations) it is possible to detect leaks on top of dropped/suspended ceilings or in drip-trays located under wall/ceiling mounted AC units.

Thoroughly analyse where potential leaks may occur

The most common application for our water detection sensors is underneath AC units that are susceptible to leaks. However, it is important to ensure you cover other potential threats such as existing pipework, heating systems, kitchens, toilets and areas that may be likely to flood first in the event of extreme weather conditions (by doors/windows)

Maximise sensor coverage by using a ‘snaking’ installation method

The Jacarta water leak sensor cable is approximately 7mm in diameter and is highly-flexible. By installing the sensor in a ‘snaking’ shape (see below image) the area covered by the water detector is far greater than that offered by spot-leak detectors and thicker less-flexible sensors.

Water Leak Detector for Server Room or Data Centre

Pick the alerting method that works for your organisation

Your water detection solution is only effective if the alerts generated by it are received and acted upon by the relevant personnel. Jacarta devices can provide alerts via a variety of methods including Email, SMS Text Message, Telephone Voice Call, Local Alarm Beacon & SNMP Traps. You can also connect to existing third-party alarm management systems. Use numerous methods to provide fail-safe alerting.

Once you have successfully installed your water detection solution it is important to regularly test the entire system – from sensor through to alerting – to ensure that you are alerted to water ingress before it’s too late!

All Jacarta monitoring devices are compatible with our cost-effective water detection sensors so please don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have a water leak detection requirement.

Water Leak Detection for Server Rooms – interSeptor

Water Leak Detection for Data Centres – interSeptor Pro

Monitor other environmental conditions – Go-Probe Sensors

Central Monitoring Software – PYXIS DCIM Lite

Press Release: How To Monitor Data Centre Power Usage

London, United Kingdom – 28 July, 2017 – There is now a huge desire amongst IT and Facilities professionals to adopt a suitable power management strategy, but implementation with existing tools can be extremely disruptive and problematic. Unless a new data centre is being built from scratch, installation of intelligent PDUs and inline power monitoring devices will ultimately result in considerable downtime and cost. However, a solution to this problem is now available in the form of the Jacarta intelliAmp.

Jacarta Marketing Director, Colin Mocock, explains: “It obviously makes sense to have a detailed understanding of data centre power usage in order to make energy savings where possible in the future. The problem is that the implementation of an effective power monitoring solution usually requires extensive disruption to the network and considerable downtime. The intelliAmp solution can be installed in live environments and its small size and design means that it can operate unobtrusively in the data centre environment. It gives IT managers the ability to get meaningful power data right now rather than wait until there’s a major overhaul of their data centre.” The intelliAmp is a small sensor that can be clipped onto 16 and 32 Amp rack input power cables to monitor the current flowing through those cables without the need to shut-off servers or any other equipment. Once the intelliAmp is installed, the power usage of each rack can be analysed and informed decisions taken to help manage power more efficiently going forward.

The intelliAmp is supplied with a central monitoring system that can monitor several hundred sensors from a single IP address. Environmental sensors (temperature, humidity, etc.) can also be added if necessary.

Background Information

Jacarta specialises in helping IT departments protect their assets, reduce power usage and save money. Founded in 1997, Jacarta has become a leading independent supplier of innovative network environmental and power monitoring devices for IT rooms, racks and data centres. Jacarta’s philosophy is to provide unique, easy-to-use solutions that give customers a significant and rapid return on their investment.

 

Further information:

intelliAmp Current Sensor

iMeter Environmental and Power Monitoring

Jacarta Power Monitoring Solutions

Where Should I Locate Temperature & Humidity Sensors in my Server Room or Data Centre?

Where Should I Locate Temperature & Humidity Sensors in my Server Room or Data Centre? It’s a question that we are often asked by our customers and whilst the location will depend largely on the specific installation and user requirements, we’ve put together this short article to share some of the knowledge we have built up over the years.

Firstly, it is necessary to decide if you would like to monitor temperature and humidity conditions within each of your individual racks or if you would prefer to monitor the ambient room conditions. Both approaches will generate useful information which can be used to provide an accurate insight into environmental conditions and warnings in the event of Air Conditioning failure. It is, however, worth remembering that the in-rack and in-room conditions could be very different – the equipment in your racks may be working in a very different environment to what a sensor outside of the rack may be reporting.

In-rack Sensor Placement

Through experiments that we have conducted in-house, we have seen that the temperature within a single rack (in a non-temperature controlled environment) may vary by as much as 9.5°C, with the top of the rack being the hottest and the bottom the coolest. In instances like this you may choose to place your temperature sensor at the top of the rack to provide a ‘worst case’ reading or you could install the sensor at the middle to provide an average reading.

It is important to know how air moves throughout your rack. This will depend on your specific rack and cooling setup. Unless you specifically want to monitor the temperature of the cool air entering (or the warm air exiting) your racks it is best practice to avoid direct airflow over temperature and humidity sensors. Direct airflow over the sensor chip can cause false readings for both the temperature and humidity and values tend to fluctuate more in these positions causing false and/or frequent alarms.

To provide the highest level of protection multiple sensors can even be placed around a rack, with different alarm thresholds set for each location, to provide you with a definitive map of in-rack conditions. In some instances it may be beneficial to locate a sensor adjacent to hardware that is susceptible to temperature or humidity fluctuations.

 

In-room Sensor Placement

For customers who choose to place the temperature/humidity sensor outside of the rack to measure in-room conditions there are a similar range of considerations. Again, it is important to avoid direct airflow but, depending on the location, you may also need to avoid direct sunlight or other environmental factors such as doors which are frequently opened and closed.

In these situations it may be useful to trial different locations over set periods of time to see which locations provide you with a reliable and stable reading that is also sensitive enough to changing conditions in order to provide an alert should thresholds be breached.

 

Temperature & Humidity Thresholds

The thresholds you choose will also be dependent on your setup. You may wish to followed recognised guidelines such as those provided by ASHRAE – a .pdf can be found here . ASHRAE recommend an operating temperature of 18-32°C and a humidity of 40-60%* though other bodies recommend both smaller and larger operating ranges!

Whilst these temperatures are of course optimal, it can be difficult to maintain in some circumstances. What we’d suggest is that you run your device and sensors in-situ for a few days and note the typical peaks and troughs and then set your thresholds around these.

 

If you have any questions, please contact our Support Team.

  • ASHRAE recommended levels as of July 2017