Yes it can make a difference, the main units are engineered to be quite resilient to RF but the cables may not be. If there are any concerns, then heavy duty cabling should be used to shield from RF interference.
Frequently Asked Questions
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) submitted by you, real visitors and customers over the last few years.
The Recommended Server Room Temperature article goes into detail about the right temperature to run your server room.
Please read the Calculating The Size of a Server Room Air Conditioner article.
Certainly. Any of the products in the Rack Environment Monitor section would satisfy your requirements. All rack mounted environment monitors support additional probes. So you can place the environment monitor into one of your racks and then locate external temperature probes into each of the other 5 racks. Products to look at include the AKCP SensorProbe8. Alternatively, if you'd prefer reduce the amount of wiring you need to do, you could go for a product like the AVTECH TemPageR and place one unit in each rack.
A number of products suit your requirements. The AKCP range includes the SensorProbe8 that can take up to 8 external probes including dry contact probes. Whilst a SensorProbe8 would suit your requirement, I would recommend that you use the SensorProbe8-X20 which can take up to 20 dry contact inputs and 8 additional probes. Just in case you want to measure the temperature as well as monitor your backup generator. It is also able to send SMTP alerts.
All network devices, one way or another, have a stage during setup and configuration of handling the network configuration. You can't escape it. In order to be able to browse to the device you need to know what the address is for that device. The AKCP securityProbe has a very unusual system. It is set to use DHCP by default and, when you push a button on the back plate, will tell you what the device's IP address is.
For devices that support DHCP by default the easiest way to configure your DHCP server to give out a known IP address to the device's MAC address. That way when the device starts up you know precisely where it will be on your network.
The number of sensors really depends upon what you are trying to achieve. The simplest measure would be to measure the inflow air temperature at the bottom of the rack and the outflow air temperature at the top of the rack. That would give you a good idea of how the servers are affecting the temperatures all of the way up the rack. At the other extreme are the ASHRAE Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments Second Edition that recomends a very high level of sensor density. The high density approach would be advisable if you wish to identify hotspots within your rack, especially useful after equipment moves which may introduce air flows that cause hot spots.
Yes. OPENXTRA are experienced environment monitoring installers and trainers and are able to offer on-going support services for your environment monitoring needs. See the Services page for more details.
Yes. Windows Server 2008 R2 is routinely used to test Xsensior Lite before release.
The Xsensior Lite software uses the SMTP standard for sending emails. You need to enter the details of your SMTP server into the Xsensior Lite configuration, usually just the IP address/domain name. If your SMTP server requires authentication (and if it is outward facing on the Internet you really should) then you'll also need to enter your user name and password on the advanced configuration tab. If your existing email client is using SMTP to send emails like Thunderbird then replicate your existing details from your email client inside Xsensior Lite. You can easily test whether your email alerts are working within Xsensior Lite, you don't need to wait until a temperature emergency happens to see if things are configured correctly.
If you are using Outlook and Exchange then things might be slightly more complex. You may need to enable the SMTP module on your Exchange server. If you have a dedicated Exchange team they will be able to furnish you with all of the information you need.
Thank you for your questions.
- SMS is only supported by using a third party Email to SMS service.
- Our montors are IP based and can be contacted by typing the IP address into a browser and can be made visible over the Internet.
- The Room Alert supports Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras such as the AX-212-PTZ-CAM
The PS1 Power Sensor is actually a power presence sensor rather than a sensor which measures voltage/power output. It is a switch sensor that is normally in a closed state and will change state and therefore alert or change status, to loss or disruption of power for instance. The AVTECH PS2 Power Sensor alternatively shows real-time monitoring of amps, voltage and watts which you will find here I will email you the application note for the PS2 Power Monitor shortly.
The dry contact inputs on the X20 and X60 units can be switched from opto-isolated mode to non-opto isolated mode, where the E-opto16 inputs are all shipped as opto isolated and cannot be configured as non-opto isolated. Because of this, the E-opto16 inputs do require an input voltage as the module will not supply this voltage. When configuring the E-opto16 in the web interface of the securityProbe 5E and the dry contact input is set to the “Normal State” when voltage is applied, then the status will go to a “Critical” condition if nothing is connected, or there is no input signal to the dry contact. (no voltage applied). If the dry contact input is set to the “Normal State” when no voltage is applied, then the status will go into the “Critical” state when something is connected, or a signal is applied (or voltage applied).
It is not possible to extend Senturion cables over structured CAT5/6 cabling, however, they are available in a variety of lengths up to 100m and custom lengths are also available. Otherwise, other makes of environment monitor that have sensors with RJ45 connectors such as the AKCP monitors do offer the possibility of extending the cables via structured cabling (up to 300m)
No. There is no Windows Sidebar Widgets available for Xsensior Lite.
The Xsensior Lite will only send email alerts when the temperature is outside your defined range. The continuous setting means that the emails will be sent at predefined intervals until acknowledged. If the continuous setting is not set, then you would only receive one alert email.
The Xsensior Lite draws its power from the USB port and therefore needs to be connected to a PC for it to work.
Yes. Xsensior Lite can send alerts to more than one email address, you simply have to type in the email addresses separated by commas.
The Xsensior Lite's operating range is -30 to 70°C so the thermowell operating temperature of 121°C is well over the unit's operating temperature range.
Xsensior Lite is able to continuously export the current reading to a CSV file. You can monitor the CSV and read the most recent value from it.
With the AVTECH Room Alert 11ER, SMS alerting is possible using an email to SMS service, using SMTP relay/SNMP traps to integrate to an email to SMS application or using a mobile device that can accept SMS. The only device which will do email server independant SMS directly is the securityProbe5E with the addition of a GSM modem.
You do not need Intellipool to monitor. The Room Alert has an in-built web server and is supplied with Device manager software for setting up thresholds, graphs, logs and alerts.
More than one recipient can be alerted by email or email to text service simply by inputting email addresses separated by commas. The device will also do SNMP traps.
Alerts and thresholds are set up for each probe individually so high/low thresholds can be set for digital sensors and open/closed for switch sensors. Alerts are then triggered on individual sensor thresholds being breached and sent per sensor with relevant information. . It would be possible to set and alert on multiple thresholds on the same sensor but you would need to integrate with alternative software that could do this.
Xsensior Lite is not supported on Linux I'm afraid. I would suggest looking at a network thermometer instead, then you don't need to attach it to a PC / Server at all.
The 4ER Room Alert has one internal temperature sensor, plus 3 external ports. Two of these external ports are digital and one is a switch port. Therefore you can put the digital temperature sensor supplied into one of the external digital ports and have one digital port free and one switch port free.
The SensorProbe2 will send alerts, draw a graph of temperatures and archive data. It is also possible to export data from the unit to produce long term graphs.
Devices such as the Avtech Room Alert 3E are designed for fixed installations and are part of your IP network. These units can send email alerts if the temperature thresholds are exceeded. It can also log the data.
There is no published limit for the number of email addresses that you can use. Practically speaking on a modern computer there is no practical limit.
The Xsensior Lite itself cannot be accessed remotely, though if you can view the PC using a remote control solution, then it would be possible to take over the desktop and view it that way.
At present it is not possible to add a second sensor, but there is provision for a second sensor and the intention is to add a temperature/humidity sensor in the future. As yet we have no time scale for this sensor.
There is a short video on You Tube which demonstrates how to set up the power meter for energy monitoring which you may find helpful. You can find the video at The AKCP Energy Meter (PMS).
Yes. Multiple Xsensior Lite temperature only and temperature / humidity monitors can be plugged into the same PC.
The dry contacts on the AVTECH 24E are for relaying sensor information back to the 24E unit. There are a couple of alternatives however that you may consider. If you have a requirement to integrate an environment monitor with for example, a building management system or other device you may consider the AKCP securityProbe5E which will support a wide range of protocols as well as relay out sensors. Alternatively, if you require just an audible/visual alarm, then you can add the Room Alert Signal Tower Combo.
The digital voltmeter does not have its own IP address and therefore requires at least the AKCP sensorProbe2 to power it. The sensorProbe2 can then be polled using SNMP to get the data required or alerts can be set up directly with the sensorProbe2 and data can be accessed via the sensorProbe web browser. It may also help to know that sensors such as the digital voltmeter can be extended via your CAT5 cabling infrastructure up to 300m.
We do have a cost-effective AKCP monitor but there are limitations as to the number of sensors that can be attached. The AKCP sensorProbe2 will monitor a variety of parameters but can only take up to 2 probes maximum, so you would require 2 of these to monitor. An alternative is the AVTECH Room Alert 4ER which comes with an internal temperature sensor and can accomodate another 3 sensors (2 x digital and 1 x switch) and will take a flood sensor (RJ11 connector into the digital port) and smoke sensor (2 wire switch connector into the switch port). As always, please contact us if you would like advice or a quotation.
The Temperature/Humidity sensor is only the sensing device, you need to use an AKCP main unit. The simplest is the SensorProbe2 This will take up to 2 sensors and has its own IP address and software, it can be accessed over the Internet and the software enables you to set limits and receive email alerts when these limits are exceeded. A benefit of the AKCP monitors and sensors is that the sensors can be placed anywhere on the same network via your CAT5 cabling infrastructure.
There are a couple of ways of achieving this. Probably the best solution is to use the AKCP securityProbe5E. This is an environment monitor which has a sophisticated alert notification and actions including automatic server shutdown. Therefore, you could set this up so that it would automatically shut down PCs over the network should the temperature rise above a set threshold. The other way of doing this is to use the Remote Power Switch IP9258-DS, this has 8 power outlets. The only disadvantage is that it would be a switch-off of power rather than a controlled shutdown.
If you have an internet connection the Xsensior Lite will be ideal for this application, and in fact will also alert you if the temperature drops too much.
Yes. The Xsensior Lite is able to send alerts to the Windows Event Log. You can specify whatever text you want using the built in templating language so you can specify whatever text you like. A continuous export feature has also been added for writing the last reading out to a CSV file. The software and product are available for sale now.
The sensor is pre-calibrated when manufactured.
Xsensior Lite connects to a USB port on a PC and does not support SNMP, nor does it have a command line interface. Email alerts can be raised by Xsensior Lite and the actual data values can be exported in CSV format. The upcoming Xsensior Lite version 1.2 software release (due first week of March 2011) supports automated exporting of values to a CSV file as well as an alert action for creating entries in the Windows Event Log. Many systems management products are able to gather Windows Event Log data so that may be a useful way to integrate with your systems.
No XSensior Lite does not require any special drivers to be installed. Xsensior Lite does work on 64 bit Windows like Windows 2008 Server R2 albeit running as a 32 bit program.
If you want to control the power to a remote device in reponse to a temperature going too high you could connect a Relay Sensor to the SensorProbe and use that to switch the power.
If you simply want to alert on the presence or absence of power you could connect a Power Sensor. Both AC and DC versions are available.
No. Only the securityProbe 5e is able to read information from remote sensorProbes using the Virtual Probe feature. If you wanted to merge information from a number of different sensorProbe2s, you would need to either use a 3rd party SNMP based network monitoring application or AKCP's own management software. Something like Intellipool Network Monitor at will do this for you.
Yes. You can send SMS alerts using two methods:
- Use an email to SMS service that converts emails to SMS messages; or
- Use the bundled Device ManageR software and purchase a SMS modem and the alert add-on.
Option 1 is by far the cheapest and easiest option requiring no software or hardware purchases though it does require the purchase of credits from a service provider like AQL. The downside is that it requires an internet connection because it relies on using email.
Option 2 by contrast is an out of band solution. In other words it does not require an internet connection. It is however a more expensive option because it requires the purchase of a SMS modem.
AKCP claim that it is possible to extend sensors up to 300m (1000ft), but I would not use the 1ft sensor for this application. You would need to use an in-line coupler on the sensor and the connection quality is rarely good enough . A better option is to use the 5ft sensor and a long, high quality Cat5 patch cable or through you structured cabling system.
For a Xsensior L-1 sensor, the CSV files contain the following information:
- sensor identifier;
- sensor name;
- temperature probe identifier;
- temperature probe name;
- probe type;
If the sensor being exported is a Xsensior TH-1 sensor, in addition to the above the following information is exported:
- humidity probe identifier;
- humidity probe name;
The sensor identifier is a unique number for the sensor. The probe identifier is a unique number for the probe.
By design, external digital sensor cables are 25 feet in length and can be extended up to a supported 100 feet in total length.
To extend the sensor cable, you will need a RJ-11 cable with coupler, part number ECC-25E-SEN. UK price is £7 excluding VAT and delivery.
- Remove the external digital sensor to be extended by unplugging its RJ-11 cable from the front of the unit.
Using a 25 foot RJ-11 cable with coupler, insert the RJ-11 connector into the AVTECH unit’s external sensor port.
Plug the RJ-11 connector on the sensor cable to the extension cable.
If you wish to extend the sensor up to the supported 100 feet in length, multiple RJ-11 extension cables can be connected using the methods above.
We do not recommend extending a cable to a greater distance than 100 feet and do not support splicing or cutting into existing wires to shorten or lengthen the provided cable.
This sensor is a digital one. All Avtech sensors are designed specifically to work with the Room Alert range of monitors only.
The rack mounts are designed to fit a 19" rack. There is a model that is a continuous DIN Rail which may be the one you need. Lead time is about a week, so delivery to a UK address before 20th September is entirely possible.
No. The AVTECH sensors have connectors wired so as to be compatible with the Avtech Room Alert devices. For the 'Digital' sensors these are RJ11 plugs.