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Old 02-04-2010, 04:49 PM
PeterC PeterC is offline
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Default Temp, Humidity, and other Monitoring questions

We are moving our offices including our main data centre and I would like to make sure that we improve our environmental monitoring. I was hoping to run a few questions by everyone:

- The Data center is fairly small (approx 500sqft). We will have two rows of 3 racks facing a single cold isle. As for monitoring I was going to place temp sensors in the front of each rack about 1/3 the way down. Does that placement sound correct? What is best practice?
(The UPS and comm racks in the room will also have temp sensors)

- We will have humidity control on our HVAC setup however I was only going to put one humidity sensor in the data centre. I don't think that it will vary as much as temperature and wanted to save by avoiding extra humidity sensors. Is this a mistake? Should I have more than one Humidity sensor?

-Comm rooms on other floors in the building will have exhaust fans but no dedicated AC. I was planning to only monitor temp and water. Humidity seems a waste of time if I can't control it. Does everyone agree?

-The DataAire control units/alarm processors for the HVAC that are spec'd do not have modbus or multiple alarm outputs. I will have two or three dry contacts that will deliver generic HVAC alarm from the various units. We can see the alarm detail from the alarm processor in the data center. In reality we would call in service anyway so I don't see an issue with not having detail on the monitoring call out other than there is a problem with HVAC. Thoughts? Does everyone have detail on the alerts / call outs?

- Are there anything else I should consider? I will have smoke, water snake, door contact, sound, video. I am not sure If I should have an alarm from the Fire suppression system as it will be tied into UPS and the building systems so if it goes off I can't really do anything anyway.

Monitoring system = Sensaphone IMS 4000 - analog phone line for dialout, email alerts, and might tie it to Orion but that seems redundant.

Any feed back would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-04-2010, 05:08 PM
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KenB KenB is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Sounds pretty good. I would only suggest measuring rack intake temps in two locations, 18 in. above the floor and at the topmost server. This will insure that you spot any hot supply air situations that can occur with ambient cooling.

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Old 02-22-2010, 03:18 AM
tankbusta tankbusta is offline
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A temperature probe for each rack isn't necessarily needed unless your servers are extremely sensitive to heat.

One humidity sensor for the room is good. Does your HVAC system have a Mass Airflow sensor? Sounds like it's a mini tech closet. Does the office have glass break sensors that are tied into the building security?

Really focus on the sensors in the rooms without an AC though. I've seen exhaust fans do a horrible job...
Christopher S.
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Old 02-22-2010, 10:22 PM
PeterC PeterC is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 12

Thanks for the feedback guys.

We have two switch comm rooms with exhaust fans; however there will only been a few switches to cover the floor. In the main data center I didn't bother with air flow sensors because the HVAC alarms should cover that. We have two five ton Data Aire units with an alarm processor.

The Alarm processor will have numerous alarms for the various components of the HVAC system (roof top fans, glycol pumps, AC units, etc); however it will only have one or two dry contact alarm feeds to our monitoring system. If we have a problem with the HVAC I don't think that I care what it is because I will be calling in service anyways. All I want to know is that there is a problem. I will also probably be making the trip down to the office so I can look at the alarm processor once I get there.

Security... this is an 18 story building and I don't trust their systems. I have security cameras and door contacts tied into monitoring that will dial out if someone opens a door after hours and holidays. The server room door contact also triggers a picture that gets emailed. We monitor server room noise levels but I don't think that it would pick up someone breaking in. I am not sure I understand the glass break sensor when the server room is 10 floors up

thanks again
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