NEWS FLASH: Jimmy D Lends his Netflow Talents to Ravica

The well known preacher of NetFlow has lent his talents to environmental monitoring sensors. For me, it goes much deeper. It’s the passion for everything that bridges the gap between human beings and the digital world. Read more

Server Room Environment Moderated by Mother Nature

Recently, I saw a interesting post on Life Hacker about how to moderate PC temperature by going green.  It reminded me of a blog that I wrote a while back that talked about recycling expelled heat from the server room and using it to heat the office.   The Life Hacker blog post demonstrated a method of cooling an over-clocked PC with fresh air from outside.

Efficient Server Room

Although I think there are a few engineering flaws in the post, the green IT design and concept are stable.

Using natural resources to cool your server room is clearly the next logical step in making server rooms green. Read more

Ravica SecurityProbe Picture Log

Today, I started working with a software company who wanted to keep track of their employees that work very early or very late hours. InSensorProbe Web Interface general, it wasn’t a bad thing. They just wanted to make sure that the people coming into the building to work, were the people that should be. This company had already purchased environmental monitoring and security equipment from us in the past.

This company just added a new international sales department. The work hours for the new employee were going to be 4:00am to 1:00pm. They wanted to know if they could utilize the picture log to record when people go in and out of the front door. They also wanted to limit the time frame for these pictures.

I did a bit of research and found out the answer was yes! You can set a time frame on the camera motion sensor and you can have the picture emailed or stored on the FTP server.  Now, they would get an alert and a picture when someone came through the door.

At this point, they could figure out who was coming in and out through the door. They then wanted to know if too many people were going through the door during the early morning hours. To do this, we used a Syslog/Eventlog application that allows you to set a threshold. Each time an image was taken with the camera, an alert would be sent to the Syslog/Eventlog manager. If a threshold was met, let say five, then an email would be sent to the security office.

The customer was excited with their new security monitoring system and wanted to implement this in the coming weeks. I can’t wait to see how it comes out.

-Jimmy D

Data Center in Hot Water

So here I was, thinking about what today’s blog would be, and my buddy Mitch gave me today’s title. Although a corny title, it describes an issue that happened with a customer of mine. The good news is that Ravica’s probes helped save the day.

frozen-pipe-burst-300x225Joe, the Admin for an ISP,  had purchased multiple water sensors and temperature sensors for his six data rooms. Around 3:20am on a Sunday he got an alert from his SensorProbe. Apparently, the temperature in one of the server rooms was rising. Since he was on call, he decided to get into his truck and see what was going on. On his way to the building, he received another page. The water sensor had triggered. He was now very concerned.

Once he reached the data center, it was obvious to him what had happened. One of the valves of the heating system started to reached its limit. This quickly caused the temperature of the pipes to rise, which is what triggered the temperature sensor.

The relief valves reached their breaking point and started to spray water all over the first data room. He was quick to let me know that he shut down the water and saved the other data rooms from water damage.

That means the investment in the temperature monitoring probes saved them thousands of dollars. If that isn’t the best reason to buy, then I don’t know one that is!

- Jimmy D

Sometimes it’s Fun to Brainstorm about SensorProbes

October 14, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: Data Center, Security Monitoring 

Yesterday, Jon came over to me and said, “Jim you are going to like this one!” Jon knows that I am a geek at heart and love to find new and exciting ways to integrate technology into the real world. I was intrigued.

A customer called Jon and had an interesting idea. His goal was to detect traffic coming in and out of a hall way with our motion detection probes. The server  room was in the middle of the two entrances. This means you could have two points of entry. He wanted to use our motion sensors to feed his soon to be written application. Read more

Remote Weather Stations use Ravica SensorProbes

I love finding new ways people are using our probes! I just finished a call with a university up here in the north land, who wanted to use our probes in their remote data station. The remote data station is part of a funded study to determine the changing weather conditions in the

The problem is, the grant they received would fund the weather monitoring equipment, but not the equipment that would run the unmanned station. The good news is that their technology budget would cover the BitSight8 and the required sensors.

They needed to be able to monitor temperature, humidity, airflow  and security. The customer explained that this was an unmanned station, knowing if anyone has opened the server room door was extremely important.

We spent some time talking about the various environmental conditions and how they can affect the servers. He was surprised how the environmental conditions would effect the station’s performance.

The environmental conditions of the area can change throughout the year. The winters can drop below zero, while the  temperature during the summer months is in the 90′s with high humidity. Monitoring for humidity is vital; condensation on a circuit board can kill a machine. Having a humidity monitor in place is absolutely vital.

We then went over the alerting and reporting ability of  the probe and how this unmanned station’s IT center would be fully monitored. I also spent some time explaining the SecurityProbe and how it would alert them when someone opened the door. I am looking forward to the installation date. I hope that it is in the summer. I hate snow!

- JimmyD

Ravica Sensor Probes help at the WaterPark

September 23, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: environmental monitoring, water leak monitoring 

A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog about how I helped a local amusement park solve an overheating problem with Ravica’s sensor probes. Luckily, I schedule follow up calls to make sure that everything is working as planned. I found out that they have another issue that I can help with.

This amusement park has an attached water park with 20 plus rides. The water for all of these rides is supplied from three pumping stations. Each pumping station has a small data center. The pump section of each of these units has all the emergency equipment that you could ask for, but  the data center lacked. Read more

The Future of Air Conditioning and How the Rest of the World Can Monitor Temperature

September 18, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: temperature monitoring 

air-conditioner-main_FullI just found an entry on Slashdot about a deal between IBM & Carrier to create and market a web enabled air conditioner. Apparently you are able to gain complete control of the unit via the simple web interface. Being a geek, this intrigued me. What about everyone else who cannot obtain one of these units?

Being able to log in and monitor the environment is something you can do with the Ravica line of SensorProbes. I would suggest getting one of the temperature and humidity probes to start with. From my research, high humidity plays a big role in the cost and operation of your air conditioning units. Being able to trend and be alerted during these times can be beneficial.

Next, I would use the airflow probe to tell me when the AC unit is on. I know, it is an odd way to detect the air conditioners state, but trust me, it’s logical. You can use an airflow sensor on any type of unit. Like the one in the above picture or built-in industrial type. With an airflow sensor, you are not limited to testing current flow or temperature.

Last, but not least, I would use the Sensor Controlled Relay to be able to turn off the unit when the temperature is optimized.

So the good news is that you can implement Ravica’s environmental probes in various ways to help monitor your environment. What’s even better is that this technology is available to every one.

- JimmyD

Mount Wilson Observatory In Danger From L.A. Fire

September 2, 2009 by · Comment
Filed under: General, SensorProbes, smoke detector 

observI just read this post on Slashdot:

Mount Wilson is in danger from the Station fire burning near L.A. Their servers have gone offline, but there’s a temporary mirror cam. It doesn’t look good. Picture twenty-four on the L.A. Times photo gallery shows the observatory from the air. If anyone has any inside news on the condition of the facility, I’m sure there are lots of people on Slashdot that would love to hear it.It got me wondering about what type of SensorProbes they have.

Most companies will never see this size of fire, but even a tiny fire can put a server room out of commission. That is why it is so important to use sensor probe technology to monitor our environment and alert us when something is wrong.

Let’s use the fire in California to remind us to check our home and office fire detection systems.

My prayers go out to all of the fire fighters, the people who have lost their homes and the people who have lost their lives.

- JimmyD

The Winding Road – Ravica Sensor Probes Used in Road Construction.

August 26, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: environmental monitoring, temperature monitoring 

Everyday I find new use for our Ravica Sensor probes!

BusseRoad2-465pxLast week I was working with a road construction company who was just awarded a contract to pave two runways at a local airport. Over all, this was a good size project and it had a few unique compliance requirements. Read more

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