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Server Room Monitoring Check List

By stevenkillick ·
Your server room will be a high-value part of your business so can you afford to be without it? Not only is this equipment expensive but your business is dependent on it, web access, emails, shared documents and CRM programs (Customer Relationship Management) are all vital tools to any modern business. Even modern phone systems depend on the stability of the network.
To keep this fundamental area of you business running you should adhere to the following points.

1. Access Control: The server room should only be accessed by relevant/trained members of your workforce or vetted contractors. Unauthorised access in a server room should never be allowed as either intentional sabotage or an innocent mishap could occur, both can cause serious damage to the running of your systems and business.

2. No Drinks: Weve all knocked over a cup of coffee while sitting at our desk so now imagine doing that in a server rack full of servers, switches, PBX, and a firewall. Why take the risk.

3. Environmental Monitoring: Your server room should not go under 10C (50F) or above 28C (82F) but ideally the temperature should be kept between 20-21C (68-71F) This is no easy task specially in the UK where the weather is a daily surprise. Also flood detectors are recommended as server room equipment will not react well to liquid.

4. Regular Back-ups: Always prepare for the worst, so make sure at the end of every day you take a backup of your hard disks. This way if your server does ever break-down you can quickly get in a new server and load a recent copy of your systems and be up and running without serious loss of data.

5. Backup Power Source: If your electricity source is cut or even surges for any reason your server room equipment can be adversely affected. By installing a UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) you can safe guard any power loss by giving your servers enough time to safely shut-down before losing power. Plus most new UPS systems can protect against electricity power surges/spikes.

Most of these points are common-sense issues but are so often ignored or forgotten, so please remember follow these simple rules and you shouldnt have the headache of dealing with the repercussions of any business down time due to a server room issue. Disk backup and UPS systems are easily found from a simple a goggle search, however environmental monitoring can be a bit more of a minefield so below are a few tested and recommend products.
The HWg-STE will monitor the room and e-mail you if the temperature or humidity were to go outside the safe parameters set by you. Furthermore you dont need a degree in computer science to set it up; with a simple web interface anyone thats filled in a form should be able to configure this device. Costs around 150.00

The EM01b monitors temperature, humidity and light with optional flood detection. The EM01b also connects with NAGIOS to provide a powerful tool for any network administrator. Plus for the less technical among us you can use a Windows application for data-logging and email alerts. You can also add an optional LCD display to view the environmental data real-time when you dont have access to the network. Plus a hub can connect up to 8 sensors to this device. Costs around 250.00

The Poseidon 2250 is the ultimate solution. This unit has capacity to have 36 sensors for Voltage, Current Temperature, Humidity, Air Flow, Motion, Smoke, Water Leak, Vibration, Door Contact, Energy consumption. Plus 3 dry contact inputs and 2 outputs to control relays which allow you to not only remotely monitor but remotely control devices. Costs around 400.00

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