But what about more tangible threats? Do you have hot spots in your racks? If the cooling system shuts down, how will you know when temperatures climb out of control? Are you alerted to humidity changes or water leaks that threaten your equipment?
Planning for the unexpected is a critical task because there are more systems performing mission critical functions than ever before. These systems are often deployed without the proper environmental infrastructure to support them. Equipment density is increasing constantly, which is creating more stress on ventilation and power.
What’s an environmental monitoring system?
Environmental monitoring products enable you to actively monitor the conditions in your rack, server room, data center, or anywhere else you need to protect critical assets. Conditions monitored include extreme temperatures, humidity, power spikes and surges, water leaks, smoke, and chemical materials. With proper environmental monitoring, you’re alerted to any conditions that could have an adverse effect on your mission-critical equipment. These products can also alert you to potential damage from human error, hacking, or prying fingers.
Environmental monitors consist of three main elements: a base unit, probes or sensors, and network connectivity and integration. The base unites may contain one or more built-in sensors, as well as ports for hooking up external probes. Additionally, they include an Ethernet port have software for remote configuration and graphing. This software may also work with existing network management software, such as SNMP systems.
Power over Ethernet (PoE) is invaluable for powering devices such as surveillance cameras, VoIP phones, and wireless access points over the same UTP cable used for data. In the last decade, this technology has matured and gone from a hodgepodge of home-brew and proprietary methods to the safe, reliable IEEE 802.3af PoE standard and the 802.3at PoE+ standard. But many misconceptions from the early days of PoE still linger. Here are the top five misconceptions about today’s PoE:
1. Power over Ethernet is the same as Ethernet over powerline.
These concepts are often confused because they are the inverse of each other—power over Ethernet uses existing data lines to send power; Ethernet over powerline uses existing electrical wiring to send Ethernet.
2. Power over Ethernet requires special wiring.
Because PoE operates on CAT5, CAT5e, or CAT6 cable with RJ-45 connectors, there’s no need to modify or upgrade your existing cable infrastructure to use PoE.
3. PoE requires electrical expertise.
Although early home-brew PoE required electrical expertise and a lot of calculating, today’s 802.3af/at standards-based PoE requires no special electrical expertise. IEEE 802.3af and 802.3at PoE can be installed without worry about whether a device is getting the wrong amount of power or—worse—getting power when it shouldn’t be. This is because PoE power source equipment (PSE) communicates with powered devices (PD) to determine power requirements.
A 802.3af or 802.3at PSE doesn’t add power to the data line until the PD indicates that it’s compatible. The PD may have an optional power class that indicates its power requirements to the PSE, enabling the PSE to budget its power load. A PSE also advertises its maximum power to the PD, which is not allowed to draw more than its allocated power.