Making sure that servers are performing well is just the tip of the iceberg. Monitoring environmental factors like temperature, power, airflow, and humidity are important for keeping servers available.
We cover a lot of information on each system below, but if you are short on time, here’s our list of the 10 best server room environmental monitoring systems:
- netmon An environment monitoring appliance that raises alerts.
- Paessler PRTG A monitor for physical status reports generated by the server. Runs on Windows Server.
- Monnit A wireless device that monitors the server room environment. Needs a wireless AP on site.
- ITWatchDogs A server room environment monitoring appliance.
- ControlbyWeb A range of server room environment monitoring devices that use a browser-based front-end.
- AVTECH An environment monitoring appliance that logs all statuses and raises alerts when thresholds are breached.
- Kentix A software solution to environmental monitoring that relies on the physical statuses of the server to indicate environmental changes.
- Sensaphone A range of appliances that report to a remote managing console that opens in a browser.
- EDS An environment monitoring appliance that looks like a smoke alarm. Reporting functions channel through your network monitoring software.
- CAS DataLoggers A range of environmental monitoring appliances that are easy to set up.
The best server room environmental monitoring systems
Netmon is an environmental monitoring system for data centers and server rooms that support temperature monitoring, airflow monitoring, water leak detection, power monitoring, security monitoring, smoke detection, and more.
You can monitor your server room through a centralized dashboard. Netmon uses an AKCP sensorProbe line of environmental sensors designed specifically for monitoring server racks to alert on changing conditions.
The alerts system sends you notification once an environmental issue is detected. For example, if there is a power outage or a water leak is detected the program will generate an alert. Alerts can be sent via email, SMS, telephone calls, audio alerts, SNMP traps, and more. Employees can then take action to remedy an issue before it has an effect on business operations.
Netmon has the core features to monitor your servers and ensure they stay protected. The dashboard and alerts system provides you with enough visibility for you to address issues promptly. If you want to view a quote then you will have to contact the company directly. You can also sign up for the demo.
PRTG Network Monitor is a network monitoring solution that can monitor a data center or server room. PRTG Network Monitor can monitor temperature fluctuations, humidity, and power outages. One of the strengths of this tool is that you can monitor the availability of your servers and environmental factors. Performance data can be seen through a centralized dashboard.
There is an automated alert system, which notifies you when environmental factors cross a threshold value. Alerts are sent via SMS, email, or push notifications straight to your device. Wherever you are you can stay on top of any hardware failures or performance issues that need to be addressed.
Overall PRTG Network Monitor is ideal if you want to monitor availability and your server room environment at the same time. PRTG Network Monitor is free for less than 100 sensors. If you require more then you can purchase a paid version. Paid versions start at $1600 (£1,301) for 500 sensors and one server installation. You can download a 30-day free trial.
The system has wireless sensors that monitor conditions in the server room and then send that information onwards to a wireless gateway. The wireless gateway sends that information to the monitoring platform where you can view dashboards and oversee performance.
While the system sounds complex it can be configured in less than 15 minutes, making it easy to deploy. Once the solution is up and running it’s easy to manage from a distance. There are Android and iOS apps that you can use to monitor server environments when you’re out of the office.
There are also alerts to keep you posted whenever something changes that needs your attention. Alerts are customizable so you can choose whether to receive a text, email or call when a problem is detected. Advanced analytics can also detect anomalous conditions and notify you.
Monnit is ideal if you want a comprehensive environmental monitoring system with fast-track installation and built-in scalability.
ITWatchDogs is an environmental monitoring solution that allows you to monitor server rooms or data center. It can monitor factors such as temperature, humidity, airflow, water, voltage, power, smoke, doors, power consumption, and switching.
To monitor these factors you can purchase a temperature sensor. You can then monitor this information through a graphical user interface (GUI). Once you have set up your sensors you can configure alerts.
Alerts can be sent via email, SMS, SNMP, or voice alarms to let you know if there is a problem in your environment. You can then use the GUI to switch off individual outlets and get to the root of the problem.
ITWatchDogs is a cost-effective alternative for monitoring server rooms of all sizes.
ControlbyWeb produces a range of devices that provide complete server tool monitoring in real-time. Through a web browser, you can monitor elements such as temperature, lights, moisture, alarms, door status, and more. ControlbyWeb products have in-built web servers which means you don’t need any software agents or cloud services to gather performance data.
There is an alert system that works based on thresholds. The user configures thresholds and is sent an email or text if they are breached. Unlike many other environmental monitoring solutions, ControlbyWeb also enables you to control the conditions of the server room. For example, you can use the X-410 controller to change the temperature in the room. This is great for following up after alerts.
One of the advantages of ControlbyWeb is that there are no monthly fees. Once you’ve deployed the devices you’re ready to start monitoring your servers (you can even access
One of the advantages of ControlbyWeb is that there are no monthly fees. Once you’ve deployed the network devices you’re ready to start monitoring your servers (you can even access them through the CBW-Mobile app if you choose).
them through the CBW-Mobile app if you choose).
AVTECH provides data center environmental monitoring to monitor temperature, humidity, power, active power, flood, water, smoke, fire, room entry, motion, airflow, and more. Room Alert 32E is AVTECH’s main solution which can be used to deploy sensors throughout your server room to track conditions.
As the name suggests, Room Alert has temperature alerts so that you receive a notification if the temperature reaches problematic levels. For additional monitoring, the tool logs and records environmental issues so that you can look into performance issues in further detail.
AVTECH is a comprehensive environmental monitoring solution that is ideal for anyone looking to monitor their local environment through alerts. In order to view a quote, you will have to contact the sales team directly.
Kentix is a server room monitoring solution that can detect hazards and failures in your server room. The software can monitor up to 37 physical hazards including overheating and burglary. There are also integrated systems available for climate monitoring, power monitoring, server live checks, a burglar alarm system, and early fire detection.
There are two main products: StarterSet-Basic and StarterSet-PRO. Starter-Set Basic costs $984 (£800) and comes with up to 200 MultiSensors. It can monitor up to 30 threats and has an alerts system to notify you of changing server room conditions. Alerts are sent by SMS, email, and SNMP so that you can stay updated no matter where you are.
The StarterSet-PRO smart monitor costs $1,477 (£1,201) and has 500 MultiSensors with LTE alerting to notify you of changing server room conditions. Both packages are scalable so they will fit in almost any environment. You can request the free live demo.
Sensaphone is a remote server monitoring solution that has real-time web-based monitoring. You can monitor up to 12 different environmental conditions through your browser or the mobile app, meaning that you can monitor servers no matter where you are located.
There are many different network devices you can use to monitor your server room. One of the main products is the Sensaphone Stratus EMS Monitoring System, which takes sensor readings and stores them in the cloud so you can access them easily.
There is also an alert system so that the user can easily keep track of local environmental changes. Notifications are sent by email, text message, and voice call when a problem is detected.
The range of devices offered by Sensaphone is a strong selling point. You can build your own monitoring environment from scratch according to your unique requirements. However, you will have to contact the company directly for a quote.
EDS has a server room monitoring that provides you with live data of the environment in your server room. The data can be fed into a network monitoring platform called InterMapper. There are two monitoring systems available from EDS; MeshNet Wireless Sensor System and OW-Server 1-Wire Sensor System.
MeshNet Wireless Sensor System supports up to seven wireless sensors and can monitor temperature, humidity, light, barometric pressure, and secret inputs. OW-Server 1-Wire Sensor System supports seven 1-Wire sensors per server and can monitor temperature, humidity, light, and barometric pressure.
You can connect EDS hardware to the network monitoring tool InterMapper for additional analysis. Intermapper can send you alerts if any of the factors above reaches an unacceptable level. Visit their website to find out more about EDS devices.
CAS DataLoggers is a server room temperature monitoring solution. CAS DataLoggers can record ambient temperature and humidity in server rooms. The recorded data is uploaded straight to the cloud so that you can access it whether you’re working on a desktop or mobile device. There is even a mobile app that allows you to make monitor data and make configuration changes on-the-go.
Deploying CAS DataLoggers is very simple and takes a matter of minutes. The solution is also scalable with a large logging capacity that supports up to 8,000 sets of data measurements in two channels. This means that you can record all the information you need without constantly reaching capacity.
TandD and Novus are the two main monitoring systems. Each system comes in a range of devices. TanD has waterproof temperature loggers that can measure temperature, humidity, voltage, and more. Novus devices can monitor temperature, pressure, humidity, flow pulses, and more. Find out more and get pricing on their website.
Choosing an Environmental Monitoring Systems for Your Server Room
Server rooms and data centers are at the heart of many enterprises. Maintaining servers so that they stay operational is a necessary cost of doing business in the digital age. Without the right tools, it is impossible for a company to keep servers operational long term. The financial impact of failed servers can be substantial, not just in terms of new hardware but in terms of downtime and lost opportunities.
All of the tools on this list can be used to monitor server rooms against excessive heat or performance issues that could damage them over time. Products like netmon, Paessler PRTG Network Monitor, and Monnit provide a centralized perspective of your data center so you don’t miss out on any conditions that could affect performance.
If you’re unsure which tool to purchase we recommend a product that has automated alerts. Alerts will flag when there is a problem with your system so that you don’t have to manually catch every performance problem that occurs.
Server Room Environmental Monitoring Systems FAQs
Why is it important to keep your server room cool?
Servers heat up while they are running – that is to be expected. However, if a server gets too hot, physical damage can occur. If your server room has many servers in it, the collective heat of these machines will cause the temperature of the room to rise. The total heat within the room will mean that the cooling systems within each server will be sucking in warm air, making the onboard heating problem worse. Keeping the server room cool provides cold air to the onboard cooling systems of servers.
What humidity level should a server room be at?
The measurement for server room humidity is called “relative humidity” (rH). This is expressed as a percentage and it should be at 40 to 60 percent. If rH is too low, static will build up, if rH is too high, moisture will condense into water within the servers and other equipment in the room, which could lead to shorting.
At what temperature do servers fail?
The critical components servers are the CPUs. These have onboard thermometers that will trigger a shutdown or a speed reduction if the temperature gets too high. This point is called the TJunction or TJMax. Each processor type has a different TJMax level. For Intel processors, this is around 100 degrees Celsius and for AMD processors it is around 90 to 95 degrees Celsius.