The Raritan Blog

What Is Environmental Monitoring?

Jessica Ciesla
September 18, 2019

Data centers come in all shapes and sizes. They are built to securely store copious amounts of data. However, what many people don't know is that in order to hold all of the data, these centers must also consume a large amount of energy. In fact, some estimates show that data centers consume 1.8 percent of the total United States energy consumption every year. The large amount of energy that is consumed, as well as other factors, makes environmental monitoring a key component of data center management.

Why Is Environmental Monitoring Important?

The general rule of thumb is that data center managers should follow the best practice approaches designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). These approaches outline how data centers can successfully monitor temperature and humidity levels. By operating servers, and other technologies, within the recommended temperature and humidity levels, data center managers can effectively improve efficiencies and reduce downtime. In short, environmental monitoring is vital to the health, longevity, and success of the data center.

What Are The Best Approaches To Environmental Monitoring?

In addition to following ASHRAE best practices, there are several key approaches that can be taken to environmental monitoring. For example, temperature sensors should be placed at the front, back, top, middle, and bottom of the rack. By using six sensors, data center managers can more accurately determine how the temperature and humidity levels are impacting individual racks. If the humidity is too high, then the hardware will begin to corrode; if it is too low, then there will be a dangerous buildup of electrostatic discharge (ESD).

Another best approach to environmental monitoring is to ensure that the data center is not over or undercooled. In fact, data center managers can save up to four percent in energy costs if they can avoid undercooling or overcooling each room. Achieving the optimal temperature is made easier when Intelligent PDUs are used. These sensors can be paired with DCIM software to ensure that environmental factors are recorded, analyzed, and responded to in real-time. The ability to respond in real-time can once again lower costs, protect vital technologies, ensure uptime, and reduce the risks associated with environmental damages.

Choosing The Right Environmental Sensors

Raritan provides a large range of SmartSensors that are built to detect vital environmental conditions. From the temperatures, to the humidity levels, to the airflow around individual racks, to proximity detection, SmartSensors are a key component to creating the optimal environmental conditions.

If you want to take control of your data center's environmental conditions, to reduce risks and increase efficiencies, contact a member of the Raritan team today to select the tools you need to succeed.