A locally-designed solution that monitors all environmental factors that can adversely impact server and networking equipment operation and then alerts key personnel to the problem, has been developed by Proudly South African electronic research and development house, Netshield SA.

The new Netshield environmental management unit builds on Netshield’s network management, surge protection and wireless communications expertise to incorporate a combination of SNMP-based management and GSM-based communication, thus taking environmental monitoring to the next level.
According to Netshield MD Inus Dreckmeyr, the unit monitors the identity of individuals entering and leaving the server room.  It also provides smoke detection and monitors the temperature and moisture levels within the server rooms, using flood sensors under the floor and sensors on each air conditioning units.
Should anything untoward be detected, particularly if it falls outside predetermined acceptable parameters – such as unauthorised access to the server room or a rise in temperature – an alert is sent via GSM or SNMP trap to the cell phone of the first name on an escalatable response list.
If that individual does not receive the alert or acknowledge receipt of it, the alert is automatically escalated to the next name on the list and so on until a response is received.
“In this way, management can monitor more than just fault occurrence.  They can also see how the fault was dealt with, by whom and how quickly,” he says.  
Authorised managers and administrators can adjust the parameters at which alerts should be sent, and the list of respondents to those alerts, at any time via the Internet.
“The importance of environmental monitoring within a sensitive server setting has long been acknowledged.  However, because of the speed at which damage can occur as a result of excessive heat or moisture, simply monitoring the environment is not enough – something has to be done about it.
“The Netshield unit achieves this by integrating SNMP monitoring with GSM communications,” Dreckmeyr adds.