Physical Cloud

 
 
By Cameron Sturdevant  |  Posted 2011-10-03
 
 
 
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Even the most airy cloud is, at the end of the day, made up of very solid steel, copper, and silicon that channel electricity. And monitoring the working condition of the server systems that live in giant data centers is of greater concern for IT managers as virtualization drives up consolidation ratios, putting an ever greater number of eggs into a basket that will eventually fail.

On September 27, infrastructure management maker Raritan introduced the latest versions of it's EMX Smart Rack Controller. The zero U or 1U device con monitor temperature, humidity and other environmental conditions while also enabling asset sensor tags to track equipment removal. The two models -- EMX2-111 and the EMX2-888 that support up to 16 sensors and up to 128 sensors respectively. The manufacturer's suggested retail price starts at $375 (U.S.) for EMX2-111. The EMX systems can also provide video of the data center so that an IT manager can do a quick sanity check to confirm what the water and smoke sensors and reporting. I like remote sensing systems that keep an eye on power consumption and environmental conditions. There is nothing more disconcerting than walking into an equipment area that should be refreshingly cool and feeling 90 degree heat.

I'm looking forward to getting an EMX system into eWEEK Labs. Although I suspect the results will be boring (a steady temp at 70 degrees) it would be interesting to get a confirmation of the air chiller's effectiveness.

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