NetBotz Inc., which pioneered the development of IP-based physical security appliances, next week will launch the next generation of its Sentry devices.
The Austin-based company, formed in 1999 to provide centrally managed physical threat sensors that monitor sensitive areas such as computer rooms, gathered up customer feedback to create the more flexible WallBotz 500, along with a new version of its central management tool.
The privately held firm has seen steady growth as companies realize that physical security is as important as digital security. NetBotz recently signed its 2000th customer. “Customers spend a ton of money on digital security, then someone walks into the server room and unplugs something. The physical world can be a hole in security the size of a truck,” said Mitch Medford, vice president of product development at NetBotz in Austin.
The Sentry appliances include a surveillance camera and variety of sensors that monitor temperature, humidity, airflow, vibration and add motion detection as well as audio to the list of environmental characteristics the devices monitor. Thresholds can be set for each attributed and alarms are generated when the thresholds are exceeded.
The WallBotz 500 is a more modular appliance that comes with a higher resolution surveillance camera and sensor pods that can be detached and mounted in other places within the room.
A single WallBotz 500 appliance can work with up to four cameras and 16 sensor pods installed in the room, so that the spaces between rows of servers can be observed. The data each pod collects is transmitted to the device over Universal Serial Bus cables.
Based on customer feedback, NetBotz also added a PC card slot that can accommodate any wireless Ethernet LAN adapter.
NetBotz also boosted the resolution of its camera, which can provide up to 1280 by 1024 pixel resolution. A new speech synthesizer also tells operators when environmental factors have changed that could potentially cause a problem.
The operating system for the devices, BotzWare 2.0, was also enhanced to support Secure Sockets Layer encryption both to and from the devices, and it provides for more granular thresholds, allowing operators to monitor the rate of temperature change, for example.
The central management system, NetBotz Central 2.0, was made more scaleable with new shared database support for My SQL, Microsoft SQO and Oracle Corp. databases. The tool, which provides configuration, deployment and monitoring functions for the appliances, can now share data on a separate database, allowing users to view and manage data from any of NetBotz Central appliances deployed in the IP network. Also, should one NetBotz Central fail, another one can automatically take over monitoring of the first appliances managed WallBotz devices.
WallBotz 500 is due out by mid-May and starts at $2,699 including a sensor and camera pod. Additional camera pods are $499 and sensor pods are $249. NetBotz Central 2.0, available at the end of May, is $8,999.
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