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Environment Monitoring is an important function for facilities of all types including IT data centers, warehouses, schools, hospitals, offices, restaurants, farms, factories, zoos, museums and more. Maintaining a stable environment where equipment and/or products are housed is critical for their continued operation, protection and use. With this in mind, monitoring is typically needed on a continual basis. It is this understanding that has created the market known as 'IT & Facilities Environment Monitoring'; a market that Forrester Research predicted will surpass $11 billion annually by the year 2012. It is arguably considered one of the fastest growing niches in the computer industry and yet surprisingly remains 'under the radar' of many IT and facilities managers... at least until disaster strikes.
The 'constant' in environment monitoring is that change will inevitably occur. Most managers recognize this and know that to avoid monitoring altogether will expose them to a degree of risk that far surpasses the cost of even the most expensive monitoring solutions available. With automated solutions available worldwide, there's no need to operate blind to potential environmental threats.
In IT & facilities environment monitoring, there are seven primary threats that are consistently of the greatest concern. These include temperature, power, humidity, flood, smoke, air flow and room entry. Additional sensor types can be found for many purposes. These range from simple to complex in regards to installation and use. The objective is to implement sensors that will meet the specific needs of your monitoring application, integrate them with an automated monitoring and alerting system and stay within the budget. AVTECH offers a variety of sensors and solutions to help you do just that.
There are several primary 'types' or 'categories' that sensors are typically divided into, 'Digital', 'Switch' and 'Analog'.
Digital Sensors are those that monitor in real-time to provide digital values that can be viewed through a web or application interface, passed in alert notifications and/or logged for creating charts and graphs. Common digital sensors include temperature and humidity. Respectively, these allow users to receive temperatures as a numeric value of Fahrenheit or Celsius, and humidity as a numeric percentage of relative humidity (RH).
Switch Sensors are those that do not provide values and instead present their real-time status as a condition of being in or out of a specific state. These sensors have a built-in switch or circuit that changes status as a threshold is passed or changes. The status is often referred to as being on/off, open/closed, make/break or above/below. Perhaps the most familiar example of a switch sensor is the traditional smoke sensor in your home or office. Popular switch sensors include power, flood, smoke, room entry and air flow.
Analog Sensors are those that monitor in real-time to provide values as voltages between 0-5VDC that can be converted by Room Alert and viewed through a web or application interface, passed in alert notifications and/or logged for creating charts and graphs. Common analog sensors include current loops and extreme high and low temperature sensors.