A robotic sensor has earned OneNeck® IT Solutions it’s first-ever patent. The Lewis, U.S. Patent No. 9,843,847 for “Temperature-Humidity Monitoring Assembly for Closed Server Cabinet” disclosure and claims are directed to a vertically sweeping roaming robotic-sensor designed to move up and down a closed server cabinet. Data centers include hundreds of such cabinets. During each vertical sweep, the sensor assembly records the heat and humidity then generates a color-coded heat map.

“It’s a game-changer for our clients,” said Hank Koch, SVP of Mission Critical Facilities, OneNeck. “We can leverage this sensor to test the climate within client’s cabinets and then use the information to better protect their mission critical servers and IT-equipment. The robotic sensor is innovative, non-intrusive and extremely effective.”

The newly patented sensor attaches to the inside of the cabinet door — without any modification or drilling. Fully controlled from outside the cabinet, the motor and belt-driven rail assembly unit, slowly and incrementally, raises the sensor until it reaches the top of the cabinet, and then lowers it back to the base. A heat-map is then generated.

“With pinpoint accuracy, the heat-map reveals any and all hot spots,” said Koch. “Equipped with this information, our facilities technicians can quickly and efficiently make the necessary adjustments to improve overall air flow. Bottom-line, this unique monitoring device can aid our clients in managing their internal rack, cable placement and airflows, thus preventing overheating, early burn-out or, even worse, downtime.”

Preventing downtime is the top priority for OneNeck. The company, which operates top-tier, purpose-built data centers in Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, and Wisconsin, is steadfast in its focus to keep the facilities fully operational 24/7. According to the company, these state-of-the-art facilities were built to protect client’s IT assets from natural disasters. Each data center includes infrastructure redundancy, customizable security measures, biometrics, multi-factor authentication, and 24/7 video surveillance.

With input and assistance from parent company Telephone and Data Systems, OneNeck was provided the resources to pursue its first patent. The patent was issued on Dec. 12, 2017.

“This was a unique idea and opportunity,” said Terry Swanson, president and CEO, OneNeck. “Coupled with the fact that there was no evidence another similar device was available in the United States, we elected to pursue a patent. Now, having been awarded the patent, it’s a very exciting position to be in!”

From a business perspective, Koch added, “The patent allows us to differentiate ourselves and the way we run our data centers. Essentially, we’re the only company helping its customers maintain climate hygiene within their cabinets with automated, quantitative, front and back, entire-cabinet climate profiling. Based on our research, it doesn’t look like any other colocation provider has anything like it.”

In fact, the patent limits other providers from making and/or using similar server cabinet sensor assemblies.