There are many infrastructure challenges in today’s data centers that can be solved fairly simply. Wires, for example, link server to server, device to device. They underpin every cooling and power system in a facility. Even the monitoring equipment that provides operators with the intelligence to manage a facility efficiently relies on wired components — or does it?
Traditionally, sensors required power cables and physical connections to networked readers. However, the next generation of technology is shunning this approach by going wire-free. Not only is this simpler to install and maintain on an ongoing basis, but wireless solutions are more cost effective and can be easily scaled in line with data center growth. This in turn reduces the demand on employees and energy consumption while saving on operating costs.
These benefits are particularly valuable within the context of environmental control. Effective risk management means staying one step ahead of potential issues. Problems need to be detected before they escalate and cause long-term damage. Water leaks, temperature extremities, dangerous levels of humidity and power failures can all have devastating effects on the data center estate. This is exacerbated by today’s condensed, increasingly hotter rack densities.
Many organizations choose to begin the ‘untethering process’ with environmental efficiency as their core objective. They wish to easily regulate temperatures, stabilize sensitive locations and gain greater visibility into processing workloads.
These outcomes are delivered through continual asset visibility, which as a result needs a certain volume of sensor data. Connecting every server and environmental system with wired instrumentation is too cumbersome, inflexible and in the long-term, more expensive than wire-free alternatives.
Deep in the Heart of a Facility
The value of cutting cords is even more valuable in remote data locations or difficult-to-access spaces. Managers will never be completely confident that IT assets are operating efficiently unless they have the data to prove their expectations and make proactive adjustments.
By ‘untethering’ a facility’s monitoring equipment, managers instantly have detailed access to accurate coverage across every inch of a building. For example, wire-free sensors beacon regularly, regardless of where sensors actually are. Beneath floor panels, at the back of racks, in the ceiling — they could be anywhere. Monitoring these tough-to-reach locations is challenging enough, but the issue is made even more difficult if you need to run miles of wiring between sensors and servers.
Furthermore, there is the matter of heat. Compressed server designs equate to greater temperatures and thus the need for more power for suitable levels of cooling. Keeping the data center stable means carefully monitoring a facility’s air conditioning. Not only do wire-free sensors offer this level of granular insight, but they often have low-power outputs which in turn reduces the pressure they put on the cooling infrastructure itself.
The days of connecting every sensor together with wires is coming to a close as managers look to make their professional lives easier and the environments they manage more efficient with wire-free solutions.