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USB 101 Part 2: The Power of a Ready to Use Temperature Monitor

Nov 11, 2014

Self-directed sensor integration is great, but is it cost-effective, robust, and proven?

The market for temperature monitoring devices in server, telecom and IT rooms offers hundreds of choices that vary in price, design, and ease of setup and use.  So when an IT professional needs to monitor the temperature of their facility what do they choose?  The answer is, “It depends.”  It depends on the budget, time ones has to look at every and all options, the equipment or area to be monitored, technical wherewithal to integrate the device, alerting and reporting requirements, and reputation in the market.

But what does one do when they want a ready to use, temperature monitoring and alerting that can be configured to work in minutes, send out one or multiple email alerts, and is able to be configured for SMS text alerts?  Temperature@lert’s USB Edition provides this and more, helping reduce setup and custom configuration time compared to low cost options.

The USB Edition comes with it’s own ready to use software, so installing and configuring the device is easy.  For email alerts when temperatures exceed user defined levels is simple using the built in SMTP configuration screen (below). Temperature@lert can even provide a secure SMTP outbound email server if one is not available.

USB Edition Configuration screenshot showing alert email address and SMTP server setup.  High and low temperature alarm levels and alert frequency are also defined here.  SSL/TSL encryption can also be specified from this screen.

The USB Edition software provides graphic screens displaying temperature history on a chart in user selected Fahrenheit or Celsius units.  Users can quickly adjust zoom levels to examine data more closely with a point and click tool (bottom right of graph).  When the next reading is scheduled if temperatures exceed user set levels, 75°F in this case, the temperature reading and graphic on left side of the graph changes from white to yellow and the thermometer image above shows an out of specification warning, the universal NO symbol of a red circle with a slash.  Concurrently, and email message is sent to those set by the user in the setup process alerting them that there is a temperature excursion and action is needed.

Temperature graph displays show normal (left) and alert (right) conditions displayed by the USB Edition’s software program which is included in the device price.

Another standard feature of the USB Edition’s software is the automatic shutdown option.  If the USB Edition is plugged into a computer or server that must be protected from damage due to extreme temperatures, the software allows the user to shut down the computer or server automatically to prevent damage.  The user can set the interval before the device is shut down to allow technicians to correct the cause of the condition. This option can be extremely valuable for mission critical equipment.

Shut down screen shot lets user define time to disable mission critical electronics.

"It is so important to monitor our IT department server room equipment for out of boundary temperatures which can damage or shorten the life of costly network and server  equipment. The USB Temperature@lert device has helped by alerting us via email at the time the temperature exceeds our set limits." Jim Isom, Network Specialist @ CG&FS

Selecting a simple USB temperature monitoring and alerting device can be challenging.  Depending on their workload, which is generally excessive, IT professionals may not have the time to program their own temperature sensors to enable them to be robust monitoring and alarm devices.  Temperature@lert’s USB Edition provides a robust, proven complete package ready to use.  Thousands of these devices are in use in Small and MidSized Business (SMB) server, telecom and computer rooms worldwide.   Additionally the device provides additional hooks and features that IT professionals can use to customize the operation and integrate it into enterprise systems; more about that in the next piece in this series.

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Written By:

Dave Ruede, Well-Versed Wordsmith

Dave Ruede, a dyed in the wool Connecticut Yankee, has been involved with high tech companies for the past three decades. His background in chemistry and experience in a multitude of industries such as industrial chemicals and systems, pulp and paper, semiconductor fabrication, data centers, and test and assembly facilities informs his work daily. Well-versed in sales, marketing, management, and business development, Dave brings real world experience to Temperature@lert. When not crafting new Temperature@lert projects, Dave enjoys spending time with his young granddaughter, who keeps him grounded to the simple joys in life. Such joys for this wordsmith include reading prize winning fiction and non-fiction. Although a Connecticut Yankee, living for a decade in coastal California’s not too hot, not too cold climate epitomizes Dave’s favorite temperature, 75°F.

Temperature@lert Dave Ruede

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