Ethernet Temperature Sensor Introduction

An Ethernet temperature sensor allows you to easily track the temperature at your remote site or in your data center. It is a small but potentially powerful and integral part of a network monitoring system, helping you monitor and protect your large network.

How the temperature sensor works.

A temperature sensor monitors a range of voltage, with a thermistor. This is a small resistor that changes resistance based on its temperature. The voltage output measured by the sensor can be used to calculate temperature.

When setting up your Ethernet temperature sensor, you'll setup some means for the sensor to talk data directly to you. While most sensors have a web interface that you can use to view live readings from the sensor, this is not very convenient. You likely have better things to do with your day than staring at the readings on your temperature sensor.

Networked Temperature Sensors Protect Equipment
A temperature sensor can alert you to HVAC gear failure before your gear is damaged. That way, you can act quickly. You'll get your HVAC gear back online or shut down gear to prevent damage.

So, you'll likely setup SNMP Traps, unsolicited messages sent from your Ethernet sensor to your SNMP manager. You can have traps sent from the sensor on a regular interval for trending reasons. Or, you can reduce the network traffic required by the Ethernet temperature sensor by setting threshold values at which the temperature sensor should alert you. The better temperature sensors out there will allow you to set four alarm thresholds. These are "major under", "minor under", "minor over", and "major over". When one is crossed, the temperature sensor will alert you. You'll know when you have a problem. For example, you could set the "minor over" value for a temperature sensor at just above the set point for your air conditioning system. If you receive the "minor over" alarm, you'll know that the air conditioning systems at the site have malfunctioned.

RTUs Consolidate Monitoring at the Site Level.

All of this is convenient for tracking temperature at home or at an very small site. In a larger location (ex. data center), you may wish to monitor other things. To greatly increase your monitoring capacity, you may wish to install an RTU. The better RTUs out there can monitor more than just temperature sensors at your site. They'll have a number of discrete points, extra analog sensors, and provide controls relays to operate gear remotely, all over LAN. The RTU gives you more bang for the Ethernet port that you were simply using for temperature monitoring.

Consolidating monitoring at your site into a single RTU brings all of your monitoring under a single interface. A good RTU will offer the same SNMP trap capabilities as your Ethernet sensors. That way, you'll still receive SNMP alerts for alarms and trending values. The difference is that you'll receive them all from a single source. You won't be wondering about the meaning and location of point references. Even better, a good RTU can send email alert for alarms, so you can know what the temperature is at your site from wherever you are.

A NetGuardian RTU can send temperature alerts and notifications for all of your alarms.
A NetGuardian RTU is a full remote monitoring solution. It monitors temperature/HVAC equipment at your site. It will also monitor your other equipment's discrete contacts.

An RTU like the TempDefender from DPS Telecom provides Ethernet access to up to 16 analog sensors. These include sensors for temperature, humidity, fuel level, or any other values you could hope to measure. Sensors from the TempDefender are also daisy chainable. They can run up to 600 feet from the unit, farther than most stand-alone Ethernet sensors. This means there's no worry about placement or the distribution of Ethernet ports at your site. Wherever you need to monitor temperature by LAN, consider the TempDefender. This RTU offers an inexpensive alternative to the standard Ethernet temp sensor with greater functionality.

TempDefender monitors all your site's analog sensors
The TempDefender IT is a complete environmental monitoring solution. It monitors temperature, humidity, air flow, and other values at your remote sites.

The Alarm Master Puts All of Your Temperature Alarms on One Screen.

As your network grows, you'll find yourself tracking temperature across a lot of sites. You'll want a means to log temperature and other data. While an RTU does consolidate monitoring at the site level, a lot of RTUs make monitoring temperature confusing. When a temperature alarm comes in, you can't afford to waste time. You can't spend time associating IP addresses and point references with the right site. Ignoring an alarm that needs a response is even worse.

A manager to capture temperature and other alarms will help you effectively manage your network. T/Mon can consolidate temperature and other alarms from any protocol, legacy, proprietary, or otherwise. This brings all of your alarm and monitoring data, including Ethernet temperature sensor readings, onto a single interface.

Like your RTU, it can also provide notification for your temperature threshold alarms. However, more sophisticated master stations allow for organized and progressive notification schemes. When a temperature threshold alarm is crossed, your better master stations (ex. T/Mon) can send email, text, pager, or voice alert to the technician. If the primary technician does not acknowledge the alert, T/Mon can roll the alert over to other technicians. That way, no Ethernet temperature threshold alarm goes unnoticed.

Your better SNMP masters can color-code all of your Ethernet temperature sensors on a visual map. When a threshold is crossed, you'll know at a glance where you have a problem and just how severe it is. T/GFX, the geographical interface for T/Mon provides just this sort of interface. You can use it to view your temperature sensors at large. You can also "drill down" to lower levels of the map, all the way down to the floor plan view. With drill-down, as you monitor larger sites like data centers, you can see exactly where your HVAC systems have failed.

T/GFX for T/Mon
The Graphical interface for T/Mon provides a map-based interface for all of your sites. You can drill from your network at large down to the floor plan at your sites.

Ethernet temperature sensors are just a small but integral part of a robust monitoring network. As you search for Ethernet temperature sensors to for your network, you may want to consider RTUs or a master station to better maintain your network.

Related Topics:
Data Center Cooling

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