Data centers are increasingly high-tech, and the associated improvements extend beyond the facilities themselves to the equipment inside.
For example, operators or customers can invest in smart cabinets for equipment. There are several reasons why these storage units can be advantageous for data center providers or users.
However, some smart cabinets for data centers have components that detect smoke and can help put out flames. Then, managers can have more accurate insights about fires in progress and reduce the chances of extensive destruction.
Improper temperature or humidity levels can damage equipment in a data center, but smart cabinets give people more information about conditions even when they are off-site. For example, smart centers often have humidity and temperature settings that provide real-time readings.
Moreover, people can use smart cabinets with corresponding apps. They set the desired temperature and humidity ranges, then get alerts if conditions stray outside of them. That benefit eliminates the possibility of a data center operator arriving for a shift and seeing that the climate in a specific area was within a harmful range for too long.
Typically, smart cabinet apps enable users to get notifications via various methods, such as within a dedicated interface within an app, or by text message and email. Then, data center professionals can decide how to handle the situation based on the information provided.
Alternatively, if a customer uses a smart cabinet and gets that type of alert, they can immediately contact the center to ensure its operators know about the problem.
People often discuss the threat of cybercriminals hacking data centers. Although it's important to be aware of and reduce those risks, physical access control is crucial, too. Things such as identification badge scanners, security codes and door locks operated with numerical codes are effective in reducing the likelihood that unauthorized parties get too much access.
Fortunately, the leading options for smart cabinets have physical access controls, such as mechanical and digital locks. Moreover, the apps mentioned earlier can also send notifications that could indicate an access breach, such as giving a warning about a cabinet door left open.
In that example, the open door could be due to the forgetfulness of someone who has the right to be near data center equipment, but it could also relate to an intruder who forced the door open.
As mentioned earlier, fires are one cause of unplanned outages. However, power failures can be similarly destructive and cease normal operations. Data centers that consider such scenarios and handle them proactively have uninterruptible power supplies (UPS). Numerous UPS options exist, and operators must think about their needs and the specifications of a given solution before investing in it.
Additionally, you can buy individual smart cabinets that have an integrated UPS. They offer high-availability power with consistent frequency and voltage. Some suppliers also give purchasers the option of buying their products with a second, redundant UPS that users can activate during times when the original UPS gets serviced.
Another advantage of some smart cabinets is that they come with power monitoring components. Besides checking that the data center equipment has power constantly flowing to it, the smart cabinet may offer residual current monitoring. That perk helps keep operators safeguarded from harmful levels of electricity, and it could prevent fires.
Today's smart cabinets surpass traditional options for numerous reasons, most of which were covered here. If you're thinking about investing in one soon, keep in mind that this kind of high-tech equipment could help you keep tabs on data center happenings wherever you are and during any time of day or night.
Considering the consequences of not addressing a data center failure in time, you could think of smart cabinets as products that protect your investments.
Kayla Matthews writes about data centers and big data for several industry publications, including The Data Center Journal, Data Center Frontier and insideBIGDATA. To read more posts from Kayla, you can follower her personal tech blog at ProductivityBytes.com.