Sunday, 24 November 2013

Initial impressions of the Jacarta interSeptor Pro

It works straight from the box, is well designed and robustly constructed.

Maybe I need to expand on that statement. I had to read a brief leaflet to check the process to set the IP address but the process of setting the address on the Jacarta unit was easy.  I'd assigned a static IP address outside of our normal DHCP range. Once that was complete I  plugged the interSeptor into a network switch port using a CAT5 patch cord to connect it to our office network. I was able to perform most configuration and monitoring over the network using a Java enabled browser, A full manual is supplied in pdf format on an accompanying CD.

The process of connecting temperature and humidity probes (EMD) was an easy plug and play process using standard 8 wire RJ45 structured UTP cabling and patch cords. Note that the EMD use all eight conductors of the network network cable for physical electrical connection. There is a range limitation of a maximum 20 metres cable length for the connection. It is not a TCP/IP connection between the interSeptor and the EMD probe. In practice in a data centre room I'd use a separate structured cabling system with different coloured cable to connect the interSeptor, but in practice there's nothing to prevent you from using an existing cabling system.

The EMD probe is not limited to temperature and humidity. Each EMD has two sets of additional inputs to which you can connect further Jacarta sensors or monitor relay contacts (normally open/normally closed). I've purchased the 8 port interSeptor Pro. It arrived with 8 EMD probes. This allows me to monitor temperature/humidity  at 8 locations within the 20 metre cable radius. A further total of 16 sensors can be attached via the EMD to the interSeptor.  There are other models of the interSeptor Pro which support a greater number of ports. I can easily visualise a single interSeptor Pro monitoring up to eight equipment cabinets. If you need more chose a model with more ports.

There are two output pair points per eight RJ45 inputs on the main unit. These can be used to control external devices such as relays or strobe/siren units. The output connectors can be triggered remotely or in response to an alert condition within the interSeptor unit. For example this unit might be used to remotely control both an alarm siren/strobe light and also an electronic door lock for a room or cabinet.

The main unit is supplied with rack mounting fittings for a standard cabinet. Power is provided via a C13 plug which fits into a socket at the rear of the unit. The RJ45 sockets are at the front of the unit. A serial port is located at the rear of the unit. The serial port is used for console connection or for an optional GSM modem which can be used to send GSM text message alerts.  It is designed for installation in a typical technology equipment room, though of course it can be used free standing.

I liked the configuration, monitoring and alert capabilities which were easy to configure and sufficient to cover most situations. The unit can be monitored by most network management software tools via the TCP/IP network connection, so it is well suited to remote operation. I'll cover more detail on the Jacarta software in a later blog, but suffice to say you do not need extra software to use this device. Jacarta also offer a remote monitoring/alert service for a low annual subscription.

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