Monday 25 November 2013

Remote monitoring for small data centres and holiday homes

While experimenting with the interSeptor Pro my mind turned to how the technology could be used to protect our holiday home during the winter period. Our insurers demand the home is visited weekly while it is empty, but some form of continuous remote monitoring could greatly enhance this for a relatively low cost. The Jacarta equipment is good but is designed and priced for data centre usage. I had a look at some alternatives.  They don't offer the scope of facilities provided by the interSeptor, but could cover the need for monitoring a holiday home.
The same technology could be useful in small remote offices.

GSM based - PAYG SIM
These need no external wired connection to the premises and can raise alerts over the mobile telephone network. 

Low cost internet monitoring 
If the home has a broadband internet connection these devices provide scope for interactive remote monitoring.
  •  Neon 100 - Temp and humidity with email alert
  • Sensormetrix Titanium P8541 4 probes inputs; SNMP Traps, Email alerts and web interface.
  • Poseidon 3266 - Temp and humidity plus 4 Dry Contact inputs for other sensors; SNMP Traps, Email alerts and web browser interface
I've also been investigating software to monitor SNMP Traps (alerts from these devices) which is located on a central server. This monitor software can then be linked with SMS services to generate SMS alerts on an alert.  The monitor software allows software logic to control the type of response needed. Here's a list of items to consider

  • Nagios, 
  • The Dude, 
  • Zabbix, 
  • IBM Tivoli, 
  • HP OpenView, 
  • OpManager, 
  • IMM (Intellipool Network Monitor), 
  • Monitor one, 
  • Cacti, 
  • MRTG, 
  • Opsview, 
  • LoriotPro, 
  • Axence 
  • nvision, 
  • Ipswitch 
  • WhatsUp, 
  • Paessler IPCheck, 
  • MSC Operations Manager 2007
I eventually found some suitable software which has a small monthly subscription of a couple of pounds per month. It provides extensive monitoring and alert facilities including SMS text messages. It also allows me to monitor the devices from my Android tablet while I'm "on the road".

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