Geist Variable Speed Fan Controller: “Steps on the Gas” or “Hits the Brakes” as Enclosure Cooling Needs Fluctuate

geist-variable-speed-fan-controllerFrom the green perspective on data center cooling, keeping rack fans running full tilt all the times is the equivalent of revving your engine nonstop while sitting through a red light, or keeping an oven preheated 24/7 so that it’s ready to go if and when you feel like baking something. In other words, it’s needless, wastes crazy amounts of energy, and causes unnecessary wear and tear on the components left running (i.e. the fans).

That’s not to say that cooling isn’t one of the most important elements of a well-run server room. Rack fans are, in many cases, a must, and they need to be left on to adequately circulate air and keep things comfortable for temp-sensitive computer equipment. The point is that they don’t have to be run at high speed all the time to do their job. It’s actually possible to keep a server enclosure at an optimal temperature with fans running at lower speeds and using less energy. Considering the stat I recently read that said cooling costs alone can swallow up to 40% of a data center’s energy budget, why wouldn’t you want to make some smart pare-downs wherever possible? Your data center will be that much greener for the energy savings, and the lower electricity bills won’t hurt your budget either.

So, how do you accomplish these energy-conserving fan speed adjustments? It’s easier than you might think. Geist’s Variable Speed Fan Controller mounts right into a server enclosure, and based on temperature parameters that you set, adjusts fan speed as needed when temp readings fluctuate. If things are warm but not too stuffy, fans will be run at a gentler speed, saving you unnecessary wear and tear on your ventilation fans, as well as pointless overspending on energy. But when that equipment kicks into high gear and starts cranking out the BTUs, the fan controller senses the rise in temperature, and makes the fans work harder. Exactly what you need, when you need it.

The Geist Variable Speed Fan Controller also has a web interface, and can be set to warn you via e-mail, SNMP traps or XML when temperature conditions get out of control and warrant your personal attention. You can also adjust fan speeds remotely by way of the web interface, so it’s a perfect option for business owners or data center managers who need peace of mind even when they’re on the go.

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Geist Compact Environmental Monitor: The High-Tech Babysitter for Your Most Sensitive Network Components

January 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment
Filed under: Server Racks and Enclosures 

geist-compact-environmental-monitorI’m a little foggy on how it all unfolded, but there’s a scene in an old episode of Frasier in which the lovably pretentious Frasier Crane (played by Kelsey Grammer) complains to his blue collar, ex-cop father, Martin (John Mahoney) about all of the things that drive him crazy and make life unbearable. The exact annoyances I can’t remember, but they probably had something to do with imbeciles who can’t correctly pronounce the name of his favorite opera, someone dreadfully fouling up his $8 cappuccino order, or a sommelier who didn’t live up to expectations – you know, the everyday stuff. Anyway, when Frazier finishes his whiny rant, Martin retorts with something to the affect of, “Well, aren’t you a little hothouse orchid!”

I never thought I’d end up relating one of my favorite shows to IT equipment, but here it goes: network components are just as much hothouse orchids as our gent Frasier is. They may not snub and whine and spend way too much at the haberdashery, but man, are they finicky – especially when it comes to temperature and humidity. Let servers get too hot, or mess with the ambient humidity too much, and they start spazzing out or shut down altogether. Talk about electronics that need constant babysitting!

But there’s not really a choice: communication must go on, so the equipment that makes it possible must be coddled. But now there’s an easier way, one that gives you a break from constantly monitoring the thermostat and humidity levels. Meet Geist’s Compact Environmental Monitor, an extremely helpful device that mounts in any data center or server enclosure, and keeps tabs on all the vitals for you… while you spend your time on better things.

Here’s how it works: you install the environmental monitor, and then set a few predetermined maximum and/or minimum thresholds, or cutoff points. If the temperature or humidity go above or below the parameters you’ve set, the monitor automatically sends you an alert via e-mail, so that you can tend to the problem at hand. This is all thanks to a PoE web interface that provides the Internet connection and the power – you don’t even need to plug it into a separate electrical outlet.

High maintenance just got a lot easier to deal with.

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