IPoP Gateways & Sensors
Environmental management and IIoT devices have the capacity to track and make intelligent data available on a wide variety of tools, objects and activities. Netshield environmental management and IIoT enabled hardware and software solutions are powered by the company’s flexibility and ability to utilise digital touchpoints in existing inhouse design libraries to design and develop or modify existing designs to fulfil the user-specification as per the user-requirements of our clients. The sensors and 3 rd party OEM devices connect to an intelligent-Point-of-Presence-edge-Gateways (iPoPeGateways), existing or tailormade iPoP-eGateways, that can connect to a variety of service providers cloud-platforms.
The Netshield iPoP-eGateways are populated with a wide variety of digital and analogue inputs/outputs, sensor and serial interfaces for 3 rd party device activation to ensure the maximized flexibility to accommodate virtually any sensor and the activation of any 3 rd party device. The referred to ‘3 rd party devices’ is other 3 rd party OEM equipment, with console interfaces, that must be included in the IMS e.g., UPS’s, generators, airconditioners, access-controllers. Connected sensor and 3 rd party device data/telemetry is relayed via the onsite installed iPoP-eGateways to the cloud-platform for processing and user access. The iPoP-eGateways internal power backup system and optional Out-of-Band (OoB) connectivity ensure that the systems continue reporting activity, alerts, alarms and statuses during power failures even when your installed backup systems fail. The default configuration of the iPoP-eGateway utilizes a breakout from your network to report into the IMS cloud-based-platform and automatically switches to the backup OoB device, normally GSM based, when this option is enabled. User access is secured through SSL, 2FA & Open-ID and is restricted as per systems configuration for administrators, super-users and users. The iPoP-eGateways are controlled and configured by the IMS cloud-platform but does have local decisionmaking intelligence and capabilities built into it for end data processing and control mechanism functionality. The iPoP-eGateways not only have the intelligence to localise console sessions with 3rd party products to extract event/alert information but can receive information used to make intelligent local decisions on the logical next steps to follow if a certain event occurs, but these steps are also pre-programmed into the units to ensure that these processes are followed. E.g., cut the power to an area if smoke is detected or grant access from a local database and record an event when up-links fail – reducing access delays and increasing reliability.
The solution provides the ability to monitor, alert and control multiple items under facilities management. These integrations have no dependencies on each other, however there are considerable benefits and workflows which can be realised by integrating and aggregating multiple items into the central management system.
Fire panel Monitoring
Integration of existing fire panels can be accomplished utilising one of three possible scenarios.
All abovementioned options provide the ability to gather alerts from smoke/fire detectors and extinguishing systems.
Second only to the visibility of the integrated fire panel as part of the converged IMS, is the ability to convert the traditional zone-naming convention used on standard fire panels to a more descriptive known physical spaces associated alert message e.g., ‘smoke detect – zone-2’ can be converted to ‘smoke detect – UPS room’ or ‘smoke detected – Zone-2” to ‘smoke detected – staging area”.
Either of the first two options, both local options, are preferred, as alerts will still be sent from the iPoP-eGateway in the event of long-term power loss or WAN communication failures.
This information can be utilised to trigger alarms, push or email notifications and integrate into automation workflows such as turning air conditioning on or off, or activating lights or sirens. Fire extinguishers managed and activated by the system can also be installed and managed via the IMS cloud-Platform. If we do detect any fire or smoke, we can add circuitry to cut the power to that specific area and activate the event recording from the appropriate camera/s.
Air conditioner monitoring (HVAC)
Integration of existing and newly installed air conditioners can be accomplished utilising one of two possible scenarios
The NACCU options is the preferred option, not only because of the added functionality but also the added naming convention of known physical descriptions e.g., the one install closest to the entrance is then named ‘entrance AC’ and the other mount next to the wall as the ‘wall AC’. The locally installed NACCU continues cycling and control when uplinks fail and also provides a sensor-set connectivity point to connect sensor that check the input and output temperature of each air conditioner and monitors for any possible water drip/leaks of the air conditioners.
The evenly shared workload of the air conditioners ensures that both air conditioners are serviceable at the same time, reducing service costs. The controlled tandem functionality of the Air conditioning units not only optimizes performance, energy efficiency and supplies maintenance information but also provides the ability to implement energy efficiencies through integration with access control, workflow implementations and automations.
Server room environmental sensors
The room environmental sensors include evenly distributed temperature sensors throughout the room to ensure that the entire room is cooled to the appropriate temperature and that no critical ‘temperature hot spots’ would go undetected. The sensor-set includes humidity sensors to ensure that the relative humidity percentage in the room, this sensor is also used to alert of possible electrostatic risk of human interaction with equipment and assists with activation of humidifiers. Flooding sensors are included, these sensors install under the raised flooring at the entrance doors to the server room and used to detect external flooding risks.
Integration of the in-cabinet sensor-sets, installed in each cabinet, ensures that the environmental profile of each cabinet is available as part of the IMS cloud-platform and possible issues within the cabinets can be detected and addressed. This is especially handy information when the need arises for planning of expansion and upgrades to existing cabinet configurations. Temperature ‘Hotspots’ are common in cabinets due to restricted air conditioner airflow into cabinets caused by the positioning and orientation of individual cabinets. These hotspots may cause low humidity areas within the cabinet that not only increases the risk of electrostatic discharge from personnel working in the cabinets but also the risk of water condensation when the hotspots cooldown. The addition of in-cabinet temperature, humidity and flooding sensors enables the granular management of this risk.
The full integration of all utility power supply, power distribution, power generation and power storage devices are one of the most critical elements of the IMS cloud-platform as a holistic management of these elements is critical to the stability of any companies’ network.
Integration of UPS devices, utilizing localized serial interfaces, involves and will provide the following control and benefits
Utilising console integration expands the monitoring capability and can determine additional information such as state of charge of batteries indicating exact conditions rather than general alarms only indicating failure and not the cause of failure. This exact, granular information is fed into the cloud application and can be used for decision making ability, repairs and alerting.
Our solution integrates into the onboard generator controllers’ serial interface which integrates directly into the iPoP-eGateway e.g., Deepsea, Lovato. This integration activates the ability to monitor and control various functions via the convenient IMS mobile app or cloud-platform.
The following outcomes are available through this integration:
The deployment of high-quality Type 1, 2 & 3 monitorable surge and lighting protection devices to the distribution board ensures that the server room installation is sufficiently protected from these risks. Damage to these protection devices is detected through monitoring, ensuring prompt alerting for the replacement of the damaged pluggable cartridges of the protection devices.
The solution integrates managed class-one-energy-meters (EM) added into the mains feeding power of the server and UPS rooms electrical distribution boards. A granular view of how much energy is consumed and alerts are generated on low- & high-power consumption (voltage & current) by the electrical load in these areas. The EM’s has the added advantage of metering the total consumption of the load and checks the power factor (pf) of all inductive loads in the server room, the pf is used as a leading indicator of possible failure risks. The detection of possible failure is used to trigger an alert for preventative maintenance / service of devices.
Energy consumption metering is a critical value element in any energy saving strategy, where Step 1 is to baseline consumption patterns and Step 2 is to find ways to reduce and manage consumption and see if there’s improvements. Having accurate measurements of power consumption will allow for the correlation of these consumption stats to expected consumption. An energy saving strategy can also be developed, having baselined the consumption patterns of devices and assets. Additionally, this integration can be included in automation or workflow scenarios to cut or enable power as needed based on requirements.
This integrated solution offers the option to add smart PDU’s as replacement for existing PDU’s in all cabinets, ensuring efficiency and risk management when planning expansions and upgrades into existing cabinets. The smart PDU’s allow, at entry level, for more granular monitoring of consumption within the cabinets and the ability to remote power cycle or switch connected equipment. Enhanced functionality PDU’s are even more granular in that they allow for per port power consumption metering and individual power outlet cycling or switching of connected equipment.
Energy metering and remote control of the switch functions are integrated into the IMS cloud-platform for access to consumption information during expansion and upgrade planning. An additional feature within the IMS is a full per-cabinet layout indicating the associated U-count location of the equipment and the connected power port of the installed equipment.
The solution has the ability to integrate with onsite renewable resources utilizing the serial interfaces to connect to inverters and lithium batteries and extract state-of-charge, solar yield, consumptions and duration of supply at current load conditions.
The integration is assisted by information received through an active on-cloud
to assist in consumption planning.
Consumption planning is critical for commercial applications where the batteries of the renewable energy installation is the primary energy backup storage devices of the server room.
Access control and security
Integration of access and security information is critical in associating possible human error with downtime. Knowing who accessed when and how long they stayed in the data center or server room is critical to the management of risk elements and change-control enforcement.
The iPoP-eGateways are populated with dual access interfaces, each one of the interfaces includes Wiegand data, door-sensor, magnetic lock control and break glass contacts. These interfaces are used to integrate either existing or new access terminals that increases the manageability of the server room as false triggers on motion and occupancy sensors can be eliminated from the alarms and events. The access information is also converged in the single pane-of-glass application and the cloud platform records, give users a clear indication of human presence in the server room.
This information assists with asset management and the automatic disabling of the triggering of fire extinguisher systems when personnel is present in the server room. The IMS cloud-platform contains a built-in services prebooking scheduler, controlling access of subcontractors and staff, the integrated access information automates population of access event in this schedular and is used for various functions in the server room.
Integration of alarms systems, especially at unmanned remote installations, automatically enables the automation of the activation and deactivation of these systems of validated entry and exit eliminating the human risk of reactivation of alarm systems. This also enables remote control of access for subcontractors and service agents to the sites.
Depending on the installed locking mechanisms and monitoring sensors, the IMS cloud-system enables the remote control for the locking and unlocking of access gates and doors for contractors and personnel to remote sites or at least the confirmation that the site is locked before the contractor can leave the site. This removes the requirement for the naturally problematic traditional manual key-management systems.
Integration into central surveillance management systems allows additional value adds to be performed above and beyond what the current systems offer. Some of these include specific labelling of events and alerts on the video streams which provides easy access and searchability utilizing inserted tags for specific events. Such an example would be to label data using known physical space names for specific rooms and/or utilising user identification to label users allowing for video searching based on user and room. Additional variables and functionalities can also be included as well as automations and workflows into the cloud platform allowing for service chaining based on other sensor integrations.
These customizable automations provide powerful analysis and scenario driven outputs and outcomes that can improve overall security and efficiencies across the environment such as turning off devices when users leave.
Occupancy detection and sensor control not only allows for improved monitoring and efficiencies but can be utilised to trigger non-standard event recordings in the event of critical emergencies such as fire hazards to control movements, light specific areas, disable power and air conditioning and perform occupancy counts based on areas e.g., event triggered video recording on flooding and smoke detection.
Finally, the cloud platform allows both inbound and outbound API’s and data movement providing the enhanced data to external applications or importing additional information to further enrich decision making abilities.