How do you maintain the climate in the server room?

Good health to all!

My name is Marat, at the moment I work as an IT specialist (roughly, any-key). In my review, I would like to draw the reader's attention to systems for maintaining and monitoring the climate in the server room.

My review does not consider large data centers with an abundance of servers; rather, my review considers examples with one, maximum two servers. In the review, I would like to compare modern climate control systems in server rooms for small organizations. My task was not to analyze all possible monitoring systems, I compared budget decisions of approximately the same price range.

Having worked in different organizations with a different number of employees, with a different budget level, it became obvious and clear to me that, perhaps, the last thing that management is ready to spend money on is the climate control system in the server room. It so happened historically that the server room is the most uncomfortable room that you can imagine. But in principle, this is not so bad if, say, the server room is somewhere in a distant basement, where it is cool most of the year and without air conditioning, but what if, say, the server room was decided to be placed in the attic? In this case, you can’t do without an air conditioner.

Over the years of my work, I managed to see different things: server rooms in the kitchen, when I had to swear with guards in the winter so that they would leave the windows open, and in no case turn on the heaters in the kitchen; “Server” in the office, where the server’s operating temperature directly depended on the one in whose hands the remote control was from the air conditioner; there was also work experience when the air conditioning simply worked 24 hours and 7 days a week, but there was no climate monitoring. That is, in case of failure of the air conditioner at the weekend, the equipment could definitely overheat. Actually, this happened after four years of work: one fine day, fluid flowed from the split system and we were forced to replace the split system. At the moment, I’m thinking about equipping the server room with climate control systems. Ideally, I plan sensors for temperature, humidity, the presence of 220 v in the smoke network and an IP camera for a visual picture. I plan to connect devices using Ethernet to the router from the provider + I need a GSM gateway to send messages about critical system conditions. I’ll purchase an IP camera separately, inexpensive Hikvision in a standard case, which I’ll connect to my ISP’s router.
I chose two solutions for analysis: NetPing and Sky Control .

So, the task is to provide climate control in the server room according to the following parameters:

  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Smoke
  • Stock 220 v
  • Visual control

Below is a list of basic devices for analysis:

So, let's begin.

Both devices have approximately the same set of features that I need.

The dimensions are standard for mounting in a 19 '' 1U cabinet, the power consumption of SkyControl is 6-18 watts, NetPing is unknown. The difference that struck me right away was the ability to operate NetPing equipment with 110 volts, which is sometimes critical in a place with problematic power. Although I do not exclude that the switching power supply is installed in SkyControl equipment.

Both devices have an IEC 14 power connector, that is, there will be no problem connecting to a regular UPS.

Additionally, temperature, humidity and smoke detectors are available for ordering. However, it is possible to connect a sensor to SkyControl devices that combines all 3 measurements:SC460 / Smoke, humidity, and temperature sensor, while a 1-wire, (HS) combined humidity and temperature sensor can be connected to a NetPing device . Again, it must be borne in mind that the smoke detector will definitely be installed on the ceiling, and the temperature on the ceiling may not coincide with the temperature in the server cabinet, but in any case, the sensor readings will be useful for monitoring. Additionally, I plan to install temperature sensors directly in the server cabinets, because in my case one air conditioner is used for the whole room with two server cabinets.

I would also like to dwell on the voltage sensor in the network.

SkyControl offers a sensor specifically for measuring voltage, while NetPing offers220v voltage sensor , according to the description. The need to have a “voltage meter” in a remote monitoring system is more likely to be a bonus than an advantage. In my case, I decided to install three sensors, the first to the city network, the second to the network from the voltage converter (inverter + batteries) and the third to the network from UPS. This decision is justified by the desire to see a clear picture if the power goes out, how much time is there to not start the generator after hours, when electricity is needed only for the server room.

As I mentioned above, I’ll purchase a camera separately, something like Hikvision, simple and convenient. I will connect to the router in order to see what happens in the server room in case of sensors triggering. I will also install a memory card directly into the camera to record pictures from the camera.


Both solutions are quite similar in characteristics, in the capabilities of the connected sensors, however, there are some differences that turned out to be obvious to me:

  1. NetPing solutions do not use operating systems, while Linux is installed on SkyControl devices.
  2. NetPing solutions are pleased with such goodies as the presence of an integrated GSM module and the possibility of remote control of the air conditioner (on / off).
  3. SkyControl solutions are pleasantly surprised by the presence of precisely the voltage measurement function, which is extremely important in conditions when the voltage in the network is below normal.
  4. SkyControl solutions allow you to connect a USB camera to a monitoring device.

I could not find the images on the SkyControl website, but NetPing has a connection scheme:

My review does not pretend to be the final and true truth, I was just trying to compare solutions of about the same level. If you still missed something, please write comments.

I hope the review will be helpful.

Thank you for attention!
Based on materials from and

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