Inus Dreckmeyr

Traditional datacentre facilities are made up of cabinets and a jumble of cables, hardware and other equipment with very little cohesion. Yes, they work, but the environments are noisy, expensive to run, and don’t live up to their potential in terms of efficiency.

Inus Dreckmeyr, CEO at Netshield South Africa, says this is why so many organisations are opting for secure and self-contained cabinets, as these enable businesses to deploy infrastructure in a matter of minutes. However, there are still companies who can’t afford to replace and reinvest in new infrastructure, which is why it has introduced its Netshield Smart PDU controlled intelligent handles with sensors – transforming your old cabinets into Secure Intelligent Cabinets.

The reality is that you don’t need to replace existing cabinets in your server room you can transform your environment completely by simply adding new Netshield Smart PDU controlled intelligent handles, and some sensors, where the existing handles are. This is the perfect solution for businesses wanting to convert their existing cabinets into Secure-Intelligent Cabinets, as they need only to retrofit the intelligent handles, add Smart PDUs and environmental sensors to existing cabinets to convert them into fully managed secure-intelligent cabinets.

“With a Secure Intelligent Cabinet, you put control of your assets back into the hands of your IT teams. By adding a Netshield Smart PDU controlled intelligent handle, all your infrastructural services can be controlled from one IP address that you can then select and assign to devices of your choice. Continuous monitoring and configuration can be enabled through on-board SNMP or cloud enabled interfaces, in addition, you can leverage backup emergency reporting and control through a GSM/SMS optional interface. In addition, you can host remote datacentres on site or branch offices and still guarantee that only approved people are able to access them,” says Dreckmeyr.

Installing smart PDUs and retrofitting intelligent handles, offers the greatest level of security, remote control and monitoring, as they provide outlet-level or point of presence event data collection. The Netshield IoT/Cloud, Web and SNMP Smart managed Zero U PDU’s are designed for quick and easy installation, and are cost efficient, with reliable high volume power distribution. They provide active Class 1 metering to provide energy predictability, optimisation, circuit protection and sensor connectivity. Users can also create user-defined upper and lower alarm thresholds to lessen risk with real-time remote alerts, these then warn of potential circuit overloads, as well as provide insight into access events and environmental threshold transgressions.

These enhanced switchable Smart PDUs can be accessed and configured through either an on-board Web interface, an IoT/Cloud Centralised Management interface or through a traditional private network SNMP management interface with panoramic-overviewing dashboards of the point of installation, he explains.

The Netshield Smart PDU controlled intelligent handles come in two sizes, including the J3X and J5X. The team has taken careful care to ensure the direct replacement of standard key based cabinet door-locks or handles, as a result both can fit existing front and rear door handle cut-outs.

“These intelligent handles employ either integrated RFID card reader technology or keypad and network communication (RS485/422) interfaces for remote door control and monitoring of the door’s status, its switch as well as events at the door. This allows for reliable, safe and monitored unlocking of the cabinet front and rear doors,” he says.

Monitoring, control, configuration and alert event logging messaging is relayed through its internal conversion gateway on either SNMP or AMQP protocols to centralised database services, for optimal business analysis and safekeeping. These events include status, time, duration and authorisation details.

Furthermore, LED indicators on the intelligent handles, provide a visual status and event indication, with a direct input for door contact monitoring, direct error output and type III equipment level surge protection.

“Ultimately the Netshield Smart PDU controlled intelligent handles with sensors, transform your traditional lock up cabinets into Secure Intelligent Cabinet, which is the first step towards leveraging the same benefits as a self-contained cabinet. Bear in mind that self-contained cabinets are particularly useful for companies looking to deploy a traditionally cost intensive data centre on a remote site, or when they need to better monitor the equipment in their data centre.

“Over and above the physical infrastructure benefits self-contained cabinets provide, other features include power metering/control, environmental monitoring, cooling, access, fire detection and suchlike. A self-contained cabinet simplifies and consolidates a remote data centre, transforming it into a quick to deploy moveable asset, which is making adding intelligence into the environment so attractive to so many,” ends Dreckmeyr.

Today Netshield offers companies a full data centre in a box with fully kitted out self-contained cabinets. Additionally, now with the addition of the Netshield Smart PDU controlled intelligent handles with sensors, customers can transform their old standard cabinets into Secure Intelligent Cabinets – ideal for companies who can’t afford to rip and replace, but rather reuse, existing infrastructure in their environment.