Looking forward to 2008

We expect two main trends to continue to drive business throughout 2008:

  • Convergence — a lot of people not normally associated with computers and communications are being drawn in, most notably electricians working in the building industry. With things getting sticky in the housing market, it is likely that a lot of electricians will be looking for alternative sources of revenue;
  • Heat in the data centre — its not just the planet’s environment that’s warming up…servers keep getting hotter too with only modest signs that things are going to change any time soon. The data centre environment is going to be a concern for a while yet.

Mid March we will be going to the ELEX show in Harrogate. Given the first item above, you won’t be surprised to know that we’ll be showcasing cable testers aimed at the converged electrician.

Devices for measuring and alerting on environmental conditions keep getting better. We expect that trend to continue throughout 2008. In fact, Sensatronics have just released the first firmware upgrade for their rack-mount environment monitor. I’ll post more fully about that when I’ve collated all of the new features.

In addition, we’ve had good results with network enabled thermometers in non IT environments too. Warehouses and cold storage facilities gain the same benefits from convergence with the network as the IT industry has over the last decade or so.

At the top end of the cable tester market, Agilent continue to build a very fine platform with fibre, 10 gig and alien cross talk capabilities. We can look forward to more great products from them. The great thing with the Agilent approach is that you are freed from the buy, trade-in cycle. I suppose, for the more cynical reader, you replace it with the buy then perform repeated software upgrades cycle. 😉

With economic conditions uncertain, it looks like 2008 is going to be interesting to say the least. 🙂

Server room equipment environment specs…more info required

Manufacturers of IT equipment usually specify recommended operating temperatures for their equipment. The temperature range is usually quite wide. For instance, the temperature range specified for our Dell servers is 10° to 35°C (50° to 95°F).

Given the wide operating temperature range, why can’t we run our servers at a sizzling 34.9°C?

It is odd that Dell don’t nuance the environmental information they specify. They don’t say what level of system reliability you can expect at a given temperature.

The more information manufacturers provide, the better you will be able to define a suitable temperature for your server room.