cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
cancel
576
Views
0
Helpful
12
Replies

Add a thermometer? That might be cool...

davebainum
Level 1
Level 1

Hi all,

So my partner and I were brainstorming earlier this week and she asked/proposed, "what if the OnPlus device had a built in thermometer" (or some sort of optional probe for a thermometer) - so that it could be used to help monitor or generate alarms related to the temperature in the room that the device was located, as well?

My response (aside from, "Wow, I wish I would have thought of that or suggested it sooner!") was - I have to imagine that such a feature or option might make OnPlus even more compelling than it already is.  It already does a lot of neat things - temperature monitoring (since it would most likely be installed in areas where someone would WANT to know if there was a high temperature alert - such a a server or LAN closet) - would be the icing on the cake...

I wouldn't think it would cost too much more to add such a device (or option) into a future version of the hardware (??).  I know there are some places out there who just make Ethernet-based temperator sensors or probes...

Any thoughts?

Regards,

-- Dave Bainum, PMP* (dbainum@ritetech.net)

RiteTech LLC / www.ritetech.net / Tel. +1 (703) 561-0607

[*PMP=PMI Certified Project Management Professional]

12 Replies 12

Marc Bresniker
Level 1
Level 1

Interesting concept Dave. I think there are some USB sticks that provide temp readings, maybe that points to an add-on for the appliance. I'll bounce the idea off the engineering team to get some feedback.

jamwyatt
Level 1
Level 1

Dave,

There's been some discussion of this in engineering in the past. While the UBS/Ethernet sensor idea is obviously doable, I wanted to bounce a variation off of you. The load on the CPU in the ON100 is reasonably constant and we are monitoring the internal CPU reported temperature (doesn't appear to vary too much). When the ambient temperature goes up/down, so does the internal CPU temperature reading. While using this could only help spot increase and decrease trends that trip past thresholds, it might do enough to detect when the A/C or heat goes off in the location that the ON100 is located. It couldn't be used to produce a numeric ambient temperature, it could only produce a pass/fail condition. We've not done any explicit testing to see what range is normal versus what range is abnormal so it isn't clear that this would even work, but it would be interesting to know if such a crude alert would suit your needs. I expect it would need some 'tuning' input from the Portal user to mark when the ambient temperature is stable so the monitor set 'normal' and watch for deviations from that point.

Thanks,

Robert

Thanks, guys, and sorry for the delay in replying.

What I'd say is that any way of getting an indication of temperature - even if it is just a "trend" or "estimate" as opposed to an absolute, accurate temperature - would probably be welcome.  Obviously having a full thermometer (or the ability to connect one) would be ideal - but even if it's just using the CPU temp. in some fashion, that helps.

Another interesting idea - since you mention the USB port - would there potentially be some way of also plugging in a USB camera into the OnPlus, and then having it act as a remote for a camera in that fashion?  Even if you limited support to just certain Cisco-Branded or Linksys-Branded USB cameras for that option - it's an interesting potential "extension" for the device.

Hope that helps...

-- Dave Bainum, PMP* (dbainum@ritetech.net)

RiteTech LLC / www.ritetech.net / Tel. +1 (703) 561-0607

[*PMP=PMI Certified Project Management Professional]

Great ideas Dave! What would you, as a VAR, watch with the camera? Is this something to be able to see the network rack for status LEDs? There are network (PoE even) cameras that we've used with cross launch already and they've been pretty effective. One of the ones that we tried out (Cisco's VC220) even had a trigger based email system to email a low-res video when a change was detected (one of our engineers testing it on their front door got an email of a delivery company throwing a package onto his doorstep!).

As for temperature, we're checking into the 'coarse' version that would be from the builtin thermal sensor and we'll see how that goes. For anyone impatient, I've personally tried out (this isn't an endorsement, by myself or Cisco) an IT Watchdog 'Mirco-Goose'. It is a PoE (or A/C) basic Temp/Humidity/Rel. Humidity sensor that we do discover and cross-launch works great with it. It does graphs and email alerts too. I don't know if the price of $200 is reasonable or not, but it goes beyond the basic internal temperature sensing. Using such a device, you'd want to make sure to enable the OnPlus icmp UP/DOWN monitor, or the http monitor, to make sure that you can trust that the sensor is active and able to deliver those email alerts. One catch for this device is that it comes out of the box with a fixed static IP, but once you connect to it, you can convert it to DHCP.

Enjoy,

Robert

Just for fun, here is some data from the research we're conducting on the usability of ON100 CPU temperature data for use as an actual monitor. This is a simple RRD graph of an ON100 here in my cube here in Richardson, Texas over the past few weeks. You can see that the device seems to operate inside a pretty stable range in this well-air-conditioned environment.

Robert has pictures somewhere of an ON100 running inside a mini-fridge freezer

The four longer flat periods are weekends where the A/C temperature is kept higher.

Thanks, Robert & Michael... great tips.

Temperature would definitely be an added plus...

Regarding video and camera support (even if it's limited) - the main thought is that the OnPlus Device can become almost like a bit of a "Swiss Army Knife" for the network.  Yes, it's primary function is still to monitor/help diagnose the network etc., however if it can also provide a few additions - such as the potential for temperature and video suerveillance - it becomes a bit more compelling.

I could see us potentially using the camera support (if it existed) to help monitor a server room or LAN room - but I'm sure other people will find other very creative uses for it outside of what it was originally intended.  Maybe even to help look for leaks in a furnance room if there's an ethernet drop, or to have a camera on at another area of the network where there isn't an "always on" PC or camera available.

Hope that helps...

-- Dave Bainum, PMP*  (dbainum@ritetech.net)

RiteTech LLC / www.ritetech.net / Tel. +1 (703) 561-0607

[*PMP=PMI Certified Project Management Professional]

Incidentally, while we're talking about "outside of the box" applications for OnPlus ... has any thought been given to potentially having some sort of wireless network monitor(s) or performance monitors?

I'll post up on a related topic (wireless) that got me thinking about it, seperately...

-- Dave Bainum, PMP*  (dbainum@ritetech.net)

RiteTech LLC / www.ritetech.net / Tel. +1 (703) 561-0607

[*PMP=PMI Certified Project Management Professional]

Hi Dave, we are looking at wireless, as well as security and voice. In these technologies, we would good deeper in pulling out device and system performance numbers. In addition to monitoring and reporting, we will look at configuration tasks where OnPlus might add some efficiencies. Please share your thoughts on some functions or use cases on what you'd like to see OnPlus do with regards to wireless.

Thanks, Marc.  Well, there's a lot of nst things that could be done with wireless.  I'm not an expert on what kinds of intelligence the WAP's could provide, but here's some crazy "what-if's":

- If there was some way to show that devices might be having trouble connecting, such as due to low signal strength, interfence, misconfiguration, etc.

- Some sort of special "census" or "roll call" feature that might help highlight new and/or unexpected devices - of course that also might be an item for general inventory as well.  It could potentially help with security or performance tracking

- Related to above, maybe something that would help track network usage and/or number of devices, amount of traffic, etc. oveer time.  A lot of people are probably aleady tracking this via firewall logs (eg. we use Sonicwall GMS at several sites; expensive and not easy to maintain, BTW) - but what about for the local network?

Anyways, just some ideas...

Enjoy,

-- Dave Bainum, PMP* (dbainum@ritetech.net)

RiteTech LLC / www.ritetech.net / Tel. +1 (703) 561-0607

[*PMP=PMI Certified Project Management Professional]

Re: local environmental sensors,...

I've done a quick google search for network-connected environmental sensors. There are lots of environmental sensors available, but most of them have physical or logical interfaces that are very 20th century - RS232, etc.

I would argue that burdening the base cost of the ON100-K9 and its service with embedded sensors is impractical at this early stage of the program. As an alternative, suggest looking for environmental sensors with the following qualities:

1.  Discoverable on an IP network - contains discovery/advertisement of sensor service through a standard/pseudo-standard layer 3 or layer 2 protocol - but preferably 'bonjours'

2.  Networked - ideally Ethernet or wifi, but as long as #1 is satisfied, could be connected using bluetooth, USB or barbed wire.

3. Internal battery backup power supply... especialy if used in a site data center/networking closet. -

4. Monitoring API - detect threshold events or conditions

5. Management API - configure/manage the sensors

Anyone familiar with "home automation" systems or low-cost, autonomous sensors with these characteristics?

I have a Linksys WVC2300 camera installed to one of my networks. This camera has the ability to send alerts (out-of-band to OnPlus) on motion detection events. The events can also be used to trigger recordings. We use it at home to detect and record presence of "neighborhood" cats at the community food bowl.

Dave

Hi Dave,

The IT Watchdogs MicroGoose device Robert mentioned meets all your qualities except that it isn't readily discoverable.  We have one for evaluation and as it turns out, the IT Watchdogs device access is consistent enough across their product line that we can consider the device "discovered" if it shows up with an IT Watchdogs MAC OUI.

The main quality this device doesn't have is a low price, but $200 would be an acceptable price for some applications.  As the device is PoE, it can be placed in locations that are awkward to reach, are remote from the ON100, and it inherits the battery backup of the switch it is connected to.  Crosslauch works well, and the device will deliver email alerts, etc.  My experience so far is that the device is robust physically and functionally. 

I'm not sure we'll get a lot of traction with our marketing folks for providing enhanced support for these given they are not Cisco devices, but even the existing basic support makes Goose/OnPlus combination useful.

There's nothing technical that would prevent us supporting additional functions like providing for alerts through our OnPlus notification system, graphing on the OnPlus portal, etc, so there are certainly plausible enhancements.

I suspect $200 eliminates the unit from consideration for most, but if not, it's unlikely Cisco would ever have a competitive product (not that even that is a disqualification), so additional support is not out of the question.  If you are interested, let us know!

Andy

Very cool - thanks, all.  Will definitely have to check that out.

Regards,

-- Dave Bainum, PMP* (dbainum@ritetech.net)

RiteTech LLC / www.ritetech.net / Tel. +1 (703) 561-0607

[*PMP=PMI Certified Project Management Professional]

Getting Started

Find answers to your questions by entering keywords or phrases in the Search bar above. New here? Use these resources to familiarize yourself with the community: