NetBotz monitor senses datacentre security

Security company NetBotz has launched a Linux-based datacentre monitoring device with a video camera and environmental sensors
Written by Munir Kotadia, Contributor
Network-connected physical security maker NetBotz has launched a Linux-based appliance with built-in video camera, motion detector and environmental sensors that allow IT managers to monitor activity, humidity and temperature within their datacentres. The WallBotz 500 Physical Security Appliance contains a Power PC processor running the Linux operating system. The device can be either wall mounted or fitted inside a rack. Once it is connected to the network, it picks up an IP address and can then be controlled through an SSL-enabled browser. According to NetBotz, when a disaster occurs, the first hour is spent trying to get someone to confess that they were the last person to go into the datacentre and touch something. Mitchell Medford, vice president of product development at NetBotz said: "If you are the guy in charge, you can look at the system and say, 'Dave, you touched the cabinet 15 minutes ago and now the network is down,' and Dave will have a sheepish grin and admit... well actually, I just installed service pack 17..." The NetBotz products can also be used to collect information from other pieces of hardware connected to the network: "Cisco, Compaq, IBM, Dell and Extreme Networks have temperature sensors and other instrumentation built inside their boxes which they use during the manufacturing process. It is possible to use SNMP to get to the info, but our technology can extract the 'juicy stuff' and put it together so one of our appliances can monitor about 50 other pieces of network equipment," said Medford. It is also possible to connect a number of the NetBotz appliances together and monitor their output from an independent location. Essentially a management platform built into an appliance, "Netbotz Central provides the capability to aggregate information from all your individual Netbotz appliances," added Medford. A single WallBotz appliance can connect to the network using 802.11b and has enough expansion slots to allow up to four cameras and 17 environmental sensors (temperature, humidity, fluid detection etc.) to be attached using USB cables. The camera has interchangeable lenses and can capture 24-bit colour images at 30fps with a resolution at 640x480 or 10fps at 1280x1024. The appliances are powered by a Power PC 266MHz processor, which can be upgraded to 400MHz. Prices of the NetBotz Physical Security Appliances range between £1,000 and £2,235. An additional camera will cost £450, while environmental sensors cost around £205 each.
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