Created: Monday, 24 August 2020
Written by Ella Coles
Remember the recent heatwave?
It’s a big problem for customers with on-site servers: the servers need cool air to disperse the heat they are generating. That’s why we continuously monitor server temperatures for customers.
Almost every electronic device generates heat. Servers generate a lot of heat and the harder they have to work the hotter they get. They have fans to expel the heat and draw in cooler air. But there are limits, if the servers are sucking in air that’s too hot, then the server will shutdown (possibly causing data loss).
A typical temp limit for the air going into the server is 42C. However, prolonged operation at high temperatures reduces the life of components, they will break more often, the system will be less reliable. This increases the risk of data loss and system downtime.
Obviously air conditioning is a great option and keeps the ambient temperature low and the systems running smoothly. In addition to this creating space around the servers for air to flow really helps. If a server or cabinet is pushed up against a wall or cluttered with boxes it can really reduce the effectiveness of the cooling. Dust is also the enemy of cooling as it has an insulating effect and reduces airflow.
With targeted monitoring we get an early warning and take action.
In one dramatic case the aircon broke down for a customer with six high power servers in a small server room. Normally their ambient temperature would be 15 degrees even in a heatwave. But now the servers were approaching “meltdown”. The customer had no idea their servers were heating up... except us. We called the customer and advised we would shut down the servers to prevent permanent damage.
Worried that your server is too hot (or want to be alerted when it is)?
Created: Friday, 24 July 2020
Written by Paul Grigg
There is a lot of buzz in the IT world about Next-Generation Antivirus (NGAV), but what’s the difference compared to traditional antivirus?
Traditional antivirus relies on signatures. A signature is like a fingerprint, a way to uniquely identify each malware item. The antivirus vendors attempt to obtain every single malware in existence to take their fingerprints. When your antivirus updates it is receiving the latest set of fingerprints. If you encounter a new strain of malware before your antivirus vendor does, your antivirus won’t detect it. Unfortunately the malware writers can just make a trivial change to their code and the fingerprint changes too.
NGAV analyses the behaviour of each program running on your device. If a program is opening multiple files, encrypting them, then deleting the original then that’s behaving like ransomware. It will stop the program and move it to the quarantine. It does not rely on the vendor having seen that exact malware before.
Other NGAV features vary between vendors, but some useful ones are:
- Attack forensics - View the chain of events of a particular attack, which files were touched, etc
- Sandboxing - Run a suspicious application in a safe sandbox before allowing it to run in your environment
- Risk analytics - Get notified of risks within your organization such as misconfigurations, vulnerabilities etc
- Device roll back - Roll a device back to the state it was in before the attack
- Ransomware warranty - The vendor will pay compensation if due to ransomware the device roll back feature was not able to restore the device to the state it was in before the attack
- Self Isolation - When a threat is detected, isolate the device from the network until the threat has been resolved
Contact us to improve your organisation’s security