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What Is Sentry and Why Do MSPs Love It?

Sentry by RF Code

This blog is part of a Channel Partners Conference & Expo and MSP Summit sponsorship.

Sentry enables MSPs to boost profits and delight customers because of real-time monitoring of critical IT equipment in client locations without having to be on-site.

Sentry is an all-in-one monitoring solution that gives MSPs visibility inside remote IT rooms and edge spaces without needing to be there. Sentry is not another server or network monitoring tool!

Sentry and Modern Distributed IT

More business-critical IT equipment resides outside of data centers and is found inside manufacturing plants, retail stores, hospitals, bank branches, universities, hotels, utility sites, and more.

Sentry was created because modern IT is more distributed than ever.  Enterprises have more remote IT and edge locations and depend on MSPs to effectively monitor and protect their physical equipment.  

In the real world that means dealing with unexpected temperature and human error issues that force MSPs to roll trucks and go on-site to diagnose the issue. Now multiply the problem by 10 sites, 100 sites or more and it’s a very disruptive and expensive problem. How can MSPs scale and remain profitable with a large or growing headcount in the field? They can’t. They need new technologies that allow them to do more with less.

Sentry is a necessary addition to the modern monitoring toolkit because it does something that network and server monitoring tools don’t – it monitors what’s happening inside rooms and spaces where distributed IT equipment operates.

By design, Sentry does not perform server management or monitoring because there are plenty of tools that do that. Instead, Sentry monitors what is happening in rooms and spaces.  It’s very good at detecting motion, monitoring temperature and humidity, and providing meaningful early warning and real of what’s happening in the environment.

At scale, Sentry can help MSPs monitor every distributed IT location centrally, without needing IT staff on site.

Why Do MSPs Love It?

In this video, MSPs that implemented Sentry in client IT closets explain how Sentry is enabling them to boost profits and achieve operational efficiencies by doing more for clients with less.

Sentry Monitors Motion, Temperature, Humidity

Sentry combines live video, motion detection, ambient temperature sensor, thermal imager, and humidity sensor in a single device.  Customers place one or more Sentry devices in each room or space they want to monitor and choose a wired or Wi-Fi connection.

Users can see the information from every Sentry device in one convenient place – Sentry Visionz.  Users access Sentry Vision from their web browser or from the available mobile app. From Sentry Vision users see in real-time what is happening at each monitored location, including alerts and live video stream.

What you see in the image above is the convenience users experience from monitoring all distributed IT locations with Sentry.  In this example, five (5) locations are being monitored and you can see recent events for the two (2) locations, including motion, temperature, and humidity.

Motion Detection with Live Video

Motion events exist because it’s not possible to watch live video 24/7 waiting for something to happen. Motion events conveniently notify users when something has happened, so IT teams are free to do other things when nothing is happening.  

Users see motion events on a timeline, which makes it easy to quickly answer questions like, “was I expecting someone to be in the room today?”, or “what happened in the room leading up to and at the time of the incident?”.  Users can instantly access a video of the motion event from anywhere.

IT teams understand the importance of event correlation, and with Sentry’s timeline, IT teams can correlate motion, temperature, and humidity events quickly and visually.  For example, visual correlation can show you that after motion was detected in the room the temperature and humidity increased.

Temperature with Thermal Imaging

Maintaining an ideal temperature is important for three reasons:

  • To prevent temperature-related damage and outages
  • For sustainability
  • For cost efficiency, aka to save money

Sentry monitors temperature in two ways - because monitoring room temperature alone is not enough.  Room temperature monitoring provides macro temperature conditions and thermal imaging provides micro temperature conditions. 

With 768 thermal monitoring points thermal imaging can alert users to problems that can’t be detected by monitoring room temperature only.  The image below provides a good example.

In the screenshot above the temperature around the IT equipment is not ideal, while the temperature is ok in other areas of the room.  With this clear picture and early warning alerts, informed action can be taken to prevent the IT equipment from failing and to improve the cooling in the room.

Humidity Monitoring

Humidity is the invisible enemy of IT equipment.  Sentry makes humidity visible so that IT teams can effectively manage humidity and be notified when humidity levels are outside the ideal range.

Because no two locations are the same Sentry provides flexibility with location-based policies (also known as Policy Overrides). Users can set discrete humidity alert thresholds that are ideally matched to the needs and conditions of each location.

In addition to humidity, users can also override policies for Thermal Imager, Room Temperature, and Motion to match the needs and environmental conditions of each location.

Customers Say Sentry Pays for Itself in This Way

MSPs that have implemented Sentry in client sites have told us Sentry pays for itself.  

Simply, MSPs that use Sentry can reduce the cost of expensive truck rolls, which boosts profits.  With Sentry our customers like that they can get eyes on what is happening at the location without traveling there.  Without spending a dime on travel or sending a technician.

Customers talk about using the live video stream to guide non-technical resources at a remote location through investigation and resolution tasks in real-time.  They tell us it is a far superior solution versus trying to use video chat on a mobile phone.

That’s why customers say Sentry pays for itself the first time they can avoid traveling to or sending a technician to a remote location.  The cost of travel and specialist technicians far outweigh the cost of a Sentry.

Learn More

Visit the Sentry page on our website to learn more and try the self-guided demo.

If you want to buy a Sentry now, head to the online store and get one delivered directly to you.  To buy a bunch of Sentry’s, contact our friendly sales team.

RF Code, Channel Partners Conference & Expo