Data centre monitoring company Servers Check has loaded its monitoring software on an appliance for the first time.
The Belgian-based company claimed that ServersCheck Monitoring Appliance was both the smallest - being able to fit in the palm of a hand - and greenest device on the market and offered a better return on investment than competitive open source products.

It's true that open source software is offered for nothing, said ServersCheck CEO Martin Van Laere but there is an associated cost - they tend to be heavier users of electricity.

The company claimed that over a five year period, competitors would use about $2066(£1,410) of electricity while ServersCheck would use just $71(£50), so that even though the appliance was being offered at $1699(£1,160), it would work out cheaper for a user in the long run. Van Laere said that these figures had been taken from a study by Stanford University professor Jonathan Koomey. "We have taken power consumption based on volume servers (which is lowest in this study) and looked at our competitors' products typically being installed on those servers - that's because a monitoring tool needs to run 24x7."

Van Laere said that while ServersCheck had made its name as software company, it decided that it was necessary for several reasons to introduce the appliance. "By including the hardware there is no need for a user to look for a system to install the monitoring software making it simply a plug and play option," he said. More importantly, he added "There's the low power usage of the ServersCheck Monitoring Appliance - it only uses up to 15 watts."

However, said Van Laere, the company was not abandoning its software option, mainly because the software in the monitoring appliance was only capable of monitoring 100 items.

Van Laere said that among other benefits, ServersCheck won out on price, on ease of use and by being a vendor that offered both software to monitor systems from inside and sensors to monitor the external conditions such as temperature and humidity.