For our tests we set up the unit in our lab and configured some basic parameters. We needed, for example, to set the address of an SMTP server for sending SMTP alerts. Configured within five minutes it was reporting normal conditions. A few seconds of heat from our hairdryer (all respectable test labs should have one) elicited both temperature and humidity alerts, which arrived almost instantly in the test email inbox (we set the unit to use email as its primary alert mechanism). The alerts themselves are excellent. The system doesn't just send a boring text email to tell you what the problem is. Instead, it sends you an HTML-formatted message with a table describing the problem and a graph showing the history of whatever value is looking dodgy. It also provides a link direct to the appropriate incident section of the web interface of the WB500 to find out more. Incidentally, email isn't the only option - it can FTP files over the Internet, generate SMTP traps, sound audio alerts or even fill in web forms via HTTP POST requests! This attention to detail applies across the entire system, actually. For example, the designers have clearly done their homework and have realised that there's nothing worse than a system that keeps repeating alerts zillions of times over until you get bored and switch them off. Instead, you can tell it how long after an event to start a particular alert category (for example, you can have it try approach A for a while and then try B if nothing has been done to fix the problem). You can also set how many times to repeat the alert for the same problem and how far apart the alerts should be. Oh and the system will also alert you when the problem has gone away, so if you're hurtling down the motorway to get there before something fries, you know you can slow down a bit. Continuing on the 'they got it right' theme, the unit has a PCMCIA slot into which you can shove a wireless LAN card, so you can put the unit where there isn't a network cable. If you want to view your alerts from afar, that's fine, the web interface works either with normal HTTP or using secure HTTPS instead. I really had an 'I want one of those' moments when I looked at the WallBotz. When you're reviewing this kind of equipment, you try to find things that it doesn't do very well. At every stage, though, the WallBotz either met expectations or, often, exceeded them (the HTML email complete with graph being the most prominent example). If you have a server room that you don't monitor in person, every hour of the day, go and buy a WallBotz. Actually, even if you sit in your server room 24x7, go and buy one anyway and just use it for ongoing logging of conditions.
In this type of device, you need a comprehensive set of sensors and a system that can alert you via a set of mechanisms (email, SMS, etc) that fits the facilities you either have or can obtain cheaply.