Audit-Buddy Wants to Befriend Your Environmental Data

Purkay Labs has created an easy to use, standalone system to measure environmentals in the data center. It's a simple but elegant solution that has potential in many markets, ranging from the server closet to a larger provider using it and generated data to justify a larger DCIM purchase

Jason Verge

July 17, 2013

3 Min Read
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Purkay Labs has a simple, elegant solution to figuring out data center temperature and humidity. At a time where many DCIM providers are trying an "everything but the kitchen sink" approach, Purkay Labs’ Audit-Buddy is a simple system that does one thing well: gathers environmental data at the white space. It’s portable, easy to use, and by design doesn’t have any links to existing infrastructure.

“It's a product that we’ve developed so you can get the temp across the entire aisle,” said CEO Indra Purkayastha. “They now have a tool they can easily use rather than call somebody.”

Audit-Buddy is a portable system that takes minutes to install and requires little back-end management. Data is either displayed on the unit or transferable by USB. It’s essentially a low cost way to check environmentals either short or longterm, from an hour to a week (called QuickScan or LongScan).

Audit-Buddy consists of three modules and an adjustable carbon fiber rod that measure the air quality at three different heights. There's a patent-pending fan design that draws external air into the module, rapidly measuring outside air quality without requiring the unit to reach the thermal ambient of the outside air. It quickly surveys the site to pinpoint problem areas and collects time-stamped data to provide information for corrective action.

Potential uses include:

  • Track temperature and humidity variations at server racks;

  • Establish a 3-D baseline thermal survey profile of the site inexpensively;

  • Measure inlet air quality;

  • Detect a heat leak or cold air loss;

  • Evaluate the cooling and containment performance in hot or cold aisles;

  • Measure airflow at three different heights in multiple locations in the facility.

This fits a niche. It’s simple, easy to use and solves a problem. It’s targeted to smaller deployments like server closets or data centers under 10,000 square feet. What might not be directly apparent, the company says, is the appeal Audit-Buddy may have at larger facilities.

"For people who are thinking of investing in a DCIM system, this might give them the data that they need to justify it to CIO,” said Purkayastha. At a fraction of the cost of a DCIM – the unit sells for $1,449 – it can act as baby steps into DCIM.  Purkayastha says the company also found another interesting market: colo operators and their tenants. "The operators can use the product to justify that they’re delivering the SLAs, and the tenants can check to see if they’re getting the right air quality," said Purkayastha.

“The people who commission data centers is another market,” said Purkayastha. “They can prove to the owner that they can basically validate the whole environment is indeed what it is. My personal hope is operators will use this .

The company has launched Audit-Buddy  out of stealth after first revealing it at a conference last month. "Last week a large cloud provider invited us in to do a pilot,” said Purkayastha.

The competition includes IR guns and wireless sensors, and Purkayastha believes Audit-Buddy has advantages over these tools. "IR guns are not accurate, plus they need a surface," said Purkayastha. “Audit-Buddy is, by design, made to monitor the air temperature accurately. In terms of wireless sensors, these sensors need to place somewhere, there’s a logistics issue and it needs a monitoring system."

A low price point and ease of use means that Audit-Buddy might be of interest to the data center operator, serving a niche as the simple entry point into larger DCIM systems for users seeking to cost-justify an investment. Operators can quickly check out environmentals and put the unit away, and customers can check their colo space to see if they're getting the environment they need.

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