A Multifaceted Approach to Data Center Security

Corning is Helping Data Centers Run Their Best Today and Into the Future



Data centers are proliferating and evolving at a scale and pace that knowledgeable builders and designers are finding difficult to construct with the speed of the market. In the haste to grow, keeping data centers online still requires a multifaceted proactive security plan that encompasses various potential points of failure, from redundancy planning to physical and cybersecurity measures, to prevention of human error. Here’s how efficient infrastructure can help data centers run their best today and well into the future.


1. Cybersecurity

Staying one step ahead of cyberattacks is a never-ending struggle; for data centers, where the stakes for breaches are astronomical, it’s essential to implement as many safeguards as possible to thwart hackers before they can inflict damage.

A future-proof method is to deploy a traffic access point (TAP) module in line with the fiber. TAP modules work by splitting the signal on the network link to replicate the traffic without interrupting its transmission. The simultaneous split of the signal is sent to monitoring equipment that performs diagnostics and evaluate for irregular traffic that could indicate an intrusion.

Modern TAP modules carry numerous advantages over switch-level monitoring equipment. They’re passive devices that require no power, and can be integrated into existed structured cabling, eliminating the need for extra rack space. They’re also capable of handling up to 400Gb of traffic, making them highly adaptable to network expansion from Base-12 to Base-8 (Read more about it)



2. Network Redundancy

Here’s where smart planning and futureproofing can pay dividends. It’s crucial to plan out a fiber infrastructure that can easily accommodate future expansion, so that no disruptive construction will be required down the road. From a service disruption point of view, it also means running multiple cable feeds into the data center for redundancy: you should always have an A and B network configuration, so there’s no single point of failure in the cabling infrastructure or in the electronics. However, it is important to note that redundancy requires more fiber and efficient cable management.

Another important consideration in this planning is ensuring that the cabling and equipment used is both backward and forward compatible. Therefore, adjustments can be made easily, and the system can adapt as needed. As Corning continues to make advancements to our EDGE™ product line, each new iteration retains compatibility with previous generations, allowing data centers to easily evolve with changing demands.



3. Preventing Human Error

Human error is an innate possibility, however in data centers, it’s incredibly costly. According to some sources, mistakes among operators factor into some 66%-80% of all data center outages. Today, as the tech industry continues to trudge forth through a shortage of skilled labor, the toll of missteps is only getting worse.

Mistakes can happen in many ways, but the most common errors involve physical missteps—where a technician accidentally bumps a connector—and mental mistakes—where the wrong patch cord is unplugged. Both incidents can cause widespread disruptions and are very easily avoidable with modern solutions.

Corning’s latest data center innovation, the EDGE™ Distribution System, incorporates color coding and customized labeling to give technicians added assurance that they’re unplugging the right cable. It’s designed to be installed as one assembly instead of multiple patch cords, mitigating the risk of damage and unorganized cabling. Additionally, EDGE™ DS consolidates line items on a bill of materials, reduces packaging waste, and streamlines the installation to the top-of-rack switches so technicians can forego the tedium of jumper management and focus their skilled labor on other tasks.


Supporting Future Growth

Corning’s systems engineers offer network design and structured cabling recommendations during the planning phase, and Corning’s field engineering team supports installers with product training. By engineering facilities with the right fiber infrastructure, data centers will have the bandwidth and expandability to handle future growth with ease, along with unparalleled visibility into performance and threats.