Security at the Cabinet Level Through Card Access

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Within the data centre itself security is often dependent on layout and design. Whether security cages are installed, hot/cold aisle containment solutions are in place and how many varying services require access to racks. Whilst security cages are one option they eat into valuable floor space which could be accommodating enclosures and adding further revenue to a facility, especially when real estate is at a premium, the majority of cages also do not extend to under the false floor. 
By enhancing individual rack level security and adding a smart card solution allows the restriction of access to the rack to only those with authority, or in the case of co-location cabinet’s access can even be restricted to the individual cell level within the cabinet. Gone are the days when the standard generic mechanical lock and key number delivered with racks to multiple sites is acceptable. Data centre managers need the ability to set the parameters for access, or in cases of co-location the end users own data centre teams. 

Security (and equipment efficiency in some cases) can be achieved by using a remote rack IP door access solution with the two most common smart card alternatives of Proximity or MiFARE swipe card control. If users already have smart cards in either of these formats (for building access, cashless vending, pull printing, etc) it is possible to install a rack smart card solution which allows these existing smart cards to apply on the cabinet access system, once the access levels have been attributed by the administrator.

Remote management via software, either standalone or via SNMP for integration into the existing BMS of the data centre, should provide valuable data and audit trails. With a completely networked solution monitoring, control, alarming and reporting should be achievable. It allows cabinet access  remote management therefore saving traveling time and associated costs for engineers off site or with multiple location responsibility and hence increases the data centres operational efficiency. In addition a full key lock audit trail via software.

Evolving technology has led to security solutions which can be multifaceted, with environmental management integration (with a wide range of sensors for complete environmental monitoring, including temperature, humidity, smoke, shock and water leakage). Peripherals such as LED light bars and Power Distribution Units (PDUs) can be added to more advanced solutions to expand functionality.

For a further level of security a solution which offers an administrator card option to provide dual card authentication cabinet access can be used. Unless the administrator card detects in advance, the smartcard handle cannot be unlocked by the user smart card. Dual card authentication makes sure that any door opening is fully under the data centre’s monitoring.

Existing legacy cabinets can be cost effectively and easily upgraded with retro fit smart card access control, even a myriad of racks from different manufacturers can have the same solution installed to provide consistency across data centre infrastructure. 

Recent research by DCDi found that one of the increasing UK data centre investment drivers for 2015 was ‘to improve security’. With 48% of respondents also looking at reducing operating costs. Installing a reliable networked smart card access control system can achieve both of these objectives in a short timeframe.

Austin Hughes InfraSolution smart card access control for added cabinet security can be integrated with Austin Hughes InfraPower PDUs and InfraGuard, for full cabinet environmental monitoring and management.