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How to Build Physical Security into Your Data Center

There are components that can be used just about anywhere

In some ways, virtual security of your data center can be easier to manage than physical security. At least, some data center managers seem to be more concerned about the former than they are the latter. Yet physical security breaches make up a significant portion of data center security risks.

Fortunately, there are ways you can build physical security into your data center. While some of these principles apply primarily to new data center construction, there are components that can be used just about anywhere:

  • Choose the right location. Stay away from airports, power plants, and bad neighborhoods. Get at least 100 feet from the main road, more if possible. Be at least 30 miles from your headquarters. Stay off fault lines and flood plains.
  • Install redundant utility feeds. You should have at least two feeds each for power, water, voice, and data. Make sure each feed comes in from a separate direction, and that they don’t trace back to the same substation.
  • Minimize windows. If you need some windows in the administrative area or break room, use bomb-resistant glass.
  • Utilize landscaping. There are a number of types of landscaping that will hide the building from passing vehicles, such as boulders, trees, and gulleys. You can also use fending to obscure the view and keep cars from getting too close.
  • Consider retractable barriers. Retractable crash barriers to control access to your lot and your loading dock can help to minimize physical risk.
  • Limit the number of entry points to the building. There should be exactly two ways into the building: one for the main entrance to the data center and a loading dock for equipment.
  • Emergency doors should be exit only. You’re going to have to have more doors than that, of course. Install doors that don’t have outside handles, and make sure that an alarm sounds and the security command center is notified when one of these doors is open.
  • Lots of cameras. Surveillance cameras at the perimeter, entrances, access points, and more should be used as much as possible. Consider adding motion-detection devices and low-light cameras, too.

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Unitiv, Inc., is a professional provider of enterprise IT solutions. Unitiv delivers its services from its headquarters in Alpharetta, Georgia, USA, and its regional office in Iselin, New Jersey, USA. Unitiv provides a strategic approach to its service delivery, focusing on three core components: People, Products, and Processes. The People to advise and support customers. The Products to design and build solutions. The Processes to govern and manage post-implementation operations.

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