The rapid growth in the datacentre market is adding to the physical and network security concerns and responsibilities of their operators. In response, Southco is developing technologically advanced electronic access solutions

With the world becoming more IT dependent, the ‘DataCentre Dynamics Global Industry Census 2011’ – which sampled almost 100,000 facilities and 7.7m racks – revealed that the datacentre industry is beating the global recession, with growth in all markets. Furthermore, there is a projected increase in worldwide racks of 15% during 2012.

A major factor in this escalation is the growing popularity of cloud computing – a technology which, by centralising storage, memory, processing and bandwidth, allows businesses to use applications without installation and enables them to access their personal files at any computer with internet access.

Southco welcomes this latest forecast because this rapid growth in the datacentre market is adding to the physical and network security concerns and responsibilities of datacentre operators and this, in turn, places even more emphasis on the importance of access control.

Security management

Breaches of security not only result in more downtime causing operational losses for a business but also question the reliability of that organisation’s integrity and reputation in the market. Consequently, access control – as part of a total security management system – plays a vital role in the design, construction and infrastructure of datacentres.

With increasing quantities of business-critical hardware being deployed into enclosures and the increased presence of co-location

datacentres – where equipment space and bandwidth are available for rental to retail customers – controlling and restricting access to enclosures is a growing concern for operators, specifiers and integrators working in the datacomms sector.

Today’s high-cost servers are so compact that they could be removed from a building in a briefcase. When considering the magnitude of the IT investment, and the value of the data and applications that ride on it, it is not difficult to appreciate the importance of protecting it from unauthorized access.

Natalie Bourne, industry marketing manager for diversified technologies at Southco, explains: “Infrastructure is a key factor in enhancing the security of a datacentre. It is vital to take great care in the selection of latching systems. Reliable, intelligent access hardware and systems will help prevent deliberate misuse of equipment as well as adding value to enclosure design.

“There are a bewildering number of access control options for the security of datacentre enclosures, making it more important than ever for designers and operators to have confidence that they have selected the most appropriate options for their needs. These options include lock and key, electronic control, RFID local readers and access cards. It is no wonder that companies dealing with access control operations of enclosures are looking to collaborate with specialist market-leading partners, like Southco, when it comes to devising access control strategies that will match individual customers’ criteria in levels of security.”

Intelligent solutions

Southco has combined its expertise in engineered access solutions with innovative electronic latching and access control devices for the ultimate in intelligent, secure, ergonomic access control with technologically advanced electronic access solution devices to suit different applications. Specifically for datacentre enclosures, the company has developed electronic latching technology.

One example is the H3-EM Electronic Locking Swinghandle. Fully customised and designed to be tailored to accommodate multiple rack sizes and configurations, the H3-EM provides efficient electronic access to

datacentre cabinets and industrial enclosures. Integrated sensors and multiple output signals provide data for both local and remote monitoring. The H3-EM can be integrated with industry-standard rack monitoring equipment with a simple retrofit; and the efficient microprocessor-controlled gear motor design ensures minimal power consumption and outputs for multi-event status reporting.

Furthermore, Southco is about to launch the H3-EM Electronic Locking Swinghandle with Integrated Proximity Reader, which is outfitted with the same local and remote monitoring features

as the standard H3-EM series. It also produces a standard 26 bit Wiegand output and accepts HID 125 kHz prox cards or tags. This fully integrated swinghandle can be easily combined with an existing access controller to add additional keyless entry points to activate security systems, and incorporates existing operator credentials.

Other key electronic access platforms developed to meet the increasing physical and network security – and access demands of datacentres – include the push-to-close R4-EM electronic rotary latch, which enables the convenience of electronic access with the security of a proven, high strength, all metal rotary latch design in a compact integrated package. There is also the EM-05

electronic keeper – a ‘next generation’ access solution allowing the convenience of electronic access with push-to-close operation in one unit. Its low installed cost, compact design and versatile installation options make it an easy, affordable solution for new or retrofit applications.

The electronic access solutions all provide an electronic ‘signature’ every time the lock is actuated. Combined with a unique input credential, the system can provide the necessary output to enclosure control and monitoring systems. Each product has been designed as a drop-in replacement for mechanical latches.

Southco Europe

T: 01905 346500