Data centres require online protection but physical data centre protection, such as data centre fencing, is equally as important.

Appropriate access control solutions are critical when protecting data centres from physical attack, mitigating the risk of downtime and data loss.

The layout of this protection, such as location of fencing and type of access control, can be the difference between a successful attack and an unsuccessful one.

So, how can data centres ensure their layout is efficient in preventing unwanted access?


Future-proofing Your Data Centre Layout


The most obvious way to protect a data centre is to fence all areas that lead to the entrance with high security, anti-personnel fencing such as StronGuard SL2 or SecureGuard SL2X.

Many data centres also see vehicles as a threat and therefore use HVM Cantilever or bi fold gates for the entrance.

Future-proofing your premises and anticipating any planning permissions is critical.

Often, specifiers don’t consider the alternate ways for vehicles to enter the premises, which means these areas aren’t sufficiently protected. Therefore, this allows attackers to enter if they are aware of the gaps in your layout.


data centre fencing perimeter with green area in background


Could surrounding land be developed into an industrial site or road which could create a run up to your site?

Rogue accidents occur in places you might not have considered an access point so taking precaution in areas that aren’t initially “open” is critical.

For example, the entry gate isn’t always the only area which could be at risk of rogue vehicles, so alternative ways for vehicles to enter the premises should be considered.

This could be main roads leading perpendicular to the site perimeter:


data centre fencing from sky view


Crash rated fencing can be used around the perimeter where vehicle impact could be a threat, such as around the entrance security and near to roads.

All surrounding areas of the data centre need to be considered before deciding on a final layout to mitigate or delay any potential attacks.


Not All Attacks Are Purposeful


Most fencing and access control plans are put in place with the consideration of deliberate, targeted attacks.

However, this assumption can mean leaving yourself and your site vulnerable to accidental damage to the premises.


a vehicle crashing into data centre fencing


Events such as drink drivers losing control of their vehicle, distraction or falling asleep at the wheel, and even vehicle fault can lead to considerable damage to your premises. This results in the data centre’s defences being compromised until a repair or replacement can be arranged, and damage to your reputation.

All of these possibilities can be prevented by having the appropriate data centre fencing and barriers in place, at the appropriate access points.


Improving Layout For Successful Entry Through Data Centre Fencing


The first step in improving entry access is considering how your premises is used.

Freedom is relinquished when security is implemented, and the two must be carefully balanced so that people abide by the measures put in place.

For example, if the gate operates too slowly, people may resort to leaving the gate open, which would leave a gaping hole in your security provision.

Equally, if you are in a windy location, bi-folding gates may not be a reliable solution as the wind can blow them off track.

A common layout for a data centre vehicle entrance is an air lock or tiger trap.

Typically, a successful layout includes a HVM gate at the front, followed by a security check point with a blocker or another gate which opens once security are happy with their checks. This inner gate commonly doesn’t need to be crash rated, as the hostile vehicle would not be able to build up enough speed once inside the vicinity.

By using a combination of gates and barriers, attackers should be unable to get into the core of the premises, which makes them a critical consideration when planning the layout of a data centre’s security.


Summarising The Importance Of Correct Data Centre Layout


When planning the layout for your data centre’s security, it’s crucial to cover all possible access points.

Whether that’s considering future planning permission being granted on green areas around your premises, or purchasing the appropriate barriers, thinking about the bigger picture and future-proofing is the best way to fully protect the centre.

If you are looking for advice on what kind of protection you need, Barkers Fencing provide a variety of approved security fences that are tested as an entire structure.

Contact Barkers Fencing today for more advice on the type of security fencing you need, or for advice on what your data centre Is lacking in preventative measures.