Specifying Data Centre Security Fencing: 5 Things You Should Know
Protecting data is arguably one of the most sensitive (and challenging) of areas when it comes to security fencing. A breach in data security could have catastrophic consequences for businesses and individuals, particularly if that information were to impact the safety of a Nation’s citizens, if in the wrong hands.
Most recently, we heard of an incident in which a man was orchestrating a plan to blow up an Amazon data centre in the US. This in itself is a stark reminder of the threat from technological terrorism. And the physical security of a data centre is at the heart of this.
In today’s post, we identify five key things you should know if you’re involved in the design, specification or responsible for the security of a data centre facility, whether in the EMEA, APAC, Australia or America.
Don’t Overlook Installation of Your Security Fence
This doesn’t just apply to data centre fencing. Every project should closely consider the security fencing’s installation methods. If a security fence that has been tested by a third party is incorrectly installed, it’s very unlikely it will perform as tested and its security rating will become invalidated.
In fact, you could have a high-security, CPNI-rated fence, but if incorrectly installed, the performance of the fence can not be guaranteed in the same way.
Data centre design includes routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems, servers, and application delivery controllers. These components store and manage business-critical applications and data.
The tools which keep the data centre functioning such as generators also need protecting as downtime is disruptive and replacement is costly. If you have decided your facility needs a tested system and you have invested in one, your physical security should not be compromised by an incorrectly installed fence system.
Accredited installers have undergone appropriate training to ensure they install and implement perimeter fencing in accordance with its certification. Getting an installer who doesn’t understand the system or the importance of installing accredited solutions correctly may lead to issues and delays during installation or to the integrity of the complete fence.
Mesh Fencing Considerations
Many people specify mesh fencing over palisade fencing based purely on their aesthetics as it’s considered more aesthetically pleasing.
However, there are so many other differences in the system design which will affect its installation and performance, particularly on your data centre project.
Many data centres within the EMEA region will be located in rural environments, and consequently, will have uneven ground surrounding the building. In this instance, mesh fencing is perhaps not the best solution as it is difficult to install on uneven ground, making the process more complicated and labour intensive.
When you select a security fence, you won’t just be paying for the fence and/or gates themselves. Installation, labour costs, lifting machinery and foundation requirements should all be closely considered.
Choosing a cheaper fence may be counter-productive if the fence takes longer to install and therefore has higher labour costs.
Data Centre Security Fencing With Hostile Vehicle Mitigation (HVM)
If your data centre is located near a busy road – or in an environment in which a car can gather enough speed to make a significant impact with the fence, you may have considered an HVM solution.
Typically, HVM comes in the form of a barrier aimed to physically stop a vehicle from making contact with a perimeter fence. However, you can get palisade fencing with HVM as a single solution.
Palisade Fencing With HVM
Specifying a palisade fence with built-in HVM has numerous benefits, for example:
- One set of footings, meaning a reduction in time digging
- Reduced labour/manpower
- Subtle aesthetic (from the front, it looks like a standard fence)
- Appropriate if you’re low on space
Combined, these benefits could potentially save you time and budget. Bear in mind, however, that you should look carefully at the footing details, as these will take longer to dig and obviously large concrete foundations are extremely heavy.
Integrating Automated Entrance Security For Your Data Centre
A secure site will often use a number of different solutions to control entry and exit to site. From pedestrian gates and turnstiles to sliding or bi-folding gates, rising arm barriers, bollards or road blockers.
With many products on the market, it may be appealing to buy the multitude of products required from different places. However, it’s probably most important to consider how all of the products integrating. With automated entrance security, it’s important that all of the techs works together as required so that there are no security mishaps.
We strongly recommend you source your gates, turnstiles and barriers from the same providers. That way you will ensure that every component of your security is compatible with each other.
It’s important not to forget the purpose of fencing and gates is security and it’s not to be compromised.
There is no room for ‘value engineering’ when it comes to data centre security.
As you’ll be aware, data centre security is a challenging topic. As such, your research process is crucial. To recap, you should consider the following:
- Choosing training installers if you have invested in a tested system
- Look past the aesthetics because it will be the first thing forgotten about if the system is not fit for its purpose
- Added costs that may occur during the project (the cost and labour intensity of installation)
- HVM Palisade fencing can provide HVM for sites that have limited space
- How your entrance security will Integrate on-site
If you have an upcoming data centre project and you’re operating within the EMEA, APAC or Australia, why not speak to an expert today.