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Data Center Makes Security Part Of Its Marketing Package
March 19, 2009 - Security
As the leading global provider of network-neutral data centers and Internet exchange services for enterprises, content companies, systems integrators and network services providers, Equinix Internet Business Exchange centers serve as core hubs for critical IP networks and Internet operations worldwide.
At Equinix, customers can directly access the providers that serve over 90 percent of the world’s Internet networks and users. Companies like IBM, Google, Sony Online, General Electric, Electronic Arts, Primedia/About.com, Hotwire, Yahoo!, and Microsoft have all selected Equinix as their outsourced IT infrastructure partner.
With such a customer list, Equinix takes its business and security very seriously. Server downtime is not an option, and Equinix reduces that risk with a Symmetry Professional Security Management System complete with Symmetry Video Management and Symmetry ENVS (Edge Network Video Server) by AMAG Technology.
From the moment a customer enters the building, security is paramount. A mantrap at the front door allows one door to open at a time to eliminate people from entering without authorization. Access is verified before a person can enter. Once inside, a customer presents a ticket to a security guard who authorizes a biometric hand scan. Hand scans allow customers onto the main floor where the servers are kept.
Inside the data center, servers are housed in a wire mesh cage. A hand scan confirms the customer is at the correct server. The hand scan opens the wire mesh cage, and cameras record all activity. The 85,000 square foot server area is dark, with blue floor lights tracking the way to a customer’s server. This prevents competitors from seeing other servers and provides customer’s privacy.
One integrated security system was chosen for the security guard to monitor the entire building at once — the Symmetry Security Management System — because it had integration capabilities and ease of being able to monitor the activities of a customer. Each of Equinix’s three Los Angeles sites utilizes the Symmetry Professional access control system.
Employee’s hands are scanned if they are maintaining the servers, and card access is used throughout the facilities. Mechanical rooms require a card and pin code for additional security.
Maintaining an audit tracking system provides customers peace of mind. Customers may request an audit report of who visited their cage at any time. Video recording provides a visual record of who visited, and that becomes part of the audit report. Servers are constantly in operation, and a tenant may not visit his server for a few months – therefore Equinix maintains reports of who went into the cages. Video audit information is held for 30 days.
Only Equinix employees and clients have access to servers. If a server fails, the client looks to Equinix for answers. Having an audit trail and video saves Equinix money. It’s Equinix’s word versus the clients – so if something happens, the audit trail becomes priceless.
Security guards can view cameras by priority or preference, choosing which camera to show the largest on screen. If they need to view up to 36 cameras at the same size, they can choose that option as well. Security guards can view live, recorded or archived images simultaneously for optimal performance and flexibility. Equinix security administrators can record at their command to not miss an event.
Symmetry Video saves Equinix space. Space was needed to accommodate the four or five racks for multiple DVRs. The same room that housed multiple DVRs now houses one server with a hard drive, and only one rack for video.
The Symmetry ENVS fits in small spaces in the field, eliminating the need for a separate cage for equipment. The ENVS eliminates pulling coax to one location so it saves money and labor of pulling it back to one central location. They have multiple spaces in the colocation area which saves them money. Rather than pulling 200 feet of cable, they pull 20 feet, providing a cost saving way of doing security.
“The new AMAG system is all rolled into one system, and there is no tape recorder,” says Equinix Director of Operation for Los Angeles, Duane Mackenzie. “The downtown LA location had six racks full of equipment compared to less than a half a rack with the Symmetry ENVS system. It eliminated many costs because it’s all rolled into one system. Our coax runs are short too, which makes troubleshooting easier.”
The security staff can control its cameras from the Symmetry Video Management software, eliminating the need for a separate camera keyboard to move cameras around.
Symmetry Video’s unique store and forward capability allows the security staff to store camera recordings on the edge of the network and forward to their server at their convenience. This frees up bandwidth during the day when clients are visiting, and bandwidth is utilized for access control, internet and other purposes.
Equinix is able to identify specific behaviors and program them into the software, which sounds an alarm whenever that behavior occurs, notifying security staff of a potential threat. The advanced motion detection feature allows them to watch for items being moved or removed from each cage, the loading docks and storage areas. Security staff proactively respond saving precious moments, money and time spent later going through video.
Mackenzie says, “We are pleased to have saved one-third the cost with the Symmetry Security Management System with Symmetry Video/ENVS and are happy with its ease of use.”
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