Physical security control in the Data Center

Anyone who has ever faced the challenge of designing and building a structure knows how complicated and demanding of a process it is. He also knows what a great moment it is when the work is finished and the infrastructure is ready for use. Of course, this readiness does not entail a complete cessation of the owner’s actions. During the use of the facility, needs and ideas often arise, allowing us to improve the initial design beyond what we originally assumed. Sometimes, the development of technology enables us to adopt new solutions that further raise the standard of our “finished” infrastructure. Talex was faced with a similar possibility.

We built our Data Centers in accordance with the highest standards, taking care to maintain the highest level of quality. Today we are proud to say that we managed to achieve our goals. However, our experts did not rest on their laurels. After completing the work on our first facility, they began the process of testing and improving our infrastructure. One of the issues they paid particular attention to was that physical security. Nowadays, it is difficult to find an object whose technical assumptions would not take into account the importance of this area, but in the case of a Data Center, security is one of the most important issues that we put the highest priority on. The technical infrastructure and the latest network security guarantee the security of data stored in the Data Center, but it is the elements of the physical security infrastructure that protect the servers themselves and the capsules in which they are located.

In 2015, Talex began looking for a partner that would be able to meet our precise, high requirements in this matter. After analyzing the market and learning about numerous solutions, we decided to cooperate with Nedap and implement their proprietary physical security control system – AEOS.

Nedap – “We open the door to safety”

Nedap Security Management is a Dutch company operating all over the world with over 40 years of experience in the field of physical security. Their flagship product, AEOS, gives them a stable position in the group of leaders in the physical security market.

AEOS Access Control is a security management system for physical structures. Designed with a wide range of users’ needs in mind, it is able to provide protection for both Data Center objects that require the highest level of security, and those that require a lower level of protection. The AEOS system is designed to scale to the size of the client, the level of verification required from users (from a simple magnetic card to biometric sensors) and integration with numerous systems used by the client.

How did AEOS fit our requirements?

As a company with its own Data Centers, Talex knew exactly what it needed from our potential partner. Our security requirements were clearly defined, but we had an additional demand – the ability to install and further develop the system in our data centers and office buildings.

The choice of the AEOS system presented to us by Nedap was ultimately determined by the highest quality of their service on the market, the wide possibility of its integration and providing our experts with knowledge about the system and its installation. During the talks on the requirements, the main issues we focused on were:

  • physical equipment – the basic issue was, of course, the appropriate standard of the supplied equipment and the availability of its various variants. In our case, we were interested not only in magnetic card readers but also in biometric readers and remote scanners, verifying the permissions held at a distance.
  • control – Talex has not only two Data Centers, located respectively in Poznań and Wrocław, but also office buildings and points throughout Poland. We wanted to be able to centrally control security systems in all our locations.
  • anti-theft system – the system presented by AEOS meets our high requirements, allowing us to secure our data and those stored in our centers by our clients. In addition, AEOS reduces the number of false alarms and immediately adjusts the permissions of individual users, thanks to which Talex can now precisely control the accesses allocated to our employees and guests.
  • integration – cooperation with Nedap was not the first we have established with suppliers of security solutions. We required integration with our existing control systems, including wireless (Assa Abloy), CCTV camera systems (Avigilone) and biometric security (Touchless Biometric Systems – TBS).
  • precision – in the case of a large amount of space, multiple security levels used on them and many employees with different levels of assigned access, an important issue was the detail of information provided by the system. AEOS allows us not only to visualize in a graphical application, which increases the transparency and readability of a huge amount of information represented in the security database but also allows us to automate certain procedures, e.g. withdrawing access to a person leaving the company or changing the scope of access of a person moving to another department in our internal structures.

After getting acquainted with the Nedap offer and the full specification and capabilities of the AEOS system, we knew that Talex had found the partner we had dreamed of at the beginning of our search.

Installation, integration, continuous updates

During the first implementation of the AEOS system in Talex, we used the services of an external integrator. During the entire process, our experts built a knowledge base and gathered the competencies necessary for independent project management in the future. Since the completion of the implementation, we have managed the system, subsequent integrations and updates based on our internal experience. We have also built a security laboratory that allows us to simulate events and carry out subsequent implementations.

In 2018, we opened the second Talex Data Center in Wrocław. Due to the standard it represented, AEOS was a natural candidate for its physical security system. This time the implementation was made by our team of experts, armed with knowledge and skills after the first implementation and numerous simulations carried out in the laboratory. The process was successful and the Talex Data Center in Wrocław is still managed and operated 100% by our internal team.

The experiences with the AEOS system, its installation, integration and operation have taught us a lot about physical security. The support of Nedap, who supported us in our decision to become fully independent, was invaluable. Our team is still optimizing our systems and conducting simulations and is ready to carry out the next implementation. Perhaps in another facility in the Talex family. Perhaps as an external integrator or consultant, supporting other users during their first implementation.