There’s plenty of information out there to walk you through designing a data center for security. From government standards to industry standards, there’s no shortage of insight into how to protect the information flowing into and out of your data center. But what about physical security? Going beyond cameras and biometric screening, there are a number of ways that you can protect your data center from outside physical threats. Here we’ll start a multi-part series on how to protect your data by protecting your facility.
Location, Location, Location
Make sure that your data center is a good distance from any main roads – 100 feet is a typical minimum – and make sure that you’re not inadvertently building on any natural disaster triggers like fault lines and flood zones. Also stay away from airports, power plants and chemical facilities. Anything that has a potential for “unpleasant” and unforseen reactions make really bad neighbors for secure facilities.
Redundancy Is Never a Bad Thing
Especially when it comes to utilities, redundancy can keep your lights and air conditioning running when the rest of your neighborhood goes dark. Make sure that your power can trace back to two separate substations and that your water source offers two main lines. You’re going to become a great customer for these utility companies so throw your weight around if you need to.
You’re Building a Data Center Not an Office Park
Avoid windows and make sure that you’re building walls out of foot-thick concrete to protect against the elements and any explosive threats that someone might use to gain access to your facility. For extra protection, line your walls with kevlar and use bomb resistant glass for any windows you do need to install. Oh and get rid of the signage. Think of it like a Manhattan night club – anyone who needs to know that it’s there should already know that it’s there.
Cars Aren’t Your Friends
Wherever you can, use landscaping to protect your facility from passing vehicles and onlookers. Trees and boulders provide visual insulation from passing cars and crash proof barriers like Bollard planters can help you keep them at a safe difference.