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Andy Billingham from EMKA discusses enclosure hardware security issues

Posted By Andy Billingham, EMKA (UK) Ltd, 15 June 2017

In this white paper Andy discusses how new demands in the area of industrial security drive a continuous development process in tandem with new materials and production technologies. He suggests these demands may be most easily categorised as:

- Very low level – no access restriction but protection of personnel and equipment required – a simple wing knob latch may be sufficient.

- General access limited and equipment protection needed – but a simple key system is needed – perhaps a quarter turn lock with a triangular key.

- Restricted access and equipment protection – but low value or risk – a higher security key system is appropriate, a profile cylinder key lock would be a suitable choice.

- Higher risk or value – perhaps requiring an electronic mechanism e.g. specialist private manufacturing establishments or research centres.

- Very high risk/value e.g. data centres or utilities where a comprehensive logging/monitoring and control system is vital – remotely accessible e.g. via an encrypted internet link.

The white paper explains how in turn these have an effect on usage of materials and the design concept. In this respect the trend is toward increasing sophistication – it’s no longer acceptable to open a control or data cabinet with a screwdriver if you don’t have the key! So where once a wing knob latch was sufficient it is important to consider the need for keylocks – perhaps to IP65 or even IP69 and the option of vibration resistant compression locks which prevent nuisance door opening, as well as more complete gasket pull-down and consistently higher IP sealings.

Other demands call for other materials such as high grade engineering plastics and yet other technologies – leading us to Biometric locking and three tier security. Read the full white paper here: www.emkablog.co.uk/enclosure-hardware-security.

Further information on EMKA products can be found on the EMKA website - www.emka.com. Readers can find the latest information and news on the EMKA blog – www.emkablog.co.uk or follow them on twitter - http://twitter.com/emkauk.

 Attached Files:

Tags:  biometric locking  compression latches  compression locks  enclosure hardware security  quarter-turn locks  stainless steel handles  swinghandles 

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Toward Zero Security Breaches with EMKA/Digitus Biometric Technology - 5 considerations for securing your sensitive data

Posted By Andy Billingham, EMKA (UK) Ltd, 05 April 2017

If you manage your own data centre, colocation facility or technical data repository, then you know how important security is. It is essential that you safeguard sensitive information from physical theft, hacking, data breaches and human error. Fortunately, much has already been written about this topic, but this article is intended help you strengthen your security strategy going forward. Accordingly, EMKA have identified 5 considerations that will help you protect your data centre:

1. Identify your physical weak points and determine your need:
The first thing you need to do is figure out is where your vulnerabilities are. For example it is never a good idea to build a data centre against outside walls, similarly pay attention to what is housed above and below your data storage facility. By securing these weak points, you can eliminate the most obvious threat – someone breaking in. Small data centres especially may be located in a multi-floor building, in which case consider installing physical barriers, cameras and access control systems. Additionally, it is important to examine your operational processes so that visitors and contractors are not let inside your server room accidentally.

2. Keep track of all your workflow processes:
It is critical that you keep track of your operations and compliance-related activities. You want to limit access to your data storage centre to IT staff and organizational stakeholders. As such, you should regularly monitor your access logs and perform audit checks. Keep track of peripherals, servers and data centre management software, looking for any suspicious activity. If your data centre is in a colocation facility, and you have a trusted provider, most likely your assets are safe and well-maintained. However, a prudent strategy should involve regular audits, regardless of where the centre is housed. Remember holding and managing data may well be the very core purpose of your organisation.

3. Watch out for human error:
The most common form of data breach is that committed by insiders. It is now recognised that danger comes in the form of poor engineering, carelessness, or corporate espionage, but in all cases, people working in your facility pose the biggest risk. Accordingly, it is necessary that you implement strong security policies that hold personnel accountable for their access permissions. It is advisable that you pair access cards with biometric security, such as fingerprint scans, for the best possible defence. Biometric security is safer than passwords and much harder to replicate or steal. Employees will be deterred from lending each other access cards, and if one is stolen, it will be useless to the individual who tries to access your server room. It is important to understand that access should never be shared in an organisation.

Upon enrolment, the EMKA/Digitus Biometrics fingerprint reader creates a multi-point schematic of the user’s biometric fingerprint profile, which it stores as a 384-byte fingerprint template. This template will be matched to the user’s live fingerprint each time that user seeks to gain access. At no time is a fingerprint stored in the system. The system only retains the pattern recognition used by its algorithm.

If the fingerprint data perfectly matches the stored fingerprint template, the reader unit sends an encrypted “open door” command to the control unit. The unit then opens the electric lock and logs the date/time of the user entry.

Due to the precision of proprietary fingerprint recognition technology, fake fingers, the wrong finger, or a finger of someone deceased cannot fool the system and open doors to access secured areas. Further the authorized person may place on the reader a “duress finger” programmed into the system to send an alert to security personnel.

4. Educate your people on security policies:
A big part of having a strong security system is staff member training eg explaining to staff why they should not lend each other access cards and instructing them to report any suspicious activity. Additionally, let them understand that for compliance purposes, workflow processes are strictly segregated and monitored. Often, regulatory agencies will want to see who access which piece of information and when. Eliminating duplication of access means that you are able to adhere to compliance standards with greater ease.

5. Ask your business stakeholders for their feedback:

Once you have a security system fully in place, the next thing for you to do is discuss your policies with staff members. Ask them if they agree your assets are secure. Are they accessing data with ease? What are some potential vulnerabilities? It is also a good idea to talk to your IT staff and get their opinion on the matter.

Ultimately, as data becomes more central to business, enterprises will look for better ways to secure data. Biometric access control systems and two or three level extensions of these allow companies that manage data storage centres, colocation facilities, server rooms and the like to maintain better control of perimeter doors, interior rooms, cages and server racks – with one integrated platform. These sophisticated solutions help organizations prevent data breaches, hacking and problems related to human error. Additionally, these solutions reduce costs and simplify the authentication process for entry to secured locations.

Contact EMKA to discuss your data security issues.

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Tags:  biometric fingerprint reader;  biometric security  colocation facility security  data centre security  technical data repository security 

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Cabinet and Enclosure Hardware Developments at EMKA in the 21st Century

Posted By Andy Billingham, EMKA (UK) Ltd, 23 March 2017

Much has happened since the Millennium where the feedback over those years from developing products to keep pace with industrial needs has driven the development of ubiquitous items like quarter-turn locks and latches which form a core range with companies such as EMKA (UK).

In the 1990’s a typical ¼ turn lock was IP54 rated in simple die casting without additional sealing. Firstly flat seals were introduced, then “O” rings, and finally PUR injected seals leading to sealing now commonly available up to IP69.

An early requirement was to look at new materials where leading companies developed capability with reinforced polyamide – for reasons of cost and corrosion resistance as well as stainless steel, which added exceptionally rugged characteristics and corrosion resistance suitable to wash-down areas and marine environments.

As plastics technologies developed greater strength and rigidity were possible so that slim-line polyamide cams could be produced offering cost benefits and reducing paint damage to cabinets.

At that time simple back nut fixing was the norm but was time consuming where multiple panels were being assembled, so EMKA designed a range of “quick-fit” products which push-in and clip-fix.

The humble ¼ turn latch lock was changing incrementally with customer demand for smooth, cavity-free designs suited to food processing plants and high sealing to withstand regular pressure washing.

At the other end of the scale outdoor environments and rail or other transport vehicles have their needs met with high speed dust cap retention and colour coded open/closed indicators.

Perhaps the biggest change in the world of ¼ turn locks and latches has been the spread of compression function products. These now offer vibration resistance to prevent nuisance door opening, as well as more complete gasket pull-down and consistently higher IP sealings.

Pre-2000 traditional L and T handles were being challenged by relatively new styles of pop-out swinghandles in simple die-cast zinc. These handles offered lower profiles to minimise damage and clothing hazards, while providing convenient, comfortable operation for the user.

Parallel developments took place comparable to ¼ turn locks – it is amazing how usage has changed in those years and how products have changed to meet those needs. For similar reasons – enhanced environmental requirements, cost and user friendliness – swinghandles are now produced with “O” rings and PUR seals giving excellent sealing for all applications. Glass reinforced polyamide was introduced as the industry developed slim, strong handle designs alongside stainless steel variants in AISI 304 or 316.

These reinforced machine grade plastics proved extremely capable such that robust anti-vandal designs were possible in these and zinc die – often complimented by low profile escutcheons and inset handles for sealing and anti-tamper purposes.

Just resisting unauthorised access or simple damage however was not enough – in those years we have seen the flowering of the internet and the growth of big data – vulnerable to physical theft. Enter Electronic Locking – developed by EMKA to protect server cabinets and industrial electronic control systems from unauthorised access.

Simple electronically verified swinghandle based protection soon developed into networked systems which could be remotely monitored and authorised. The Agent E stand-alone wireless system was one approach for single or small numbers of cabinets.

For larger installations where building access and complete physical access control is required right down to the individual cabinet or compartment, then Biometric systems have arisen with integrated locking, electronic monitoring of access logs and cabinet environment, full reporting and control over the internet, fully encrypted giving world-wide connectivity.

Addition of the EMKA BioLock with integral fingerprint reader to the ELM program now offers a superior level of security for protection of valuable data; in compliance with PCI, SOX, SSAE 16 and HIPAA in support of EN 50600 – with unique, personal identification and traceability. The use of biometric access control gives the possibility also of an operator designating specific alarm fingers which both open the system and set off a remote alarm to warn of an operator under threat, so enhancing personal safety.

The BioLock, in conjunction with PIN codes and RFID access cards, provides an extremely high 3 level security protection which may be applied on an individual cabinet or on a designated block of cabinets with, for example, a group controller supplemented with separate cabinet release protocols. Multiple releases of separate panels on individual cabinets are catered for by means of linked ELock slave units.

BioLock management is handled by means of Control Cockpit software which provides comprehensive control and monitoring functions with the flexibility to add/remove/report/alarm in support of the SYSLOG standard – plus an SNMP interface for integration with third party systems.

However, while this high-end security has been developing the more mundane security issues of industrial electrical and electronic control and supply cabinets have not been ignored – such that we now have mechanical solutions such as interchangeable lock cylinders which can be removed and replaced at any point in the installation process.

“Everything but the Enclosure” technologies have a long lifecycle and there is much from 1995 which is still perfectly suitable, but elsewhere we have seen refined engineering capability for standard and custom products including friction welding, sintered metal production and 3D CAD modelling, a process which has not only enabled development of more complex designs, but also put the panel engineer in direct contact with the product designer via detailed downloadable drawings.

Much too has changed in the small things – often overlooked – we can now source pre-cut, pre-assembled and vulcanised gasket, installation-ready without messy cutting and gluing. EMC gaskets have become mainstream, while a major demand has been identified for fire protection and high temperature gaskets in EPDM and silicone.

Previously, assembling rod locks took many minutes, now advances in design and plastics technology mean that rod guides can be fitted in seconds while precision plastic mechanisms provide quiet operation and more comfortable feel than older style units made from die castings or metal stampings. Rod systems not only improved, they moved.

At one time only installed inside the gasket area, rod lock systems migrated beyond the gasket, at the same time freeing up door areas and enabling simpler sealing arrangements for locks etc.

Growth in technology and sophistication of design has been matched with commercial developments which support specialist enclosure and panel builders – toggle latches continue to find new application, torque/friction hinges have become mainstream – not just something to be used on expensive electronic devices, and in response to globalisation we see also an expansion of UL certification.

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  biolock  biometric access sytems  gaskets  insert locks  quarter-turn locks  rod locks  swinghandles  toggle latches 

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Does PUE really help the case for liquid cooling?

Posted By Jon Summers, University of Leeds, 01 March 2017
Updated: 01 March 2017

When talking to interested people about liquid cooling as defined by “liquid invasion of the IT”, it seems PUE calculations do not show necessary benefits. For example, we retrofit a liquid cooling technology to the IT and for argument sake we drop the total energy draw of the digital components by 10%. We then raise the temperature onto the heat rejection system making it operate more efficiently, the average coefficient of performance increases from 3 to say 4 and UPS efficiency drops from say 91% to 89% as the critical load decreases on average. Then if we started with a PUE of 1.4 before retrofitting the liquid cooling solution would give a PUE of 1.5 (thus not helping the case). The arithmetic indicates simply that the changes in the denominator have dropped more than the numerator.

However if we use TUE [1], which is defined as total energy consumed by the entire data centre divided by the digital “only” components of the data centre, we get a different story. So before retrofitting of the liquid cooling solution the PUE of 1.4 would be a TUE of 1.63 and after retrofitting the TUE of the liquid cooling solution would be 1.58, showing improvement.

The interesting notion of this TUE is that we have a numerator which is affected by the combined digital workload and ambient conditions, whereas the denominator is only affected by the digital workload! In fact introducing ITUE (see [1]), which treats the IT (which has its own power and cooling) in the same vein as PUE for data centres, then

TUE = PUE x ITUE

TUE would have less manipulative capability for some obvious reasons. Should IT manufactures quote their ITUE at different workloads? In fact I am aware that ITUE was being looked at by the International Standards.

[1] Energy Efficient HPC Working Group https://eehpcwg.llnl.gov/pages/infra_itue.htm

Tags:  Here is an idea. 

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Why is Data Centre Room Integrity Testing so important?

Posted By Richard Warren, Workspace Technology Limited, 17 February 2017

Why Room Integrity Testing is so important?

If you have a gas suppression system, a room integrity test is of fundamental importance in order to check the ability of the enclosure to retain an effective concentration of gas, which is critical to the safe operation of the system.

Companies risk losing millions of pounds with one single data centre glitch, therefore in the event of a Catastrophic Data Centre Fire a company may not only lose operability, but consequently go out of business.

  • How would a loss of service affect you?
  • Do you have safeguards in place?
  • Would you be able to recover?

Workspace Technology offer a selection of Planned Preventative Maintenance (PPM) services including Room Integrity Testing to protect your business.

Once a Room Integrity Test has been completed, Workspace Technology will provide either a Pass Certificate, which can be used as a reference for insurance purposes, or a complete details report indicating why the test failed and what need to be to ensure a pass.

Click here to find out more about Workspace Technology's Room Integrity Testing Services >>

When should integrity tests be done?

1) An integrity test should be performed immediately after a system has been installed and routinely every year thereafter.

2) Any alteration such as changing a door, putting a cable(s) in or even replacing equipment can affect the room's gas holding ability (Integrity), routine servicing of equipment will not reveal this, so an Integrity Test should be carried out after any alteration.

3) Part of a Annual Planned Preventative Maintenance scheduled test.

Click here to find out more about Workspace Technology's Room Integrity Testing Services >>

For more information on our Data Centre & Server Room Solutions visit www.workspace-technology.com or call us on 0121 354 4894

 Attached Files:

Tags:  data centre  fire suppression  Planned Preventative Maintenance  PPM  room integrity 

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“Why every datacentre needs a permanently installed resistive LOADBANK”

Posted By Paul Smethurst, Hillstone Products, 03 February 2017

Press release for immediate issue

 

3rd Feb 2017

 

“Why every datacentre needs a permanently installed resistive LOADBANK”

 

UK LOADBANK manufacturer, Hillstone Products, have developed a load bank solution to increase reliability, efficiency, and uptime performance whilst reducing energy costs when operating a datacentre.

 

The loadbank_GENSET range has been designed to overcome fuel being the single point of failure in a datacentre and to prevent breaches in generators Service Level Agreement ( SLA ) & warranty conditions by maintaining best practice expected in mission critical datacentre infrastructure.

 

The release of the loadbank_GENSET range co-in sides with 6 months’ extensive research, by Hillstone’s MD Paul Smethurst, which has looked at the consequences of supporting low IT load with generator backup systems that are dimensioned against maximum operating scenarios.

 

Smethurst states “The benefits of having a permanent load bank connected to the genset system include:

-       validation of Fuel Supplies,

-       prevention of Wet Stacking

-       associated operating savings in energy costs

to creates a very short ROI by improvements of best practice and ensuring uptime performance.”

 

The loadbank_GENSET range is designed using the latest PLC technology to deliver a dual automatic & manual operation with open software interfacing to BMS & DCIM systems.

 

The loadbank_GENSET range moves the load bank industry away from expensive propriety control systems.

 

More information is available either online at www.loadbanks.co.uk or via our UK sales office:  

Tel +44(0) 161 763 3100  sales@hillstone.co.uk

 

Hillstone will also be exhibiting at DCW17, ExCel, London 14th & 15th March 2017 on Stand L80 and are also the LOADBANK sponsor for the Live Green Datacentre

 

Paul Smethurst is an Incorporated Engineer & Fellow of The Institute of Engineering Technology and Industry Mentor to the Mechanical Faculty at The University of Leeds.

Hillstone Products are members of DCA & EU Code of Conduct for datacentres

 

 

END

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Tags:  Generator  loadbanks 

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The latest in EMKA Biometrics: Dual Format Authentication

Posted By Andy Billingham, EMKA (UK) Ltd, 18 January 2017

As our complicated world technologically evolves, challenges naturally ensue to harness and properly use the technology. These challenges become much more serious and difficult when the rate of technological change increases. As customers know, significant time is often necessary to understand, implement, experience, and adjust to the new technology if it is to be employed efficiently and effectively. If we are to embrace the productivity, operator value and other rewards that technological advances offer, the reality is that it is morphing at a historically high speed and there is every reason to believe that it will only continue accelerating with no pause in sight.

Without doubt, the most notable thing about biometrics is that, when used properly as a method of identification, it is completely accurate. Only you are you. And unlike a card, fob, token, password, PIN, photo or key, you are never misplaced, broken, forgotten or expired. The individual is ultimately the most convenient, definite and accessible verification of themselves – and since The Internet of Things increasingly forces technological interaction with everything, it is more important that access to all these things is enabled only by those who have the proper authority to do so.

That is why EMKA/Digitus Biometrics exists with a uniquely and properly designed biometric security to protect the things that it should, without compromising personal privacy, while providing ready access into and out of secure areas and enclosures to protect critical data, systems and assets. When it comes to accessing enclosures that house IT equipment, systems, hazardous materials, valuable assets and even private conversations, companies rightly need to objectively ensure that only those persons with a need to access the enclosure – the rack, cabinet, room, cage, vault – are allowed to do so under the parameters set by the organization’s security policy.

Cards alone can be awkward to manage. Aside from having to carry them or look geeky wearing them, they get lost, get technologically bypassed, require inventory management, and worse, get counterfeited and stolen. Biometrics, on the other hand remove all of these negatives. It used to be said that, by its nature, biometrics eliminated the plausible deniability that the unauthorized person had no fault in the breach. How many times has a security officer been told, “It wasn’t me!” claiming that the card/key/fob/token/password/PIN must have been misappropriated. But with Biometrics access solutions, not only is plausible deniability forever gone, but there is no longer any breach to even get to that point.

EMKA/Digitus Biometrics now provides the ultimate access security with devices to secure data equipment enclosures and pedestrian entrances, they recently announced the best of both worlds. The new DualLock combines biometrics and card technologies. Built directly into the data centre cabinet’s handle is the fingerprint reader and card reader, requiring dual-authentication at the cabinet!

No longer are “you” required to authenticate with just a card, or just a finger, or at the end of the row. Finally, there is an access security product on the market that ensures, without any doubt – at the enclosure door – that “you” are “you”, that you are permitted, and that you are doubly verified.

The greatest fear of advancing technology is that it outstrips our privacy and practical security. EMKA/Digitus products are designed to provide the best of all possibilities - and yes, it integrates with your enterprise access control software.

For further information please contact EMKA UK on 024 7661 6505 or enquiries@emka.co.uk.

 

Tags:  biometric locking  card reader  data centre security;  dual format authentication  DualLock biometric handle  EMKA  fingerprint reader 

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Design Your Own Micro Data Centre in Under 1 Minute for Free Online

Posted By Richard Warren, Workspace Technology Limited, 13 December 2016

Workspace Technology Launch Free Web Based Design Tool that Allows You to Design Your Own Micro Data Centre in Under 1 Minute

Workspace Technology, UK data centre design and construction specialists, have launched a new free-to-use online design tool that grants users the ability to design their own edge/micro data centre.

The new design tool works by giving users step-by-step parameter and equipment options, such as ‘Number of Racks’ and ‘Type of Cooling’, with the final outcome producing a 3D rendered model of their data centre creation. Additionally, the design tool also creates a virtual guided tour video of the newly created infrastructure which can be watched and downloaded at the end of the process by the user.

Roy Griffiths, Technical Director at Workspace Technology, commented “The creation of our ‘Design Your Own Data Centre Tool’ enables data centre managers to produce and visualise customised Micro Data Centre designs in less than a minute.”

We believe it is important for IT Professionals to be able to visualise their ideas and concepts, and this free online design tool will assist and enhance that process.”

To access the design tool and create your own modular data centre visit www.workspace-technology.com/design-your-own-data-centre

 

For more information about Workspace Technology Ltd please visit http://www.workspace-technology.com/ or contact Richard Warren on +44 (0) 7795 225533 or via email richard.warren@workspace-technology.com

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Tags:  Date Centre  Design  Micro Data Centre 

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EMKA define the latest industry requirements in Biometric Access

Posted By Andy Billingham, EMKA (UK) Ltd, 30 November 2016

Explains EMKA M.D. Andy Billingham – “Biometric technology at the cabinet is meeting the need for high level security at customer server cabinet enclosures, but the customer often wants the option of seamlessly tying it into their entry system and building management system as well”.

“Until recently there was not a solution to accommodate this need, but EMKA have worked for some years with Digitus Biometrics to provide a biometric access solution embedded in the cabinet handle. This was initially launched with software that was independent from the enterprise management software because in fact many companies’ security teams prefer to have separate systems for their data centre and telco server racks versus their enterprise pedestrian doors and video solutions. Aside from some regulatory requirements dictating such separation, this preference was largely due to the EMKA Digitus system being seen as a superior data centre and specialty enclosure niche, whose monitoring, alerting and reporting capabilities were more reliable, secure, and user-friendly than existing enterprise access control systems. But lately, global companies who have invested large sums and resources into their enterprise access control management (ACM) systems have a strong economic and efficiency motivation (if not a corporate mandate) to integrate cabinet access controls into their enterprise ACM platform.”

Consequently EMKA/Digitus Biometrics have now announced a new technology partnership with the world-class BioConnect identity management platform, so that the db Bus and db Sentry provide full control for server cabinet access. The result is a new, fully-integrated solution that perfectly synchronizes with major ACM solutions.

Contact EMKA (UK) for further information.

 

Tags:  biometric access  biometric access in the cabinet handle  cabinet access controls  data security  db Sentry  EMKA  server cabinet access 

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What is Enterprise Cloud Server Hosting all about?

Posted By Avena Bell, 25 November 2016
Updated: 25 November 2016
Paste embed code from YouTube or other video sharing service.

Cloud Hosting is a cloud computing model that allows forexpedient, on-demand network access to a common group of computing resources, such as storage, servers, services, applications, networks, etc., that can be quickly provisioned and discharged with the least amount of effort.

This type of hosting ensures better performance without adding far too much cost to the operations. It is, by no means, a new technology or methodology. However, it can be considered a new delivery model that offers resources as services that are scalable and elastic, and are available on a pay-per-use, on-demand subscription basis. 

Enterprise Cloud Server Hosting

This is a special case of cloud computing. In this, cloud computing is utilized for competitive advantage on the back of novel opportunities for savings in terms of cost and for business innovations. A Cloud Hosting Providerwould offer the right Enterprise Cloud Server Hosting plan that would enable companies to quickly access public and private hosting resources on an on-demand basis without undergoing the expenses and efforts related to deploying the associated physical infrastructure.
Enterprise Cloud Server Hosting requires fine-tuning of all the provisions. It is important to have enterprise grade servers and redundant infrastructure to ensure the success of mission-critical operations.

This type of hosting must address the following points:

• It should enable enterprises to collaborate on innovative methods since this type of collaboration with business partners is the way ahead to gain competitive advantage across value chains. There can be shared workspaces in community clouds, and employees from different, multiple companies can collaborate on a virtual enterprise network and function as a single company. 
• In terms of expenses, data center and IT costs must be directly aligned to usage and should be massively minimized.In other words, they should be elastic and scalable.
• It should lead to dramatic cuts in risk and startup expenses for innovation initiatives, which would allow companies to check out more and more new ideas. Since there would be no upfront capital expenditure, it would be easy to instantly scale up a new project if it takes off or scale down or shut it down in case it doesn’t.  

Other features

Cost saving is a significant driver in Enterprise Cloud Server Hosting. However, another major driver are the changes happening in the outside world, the one that’s outside the business world in our connected global world. With all-pervasive internet, social networks are changing the ways people do things - learn, work, play, and even live. These changes have affected the manner of designing and managing organizations and their delivery of value to customers.

There are several leading providers of Enterprise Cloud Server Hosting in India. They have cutting edge infrastructure and high-speed resources to provide their clients with world class services. 

They ensure that their clients:

 are able to reduce or scale up their resources on the basis of their present requirements.
 can maintain effective availability of applications without having to invest massively in the pertinent software and hardware equipments.
 are billed only on a pay-per-use basis.
 are able to contribute to a greener world by subscribing to a service instead of setting up in-house infrastructure.
 are able to enjoy services that have been designed to optimally utilize the resources and usage so that their IT costs are reduced dramatically and their operating expenses are cut to a significant extent.

Go4Hosting is a leading Cloud Hosting Provider that offers customizable hosting solutions to their clients at pleasant prices and with expert support. On the back of their impeccable services and rich and varied experience, they are considered as the premiumEnterprise Cloud Server Hosting in India.

 

Tags:  Cloud Hosting  Cloud Hosting Provider  Cloud Server Hosting 

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Taking Data Centre Security to the Server Rack

Posted By Andy Billingham, EMKA (UK) Ltd, 17 November 2016

Access security experts at EMKA point out that current data centre security practices rely on three things to ensure the protection of data. First, keeping a thief out of the building; second, monitoring the system to detect the removal of a hard drive; finally, encrypting the data on that hard drive so that if the first two fail, the hardware is still useless to the thief. Despite these efforts, data theft still occurs with some frequency, which is why companies need to consider a change in their strategy, such as biometric security.

EMKA believe that by implementing biometric technology at a different level of operations, such as the server rack itself, companies can optimize their security and establish a new line of defence that doesn't interrupt workflow. Installing a fingerprint scanner on the server rack door handle won't affect building access or other factors, but ensures that only authorized personnel can actually open the rack and remove hardware. This ensures security regardless of whether a thief manages to bypass the other security measures. Furthermore, it protects a company from theft by its own employees – one of the leading causes of data breaches seen worldwide.

Of course, as firms deploy server rack security solutions they may see other ways to improve their building access control with biometrics. By starting at a basic point of entry and deploying a high-quality biometric solution, a company can see the results and build from there, implementing biometrics where needed and avoiding a single large-scale investment that may not be cost effective immediately.

EMKA/Digitus Biometric solutions offer top of the line security for any company, but in the data centre it is particularly beneficial, providing front line protection for valuable or critical with information which is quickly becoming the currency of this digital age.

Tags:  BioLock  biometric handle  biometric technology  data centre security;  EMKA UK  server rack security 

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Benefits of Engaging Web Hosting for Businesses

Posted By Avena Bell, 10 November 2016
Web hosting is required for making the website visible for users at large. When you have a website prepared, it becomes your window to the world. It becomes synonymous with your online entity. And making it visible to the world is the first step towards making your website visible. Outsourcing a service provider is the best way to host your website on the internet. It is simple, convenient, cost effective and easy. Here’s why.

Some Advantages of Outsourcing Web Hosting Services 


Some benefits of hosting services:

1. No Need of Webmasters: The cost of hiring webmasters is eliminated when you outsource web hosting services. This is due to the fact that a hosting company usually engages people who will be dealing with any website related issue. It is important to strike an agreement with the company in a befitting manner so that all these aspects of troubleshooting are covered suitable. Paying a hefty sum to a webmaster will not be necessary in that case. 

2. Easy Access to Content: Most likely, a flourishing website will have audio files, videos, animation and content. And the best way to make sure all of this is accessed easily by viewers is to engage website hosting services. In such case, it becomes easier for the business to deliver products, services and ideas to the world much at ease by utilizing a well planned and laid out network. The main purpose responsible for these services is ensuring that businesses can get the available server space for the storage of files. 

3. Easy Creation of Databases: One of the primary features of website hosting is that it allows you to create databases that are indispensable for online business owners. There are several other exciting features that you can add to your website including smart options like shopping carts for ecommerce websites, communities, forums, chat panels and so on. All these features help the user to communicate suitably and use the options on the website effectively. 

4. Email Accounts: Web hosting also provides email accounts and this is therefore considered to be an additional benefit. This is then attributed to the fact that it is one of the easier ways to establish professionalism and increases the level of customer reliability. With the help of this, the customer can revert to you in case of eventualities. When a customer sends an email to your website address he or she will learn to depend on the company and will never question the credibility of the company.

It is important to choose a hosting service with due precision. Make sure you assess options before you select. 

 Attached Thumbnails:

Tags:  Web Hosting  Web Server Hosting 

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Door panelware and security for server racks from EMKA UK

Posted By Andy Billingham, EMKA (UK) Ltd, 27 July 2016

Server racks are a specialist type of cabinet today often requiring the highest level in access control along with the simplest in hinging and gasketing. Primary concerns of course are regarding physical security and nullifying the possibility of data theft via removal of servers or connecting of unapproved memory devices such as thumb drives. Whereas the ventilation needs of the housed equipment leads to lightweight largely perforated doors with little need for sealing externally but a need to maintain ventilation integrity, along with a simple cushioning requirement to absorb rattles and ensure correct feel and function of the door when required.

Such a package is provided by hardware specialists EMKA with our program 3500 BioLock which adds high level fingerprint technology packaged at the door with the convenience of a low profile swinghandle, so ensuring that it really is the authorised person opening the door while ensuring gangways to be as narrow as practical – and snag free.

3500 BioLock can be used on individual racks or suites and integrated into site-wide monitoring/control systems.

The requirement for door hinging is met with our captive pin program 1031 for lay-on doors and suits the narrow 25mm return used on such lightweight fabrications. Hinge pins on the 1031 may be readily withdrawn but are held captive. For especially light doors and side panels the 1117-U6 pin hinge is a simple, low cost, push-fit solution.

Sealing and vibration absorption of these lightweight doors is very effectively managed with a simple clip-on D profile gasket strip such as the EMKA 1011-24 which is self-gripping on flanges of 1mm to 2mm while providing up to 2.5mm of compression to ensure that unwanted materials are kept out and that the internal ventilation is not compromised by leaky door flanges.

Further information on EMKA products can be found on the EMKA website - www.emka.co.uk. Readers can find the latest information and news on the EMKA blog – www.emkablog.co.uk or follow them on twitter - http://twitter.com/emkauk.

Tags:  biolock  captive pin hinges  d profile gasket strip  door panelware for server racks  EMKA  server rack security  swinghandles; 

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European Data Hub first to achieve European Standard EN50600 Class 4e compliance

Posted By Mark Acton, 09 June 2016

European Data Hub based in Luxembourg have achieved the the first instance of a data centre being independently judged to conform to the highest level of all the published sections of the new European EN50600 data centre standard.

https://www.einnews.com/pr_news/328177348/european-data-hub-gets-europe-s-first-en50600-class-4e-data-centre-certification

 

Contrary to popular belief and rumour there is no prohibition on independent certification against EN50600.

Tags:  EN50600 

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Three Essential Questions on Making the Switch to Hybrid IT

Posted By Jamie Tyler, director, solutions engineering, CenturyLink, 03 March 2016

1.       Why should companies look at investing in hybrid IT? What advantages can they gain from it?

JT: Some organisations come to us and just want a transactional service and that’s fine. We’re cool with that ‒ if they want 15 CPUs and x amount of RAM and some storage capabilities, we can provide it. 

Others want much more.  They want to divulge some of their responsibilities; usually starting with those which are not central to the business. The CIOs don’t want or need to run a big IT department, which ultimately has a high cost associated with it. They also realise that specialists can quite often do the job better – keeping data more secure, providing a more robust cloud environment or simply a newer, faster, more agile way of doing things – than they could do themselves.

 

2.       What are the hidden costs of running an in-house IT system?

JT: There is a big investment of time and money in regards to running in-house IT systems. Beyond the infrastructure itself, there are added costs of powering, maintaining and staffing the IT system.  In addition to that, adding the application on top of the IT system adds another layer of complexity  and expense.

If businesses want to remain competitive from a technology standpoint, they must also be prepared to make regular investments in updating their in-house IT infrastructure as well as ongoing training and development for their staff. 

This is why many organisations work with a managed services provider to run these some or all of these processes. Choosing which systems to outsource and which to keep in-house is the essence of Hybrid IT; organisations can benefit from a fully-managed, integrated and comprehensive IT ecosytem that offers the flexibility needed to customise and build optimised cloud processes to support the business as needed.

 

3.       How much will companies typically spend per month on hybrid IT services?

JT: In reality, if you know how much you want to spend each month, the likelihood of the cloud being a great fit isn’t real. You may as well go back to a traditional hosting environment where you look for the safety and security of predictable usage patterns and can drive economies of scale by knowing when and where you are going to need computing or storage facilities. 

But of course, that doesn’t give you the flexibility of cloud. With cloud services, you pay for what you use; so the more you use, the more you pay. 

What cloud does give you is clarity and flexibility. Customers will be able to predict their costs based on their data usage. You can be as granular over the processes involved in cloud computing – or not; customers can have the visibility and the control over the system, or not, depending on their preferences. 

For us, it is about providing the level of control and visibility that actually a good business wants to have to ensure they can afford what they are playing with. Making the investment in a hybrid IT ecosystem is essential to transforming IT from a cost centre to a business driver.

Tags:  cloud  essential  hybrid  IT 

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Building a Hybrid Cloud Network

Posted By Jamie Tyler, Director of Solutions Engineering EMEA, CenturyLink, 26 February 2016

Building a hybrid IT platform is like setting off a flywheel – it needs a little bit of a nudge to get going but once it is up and running, it gains a momentum of its own. There’s a culture in the team that starts to become its own virtuous circle; it doesn't come from one individual or key developer, the platform has started to become its own entity. 

From a leadership standpoint, this kind of momentum and pace provides a lot of confidence that development is going to grow and grow. Building a hybrid IT platform really is an experience that takes you on a steep learning curve. 

From a hosting perspective, developing a platform really means taking control of the value you produce. Service providers can generally run applications in their data centre; implement it for their customers; and run and operate the datacentre on their behalf.

But actually producing their own technology, developing and implementing a hybrid cloud platform, provides flexibility and abstracts unique services that can be layered on top of the existing product portfolio. 

The winners in the cloud are those that have an automated service platform that supports their primary business. The origins of AWS came from a primary business as it needed a more flexible infrastructure platform. The Microsoft Platform didn’t really take off until it started driving its primary business on to that platform.

As a service provider, the primary business is about delivering hybrid IT solutions to your customers. You need a platform that supports that vision and services but it has to be architected flexibly enough so anybody can come in and use it for whatever purpose they want. 

So how can service providers drive this kind of innovation, drawing on the supportive ecosystem of partners and suppliers that most organisations spend years cultivating? 

Four Initiatives to Drive Hybrid Cloud

 

To start with, an ecosystem is not just a list of customers or partners. An ecosystem is a collection of people or partners who link up without permission, or where software partners and customers discover each other organically. Drawing upon this ecosystem can add real value to partners – and in turn, customers – and based on these possibilities, there are a number of initiatives which partners must consider and develop if they are to be truly compelling and competitive in 2016. Here are four such initiatives to keep top of mind:

 

1.       The network exchange:

All of the major cloud providers have some kind of direct network connect product, either Amazon Direct Connect or Azure Express Route ‒ and all major colocation providers have some sort of presence in that marketplace. This connects internal networks to major cloud providers, bypassing ISPs and effectively creating ‘private’ networks.

 

But network providers can build their own ‘killer’ network exchange. Whether cosmetic or real, users can find and cross connect with other people in the data centre. Service providers need an automated network connection marketplace that allows users to build their SDN layer into their platform. That can roll out to the whole ecosystem, which in turn can reach out to other owners of interesting network content and pull them in to build content together.

 

This could be the beginning of a SaaS model, where one provider starts using their network and carving that up into virtualised slices. That, in turn, could be advertised to a private network of users or a private extranet constituency – something similar to a healthcare network.

 

In that way, providers can build a series of ISPs that do specialised healthcare work on a healthcare extranet in a particular geographic area for example. All of the automation cross connects it, including who gets permissions and access rights.

 

2.       Anywhere services

Some providers need to deliver managed services anywhere; that means they can’t rely on their own datacentres or platforms alone. Hybrid IT needs to be on a broader platform plane with other providers such as Amazon or Microsoft.

 

Service providers should also offer managed operating systems, managed back-up, managed security services that are layered in to common systems.

 

3.       Resource isolation

Resource isolation is used to limit how ‘greedy’ services can be in a system and set the resources that they can consume; this improves both the accuracy of overall resource allocation on a server and the availability of the services on the server.

 

Providers should look at the levels of isolation required on the platform and turn that into an automated provisioning characteristic. For example, do you want (and do customers require you) to provision on a bare metal device or do you want an isolated pool of resources only for you?

 

The anywhere services which we talked about previously and resource isolation can also be combined. This allows providers to start provisioning against more things than just virtual machine on industry standard servers. Clearly this is an exaggeration, but the point stands – and it is a clear benefit for customers when they can receive this level of integration from their hybrid IT provider.

 

4.       VoIP, SMS and video

It is vitally important for hybrid IT providers to build the full range of communication services, such as VoIP, SMS and video, into their core platform to ensure customers get them at an extremely competitive rate, and stay connected according to their increasing needs.

 

We have seen services like Twilio provide highly effective APIs to provision voice, video and SMS services and in 2016, it is important that service providers adopt likeminded APIs to complete this jigsaw at scale.

It is unlikely that all of these will be tackled at once – or even in sequential order – but service providers should seriously consider pushing these initiatives to the top of the list if they are to stay innovative and offer powerful bespoke services to their customers. 

Tags:  cloud  hybrid 

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Data Protection - What next for transfers of personal data to the US

Posted By Helen Close, BrookStreet des Roches LLP, 22 February 2016

Data Protection legal update – What next for transfers of personal data to the US?

 

Farewell Safe Harbor

The European Court of Justice ruled in October 2015 that its ‘Safe Harbor’ agreement with the US, that allowed the transfer of EU citizens’ data to the US, is no longer valid because it does not adequately protect consumers. This decision was made in the wake of the Edward Snowden revelations regarding mass surveillance by the US government of personal data held in the US. Now this agreement has been considered invalid, US companies can no longer rely on self-certification and must find another means to guarantee an adequate level of protection. This has significant implications if you are a UK business that transfers personal data to the US as you now need to use an alternative transfer option in order to comply with the Data Protection Act 1998.

Welcome Privacy Shield

On 2 February the EU and US reached political agreement on the replacement to the Safe Harbor arrangement. The new programme will be called the Privacy Shield and the earliest it is expected to be in operation is in three months’ time. Some of the key provisions of the new programme are:

Transparency – Improved transparency around the extent of and the limitations on US government surveillance.

Annual Review - An annual joint review of the effectiveness of the programme will be carried out, which will include input from both US experts and EU regulators.

Redress - The EU Commission will provide clear guidance to citizens on how to get legal redress under the Privacy Shield. EU citizens will have the right, for the first time, to access US courts in respect of data that is being used for law enforcement purposes.

Data handling obligations - There will be clearer safeguards and increased transparency around the level of access which US authorities will be permitted to have to data held by US companies.

What next?

Whilst US and EU negotiators have reached agreement, the Privacy Shield is not (yet) a final agreement. There is reason to be optimistic due to the Privacy Shield’s greater transparency and new dispute resolution mechanism, as well as an increased level of co-operation between the EU and US authorities. However, questions remain and EU Data Protection Authorities have reserved three months to comment on the agreement and may demand amendments. This means that the Privacy Shield may not be fully operational as quickly as hoped. The timetable for the next few months is as follows:

>         A draft “adequacy decision” will be adopted by the EU in the coming weeks

>         On the US side, the relevant authorities will need to prepare and then finalise the commitments which are to be given under the agreement

>         Commitments have been given that the Privacy Shield will be compliant with the EU General Data Protection Regulation which will come into force in 2018.

Alternatives to ‘Safe Harbor’

The EU Article 29 Working Party (group of EU data protection authorities) confirmed on February 3 that it views the EU Model Clauses and Binding Corporate Rules as valid alternative transfer options whilst the Privacy Shield is being finalised. However, both of these mechanisms may also be subject to recommendations from the EU Data Protection Authorities and elements of the Privacy Shield agreement itself may be extended to apply to these alternative transfer options. You will need to watch this space in the coming months to see the shape of these proposals. 

If I send personal data to the US what should I be doing now?

>         Carry out an assessment of what personal data you transfer to the US (through the Safe Harbor arrangement or otherwise). Do not forget to check the location of any subcontractors that your suppliers use in the background!

>         Assess and put in place the most suitable alternative to Safe Harbor. We recommend the EU model clauses or Binding Corporate Rules; and

>         For sensitive data, use encryption if possible when transferring personal data to the US as this anonymises the data which means it is not caught by the legislation.

For more information contact Claire Jacques on 01235 836643 or claire.jacques@bsdr.com

Tags:  data protection  legal update  safe harbor 

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DCA Journal: March Edition 2016

Posted By Kelly Edmond, 26 January 2016


Dear all members,

In the March edition of DCA Journal published in DCS UK and Europe, the DCA will feature 'Operational Professionalism' as the main topic for articles which will be published early March 2016.

A popular subject within the member base, this is a good chance to put your point of view in the limelight with a short article.   

Should you wish to contribute and submit an article please contact me at kellye@datacentrealliance.org to book a slot as places are limited. As a guide we will be looking for 600 to 1200 words, together with author image plus any other accompanying imagery/artwork. All editorial copy must be educational, impartial, topical and of a “thought leadership” nature, and not overly biased to the author’s organisation. It is also important,where possible, to detail the role the DCA plays or could play in relation to your chosen subject matter. 


We would like to point out that there is no additional cost in you submitting an article – as it is part of your DCA membership!

Deadline date for articles is Tuesday, 9th February 2016. 

Thank you for your continued support and please don't hesitate to get in contact should you have any questions.

With Regards

Kelly Edmond

Membership Executive

+44 (0)845 8734587

Tags:  DCA Journal 

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Guide to Electronic Locking Systems

Posted By Andy Billingham, EMKA (UK) Ltd, 07 January 2016
Our new guide to Electronic Locking and Monitoring Systems gives an introduction to the rapidly developing field of IT data protection. It covers the areas of electro-mechanical locking, RFID card, PIN Code and fingerprint Bio-locking technologies suited to cabinets from industrial sites to server/data centres.

Our electronic locking systems are modular in design to suit standalone housings or complete data centres. The guide also describes use of these systems in outdoor locations where instant monitoring and high levels of security are required. The guide may be downloaded at www.emkablog.co.uk/electronic-locking-systems-guide

 Attached Files:

Tags:  bio-locking  data centre security;  electro-mechanical locking  electronic locking systems  EMKA UK  IT data protection  server security 

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Load testing to ASHRAE TC9.9

Posted By Paul Smethurst, Hillstone Products, 28 October 2015

ASHRAE TC9.9 promotes operating IT equipment at higher ambient temperatures to reduce the running costs of datacentre cooling systems.

In order to incorporate these recommendations datacentre designers and operators need to be able to replicate maximum expected environmental conditions during IST commissioning programs. 

TC9.9 defines two temperature criteria which must be part of any IST commissioning program. 

-       The first criteria being the cold aisle operating temperature range of 18°C - 27°C  /  64°F - 80°F

-       The second criteria defines the maximum operating temperature of 40°C -45°C / 104°F - 113°F for commercial grade IT equipment

Often commissioning managers complain of load banks cutting out due to temperature overload thermostats and subsequent difficulties of establishing a consistent temperature in the datahall when trying to meet the temperature range of testing to TC9.9. 

These load banks will therefore prevent the IST from demonstrating failure of the cooling system and the time period for the temperature rise to reach the maximum operating temperature for commercial grade IT equipment.

Hillstone’s HAC230-6RM server simulator load banks are designed to operate in accordance to TC9.9 over a wide temperature range to prove the successful operation of the datacentre during stress testing of the HVAC system.   

This includes:

-       operating the cold aisle at  18°C - 27°C  /  64°F - 80°F

-       determining the runtime to 40-45°C / 104°F - 113°F

-       creating a delta T range from 6°C to 20°C  / 43°F - 64°F

 

Hillstone datacentre services can supply the 6RM from its UK & Middle East rental depots

 

The Hillstone load bank and IST package will allow IT managers to build SOP and staff training programs the for mission critical equipment

 

Contact Hillstone Datacentre Services

www.hillstone.co.uk

sales@hillstone.co.uk

Tel +44 161 763 3100

 

Tags:  Cooling  power 

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