Upgrading perimeter security for a London data centre

Project Overview

Location
London

Date Complete
2019

Sector
Critical National Infrastructure

Background

With over 23 billion IoT connected devices worldwide, UK data centre capacity is forecast to store data worth over £104bn annually by 2025 to cope with the ever growing reliance on secure electronic data transfer and storage, cloud based services and critical M2M connectivity. With land at a premium, data centre operators no longer have the luxury of cherry picking their sites and are increasingly forced to consider brownfield sites in more densely populated locations, including residential areas.

Providing over 3918m2 of customer space over two floors, the London based data centre is in an ideal location to serve West London and international companies. Supplying data storage for high profile clients including banking, retail and media, physical security is a top priority for preventing an attack which could have severe consequences on public safety and service availability.

With over 200 data centres in their portfolio, a new site was acquired in 2016 as part of a package agreement. In 2019, plans started to upgrade the perimeter security, which until the refurbishment consisted of an old and poorly maintained mesh fence and traffic arm barriers for access control.

Due to our experience in manufacturing solutions for data centres, we were approached to provide a comprehensive security solution for the data hosting company.

Solution

To create a secure perimeter more befitting of a data centre, we replaced the existing 1.2m high mesh fencing with 324.7m of 3m high Trident® Securi-Mesh® fencing. Approved by the CPNI for UK Government Use, the high security fencing system comprises of anti-climb mesh panels which have small apertures to prevent intruders from scaling the fence, overlapped by a minimum of 75mm at the posts to maintain strength and integrity. The clamp bar fixings provide extra resistance to attack.

Working with an existing wall along the site boundary, fence posts were cranked to allow the fencing to be installed to the outside to prevent the wall from being used as a climbing aid. Around the whole perimeter, the steel posts were adapted to accommodate a 600mm barbed tape topping to provide additional protection against attempts to scale the fence.

Special attention was paid to access control, a key requirement in the day-to-day operations of a data centre. We supplied and installed two bi-folding speed gates to form an entry and exit system. The trackless gates have a unique mechanism to control movement, providing smooth, fast and quiet operation, with an open and close time of approximately 1m per second. A single leaf pedestrian gate was also installed to allow safe access for those on foot. Card readers were used as access control devices for pedestrians, while audio and visual loops were used to permit entry to vehicles.

All fencing and gates were galvanised and have a green polyester powder coated finish, providing an additional layer of protection to the products while enabling the fencing to blend in with the surrounding area.

All fencing and gates are guaranteed for 25 years, offering a long-term solution that will help to keep critical data secure for years to come at a low lifetime cost.

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