Southco latching solutions boost data centre security

Market trend data confirms that, despite the challenging economy, more data centres are placing expansion firmly on their corporate agenda for 2010, and beyond.

Southco latching solutions boost data centre security
For data centre operators, both physical and network security and access are major concerns. Breaches of security cannot only cause major downtime, resulting in operational losses for a business, but question the reliability of a data centre provider and impact that company’s integrity and reputation in the market. Access control therefore plays a vital role in the design, construction and infrastructure of data centres. With increasing quantities of business-critical hardware being deployed into enclosures and the increased presence of collocation data centres , controlling and restricting access to enclosures is a growing concern for operators, specifiers and integrators working within the datacomms sector.

A key element in enhancing the security of a data centre’s infrastructure – and adding value to enclosure design through access control features – is the selection of reliable, intelligent latching systems. The right access control solution will also help reduce costs through energy efficiency and improve product and system reliability. Equally important is the selection of access hardware which can be connected to existing software to enable control and monitoring – such as who has gained access and, when.

Ulrike Sturman, Industry Marketing Manager for Diversified Technologies at Southco, explains: “With all these vital issues to consider, it is no wonder that companies dealing with the access control operations of enclosures are looking to collaborate with specialist, market-leading partners, like Southco, when it comes to actual access hardware. At Southco, we have combined our expertise in engineered access solutions with innovative electronic latching and access for the ultimate in intelligent, secure, ergonomic access control. We provide a variety of electronic access solutions devices to suit application needs – from simple standalone keypads and electronic keys to RF-based prox readers and RF remote control systems. Specifically, for data centre enclosures, we have developed electronic latching technology that offers the most superior solution in the market place. Primarily, this is achieved by the operation of an electro-mechanical latching system through a gear motor which makes it more reliable and less-energy consuming.”

At the heart of the Southco system for data centre enclosure latching is its ‘flagship’ H3-EM Swinghandle - an electronic locking swing handle with an eye-catching blue LED status indicator providing the intelligent local and remote functionality of a manual latching system with the added benefit of electronic locking and unlocking. The modular design accommodates single or multi-point latching with a low power, gear motor driven lock mechanism and high security DIN lock manual override. The lock directly integrates with industry standard rack monitoring / access control systems and integrated sensors detect both locked and latched status.

Other key electronic access solutions (EAS) developed by Southco to meet the increasing physical and network security and access demands of data centres include the push-to-close R4-EM electronic rotary latch - enabling the convenience of electronic access control with the security of a proven, all-metal rotary la
tch design in a compact integrated package – and the EM-10 electronic keeper. This ‘next-generation’ access control solution provides the convenience of electronic access and push-to-close operation in one unit. Its low installed cost, compact design and versatile installation options make it an easy, affordable solution for new or retrofit enclosure applications.

All Southco electronic access solutions provide an electronic ‘signature’ each time the lock is actuated. Combined with a unique input credential, the system can provide the necessary output to enclosure control and monitoring systems. Each product has been designed as a drop-in replacement for existing mechanical latches.

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