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10 Requirements for Building A Secure Server Room, Data Center, and Computer Room (2020)

2020/3/30 0:14:57

A data center or server room is used to accommodate a central IT infrastructure, which is the core of corporate IT. It is not only software-based attacks and vulnerabilities that pose dangers to data and IT systems. An "insecure" data center (server room or computer room) also poses a considerable risk. For this reason, organizational and infrastructural measures must also be taken into account when selecting and designing the server room. What is required to build a server room? Here we list the 10 main requirements and standards for building a secure server room, they are also working for data center and computer room.

Top 10 Requirements For Server Room Security

Below are the best practices you should consider when you are planning to build up a server room:

1. Buildings / Premises of Sever Room

The optimal location of a server room is a separate building. If the server room is set up within a company building, it should be ensured that it is at least in its own fire protection area. When selecting the server room, the hazards that could arise from the environment should also be kept in mind.

2. Power Supply In Sever Room

When it comes to the power supply, care should be taken to ensure that the server room has adapted circuits. If possible, it should be connected to its own circuit, separate from other systems. Otherwise socket strips with voltage filters should be used. If the power fails, ensure an uninterruptible power supply (UPS). The purchase of UPS systems can be considered, which at least guarantees the controlled shutdown of the systems.

If a long-term power failure is intolerable, it would make sense to use an emergency power generator that starts in an emergency and ensures that the systems are maintained.

3. Server Room Raised Floor System

The ideal server room has an effective raised access floor system, which is a common component within a server room or data center to offer a number of advantages. Infrastructure, cabling, and pipework including electrical wiring, data and telecoms wiring, security wiring and HVAC/air conditioning system components can be hidden in the under-floor space of the raised floor, which leads to an increase in safety. The well-constructed access floor system with perforated panels also provides an air distribution system for conditioned cold air, cooling or being more particular as an air plenum for cooling, general ventilation, and even heating. In addition, the ease of maintenance of the raised floor makes it an excellent choice for server rooms. 

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server room perforated raised floor

4. Protect Server Room From Heat, Fire, Flame

The server room must be protected from heat, fire and flame. This is why air conditioning systems must be installed if the normal air and heat exchange in a room is not sufficient. Furthermore, not only smoke detectors should be available, but also fire alarm systems. These can detect fires in the IT systems at an early stage. With high-quality IT systems, automatic extinguishing systems can prevent the expensive purchase of new systems. Otherwise, a manual fire extinguisher (carbon dioxide, argon, nitrogen, FM 200 etc.) should be available in each server room.

In addition, it should be ensured that the server room is not a parking space and inflammable objects made of paper, plastic or the like. (e.g. water boxes, files) represent a source of danger.

5. Prevent Server Room From Water

The IT systems should also be protected from water. If there are windows in the server room, care should be taken to ensure that no water (e.g. especially rain) can enter the server room. It should also be ensured that there are no water-carrying lines in the server room.

6. Protection Against Burglaries

A server room should always be locked. So that unauthorized third parties cannot immediately discover the server room, the room should not be signposted.

To secure the server room against break-ins, doors, windows and other entry and entry options should also be secured so that they can withstand more time-intensive break-in methods.

If windows can be reached from the public space, they must e.g. secured by grids, locks, safety glass. Hatches, light wells and similar parts of the building can also provide access and must be secured accordingly.

7. Video Surveillance

Security can be increased by video surveillance of the entrance area. Here, however, a data protection-compliant recording must be ensured. Use surveillance cameras to record who visits your server room. Assign employee badges, ID cards or use biometrics (the badges and ID cards can be stolen) to record the identity of people who visit the server room and when they enter and leave. .

8. Access Authorization Concept

A written authorization concept must regulate which persons need and receive access to the server room. Access should only be reserved to those who need access to the IT systems to perform their tasks. An authorization concept should also describe who assigns the authorizations organizationally and technically.

9. Documentation and Control

The presence in the server room should not only be documented but also checked regularly. Keep a record of the access data and monitor it to find people who gain access outside of normal business hours

10. Server Room Key Management

Finally, it should be noted who received a key (or chip card) to the server room and when and how many keys (or chip cards) are available and assigned. A key (or chip card) should also be kept secure as a reserve in the event that access to the server room becomes necessary and no one with a corresponding key is present.

It should not be forgotten to issue appropriate instructions on how authorized persons should behave in the event of key loss (or chip card loss) and who they have to report to them so that appropriate measures can be initiated.