Access controlled data centre

Access & Identity Management Handbook 2017 Editor's Choice, Access Control & Identity Management, Integrated Solutions, Products

Cogent Communications was planning to open its 18th data centre in Europe when a unique opportunity emerged near Amsterdam: a large data centre had moved to a new location. That made property available that already contained the necessary security and technical infrastructure and only needed to be upgraded to the latest technology.

In terms of construction and security technology, the location met the high standards set by Cogent. Its strategic position close to the capital and its proximity to a large international airport proved to be deciding factors. After considering potential alternatives, an easy decision was made to select this location and the property was acquired.

The next step was to prepare the premises and ensure it was operational as soon as possible. A considerable part of the technical infrastructure was already in place and what was lacking was added, alongside Cogent’s own systems that had to be installed and organised.

“We were excited as a company to officially open the data centre to our customers as soon as possible. Fortunately, we already had a business relationship with Tyco in the United States. Through this connection, we were able to quickly make contact with the Dutch account manager and the team was able to complete the project within just three months,” explained Richard Rademaker, director of data centre operations for Cogent.

The solution

Cogent is a multinational Internet service provider that prides itself on offering the best value in the market to its customers while setting very high standards for network performance.

Cogent strives to create a very high degree of standardisation in its data centres to simplify maintenance and management: one of the biggest cost items in the sector. That is why Cogent turned to Tyco for the integral physical security solutions as they have been responsible for the security systems in all of Cogent’s data centres in the United States.

Before a detailed plan could be formulated, an extensive inventory of the existing security measures was carried out. For days, a team of specialists meticulously studied the resources already installed, ascertaining their specifications and assessing whether they could be used in the new security plan.

Based on this survey, Tyco consultants developed a plan of action to deploy an integrated solution using the existing fire alarm system alongside new intercom, video surveillance systems, intruder detection and an access control system using card readers.

Flexibility delivers advantages

By taking a flexible approach, the existing cables and as many components as possible were retained in the new system, resulting in significant cost savings and a lower total cost of ownership. The extensive knowledge, experience and flexibility of Tyco’s consultants ensured that the security plan met the strictest modern requirements and was installed as quickly as possible.

The company chose to deploy access control using C•CURE 9000 from Software House. With this centralised enterprise solution, the access control is fully managed from Cogent’s Network Operations Centres (NOC) in Washington DC in the USA, Frankfurt in Germany and Madrid in Spain. The high degree of standardisation that Cogent strives for with its security access systems also has its advantages here; simplifying the process of providing access privileges to employees so that it is fast and efficient to manage. With standardised systems and processes across data centres in Amsterdam, London, Frankfurt and throughout the United States, the system is highly streamlined and can be operated easily and quickly.

Physical security constitutes an increasingly important aspect of data centre operations. After all, the economic value of data increases as additional applications are developed.

No one stops to think that every smartphone app or every photo that is backed up in the cloud is found somewhere in the world on actual physical servers and storage that are connected via thousands of kilometres of cable. Cogent Communications and Tyco’s partnership helps to safeguard these files, ensuring they are stored safely and easily accessible whenever they are needed.

For more information contact Tyco Security Products, +27 (0)82 566 5274,,


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