Project: NEXTDC B2 (Brisbane) Data Centre
ACG Integration was chosen as the integrator to deliver the integrated security solution for NEXTDC’s new Tier IV data centre in Brisbane.
B2 showcases the latest innovations in data centre design, delivering the technical excellence organisations require to be operational in today’s fast-paced business environment. B2 was Australia’s first data centre to achieve Uptime Institute Tier IV Certification for design documented and constructed facility. It also gained Tier IV Gold Certification for operational stability. Showcasing complete fault tolerance and 100% uptime, B2 has been constructed to withstand individual equipment failures and distribution path interruptions and continue to maintain operations in any scenario.
The construction of B2 took just over 8 months for the initial stage 1 opening, with stage 2 taking a further one month.
There were a lot of challenges and complexities that ACG had to contend with in delivering security for NEXTDC’s second-generation data centre. Some of these items that NEXTDC required were:
- The unification of the Genetec Synergis Access Control system with various subsystems such as Genetec Omnicast IP surveillance system, Genetec SIP telephony system, STENTOFON video IP intercoms, HID biometric authentication, graphical mapping, event, and alarm user interface.
- The B2 biometric enrolment station was required to be customised in order to be integrated into the concierge kiosk and the security reception window to ensure the aesthetics and minimalist design of the foyer were not impacted. ACG provided a custom housing that was fixed under the stone benches to provide a smooth finish.
- B2 has been fitted out with the highest grade of physical security available. This includes ballistic glass, Gunnebo HiSec 9 portals and man traps all with integrated and customised housings. These enable the biometric readers to be side mounted at an optimal slope for ease of use and to ensure only authorised personnel are provided with access.
- B2 was designed to be an unmanned data centre if required. It is able to be monitored and managed onsite and also monitored and managed remotely from any of the other NEXTDC Security Operation Centre’s (SOC) either in parallel or completely segregated. It has the ability to be 100% operational in the event of any external system failure. To achieve this, ACG implemented a federated architecture which gives all sites the ability to be fully self-sufficient with multiple points of redundancy whilst also sharing a centralised user database and event server and global alarm management procedures.
- With its own SOC B2 also has the ability to monitor any other NEXTDC data centres in Australia. This includes access to all events, alarms, surveillance cameras, IP intercom telephony and key management at any site.
- When federating multiple data centres into one single system ACG developed a set of configuration standards which included;
- design guidelines,
- security standards,
- programming standards,
- graphics standards,
- workstation configuration standards,
- intercom configuration standards,
- access rule standards,
- alarm management and monitoring standards,
- reporting standards
- commissioning standards
It included naming conventions and samples of floor plans and colours to be used. These were implemented to ensure all sites utilised the same graphical display, style, scale, look and feel, language and terminology for devices, locations and events. These documents ensure that when an operator is presented with an event or alarm, they are familiar with the terminology used and can follow the SOP as required for faster escalation and procedure handling times. This will hopefully give the operator confidence in a procedure and result in lower operator stress.
- The SOC also required a custom-made height-adjustable 24/7 workstation configured with six 27” monitors to provide control and visibility of security and other various subsystems installed throughout the data centre. To meet these requirements, ACG worked with one of their partners in Melbourne to manufacture the custom workstation.
- Having so many racks and to ensure security and traceability, B2 required a solution for all racks to be monitored and controlled using the same access credential as the building access control system. ACG installed a TZ rack locking system to provide access control and monitoring of each individual rack. The TZ system provides control of the front and rear doors, monitoring and auditing capabilities of all racks throughout the data centre. The TZ system was integrated into NEXTDC’s mobile application allowing their clients to remotely monitor door status and environmental conditions of their racks and allow access to service personnel if required from anywhere in the world.
- B2 required a solution for the management and control of keys. ACG installed an integrated CQRIT key management system for control and traceability of keys.
George Dionisopoulos the NEXTDC National Security Manager says that ACG’s agility and professionalism ensured that it was able to deliver the above requirements whilst being faced with very tight delivery timeframes.
ACG was quick to identify various specialised items with long lead times which ACG managed exceptionally well, ensuring everything was ready onsite and installed prior to project completion.
Dionisopoulos said throughout the delivery of this project there were multiple variations to the scope of works as NEXTDC strived to deliver the best security outcome with the customer at the forefront of their thinking.
One of these changes was the total revamping of the front of house to provide a more personal interaction with customers but also not compromising on the security posture.
Also, due to some modifications by NEXTDC, ACG had to relocate two racks and rerun 30% of the cabling for an entire floor in the 2 weeks leading up to the opening of the B2 data centre. To achieve this ACG deployed additional staff onsite to ensure the clients PC date was not affected and all systems were operational.
A POC pilot was also performed, which involved integration of Genetec with Salesforce and Service Now where QR Codes and ANPR were used for automated visitor management and host notification whilst automating the access provisioning process to ensure compliance for staff, visitor and contractor access.
Dionospoulos said, over and beyond this, what set ACG apart from competitors and ensured it was successful in delivering the security portfolio for B2 was consistent communication and a partnership relationship with NEXTDC.
A dedicated onsite installation and integration project manager with additional senior support from interstate to ensure the project was delivered perfectly without defects.
- A project team model which had key stakeholders engaged from both the builder and NEXTDC ensuring a consistent open communications channel.
- Additional labour as required to cover the shortfall from others which in the end proved vital in meeting the timeline.
- Constant communications with NEXTDC stakeholders to ensure that any changes or issues were detected early enough to minimise and negate any delivery issues.
Dionospoulos said, over and beyond this, what set ACG apart from competitors and ensured it was successful in delivering the security portfolio for B2 was Consistent Communication and a partnership relationship with NEXTDC. ;
- Consistent communication with NEXTDC, the builder and other trades.
- Partnering with NEXTDC.
- Willingness to listen to what NEXTDC wanted and the ability to provide advice and guidance to help set up the second-generation security model for NEXTDC.
The ability to deliver a project on time and within budget even though there were many variations. This would not have been possible without establishing a proper communications model.