Our new brochure as arrived!

Secure IT Environments specialise in data centre design and build however as part of that we also have many ancillary services that we offer related to data centres and DC infrastructure. Our new brochure includes an intro to all our products and services from fire suppression and air-conditioning to security and maintenance. Take a look!

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How to Prepare your Data Centre for Power Outages

Power Generators

Power Generators

Despite a data centre’s best efforts to prevent power outages, sometimes they do happen. And when they do, you’ll want to make sure that your data centre is prepared and any disruption to your business is kept to a minimum. Here are out tips for preparing for data centre power outages:

Power Monitoring

One of the best ways to prepare for power outages is to monitor your power levels regularly. This enables you to act quickly if you notice a decrease in your power supply. By taking frequent power draw readings using data centre power monitoring tools, you’ll be able to track the power demand trends of your business.

Secure IT offers market leading  electrical system design and we offer a wide range of award winning power supplies and protection systems for modular data centres. Some of our products include Uninterruptable Power Supply Systems, monitored switchgear, monitored power distribution tools and back-up generators.

Have a Response Team in Place

In the event that your data centre does experience a power outage, efficiency is the key. You’ll want your IT infrastructure to be back up and running as quickly as possible, so assigning a dedicated team to deal with the situation is highly recommended.

Your team should be trained to deal with the situation and have a procedure in place should your power suddenly cut out. A fast response time and a well organised process are key elements to ensuring that your business operations don’t suffer.

Backup Generators

Every data centre should have a backup generator on standby and at Secure IT, we can advise you on the most suitable generator for your needs. Having a backup generator means carrying out additional maintenance and routine checks but the benefits of doing so are worth the effort. We advise carrying out the following weekly checks on your backup generator:

  • Check your oil levels and look out for oil leaks
  • Look out for signs of corrosion and address any wear and tear issues
  • Check that the coolant jacket heaters are working, especially in cold weather
  • Make sure there are no blockages in the generator’s exhaust vents
  • Ensure that the battery charger is working

At Secure IT, we can advise on and supply reliable Power Display Units for modular data centres. All our electrical installations are fully compliant with today’s standard: BS 7671.

What other tips do you have for preparing a data centre for power outages?

Official supplier to Crown Services in Partnership with Bramble Hub

Another wonderful achievement for the team at Secure IT Environments having been made an official supplier to Crown Commercial Services, in partnership with Bramble Hub, on the ICT Services for Education framework. In order to be accepted on to the framework, we were subject to rigorous due diligence by Crown Commercial Service, giving assurance to potential customers in the procurement of their education infrastructure from us in partnership with Bramble Hub.

We look forward to meeting our fellow framework suppliers, especially those partnering with Bramble Hub next week and learning how we can work together to provide the best possible services to the Education Sector through this framework.

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Business Green IT Awards Next week @businessgreen #greendatacentre

We are really looking forward to attending the awards ceremony next week. Secure IT Environments have been shortlisted for Green IT Project of the year for our Northampton NHS Data Centre. A wonderful acknowledgement of the importance we place on being energy efficient and also for our NHS client who has invested in a Data Centre that will support their organisation in becoming increasingly paperless and more energy efficient.

The award will go to the green IT project that has deployed the most innovative technologies to help curb an organisation’s carbon footprint and enhance its environmental performance. The judges are looking for a cutting-edge project that showcases the latest in green IT, demonstrating how new technologies can serve to enhance energy efficiency and/or improve an organisation’s environmental management.

Fingers crossed for a good night with our client and maybe even an award!

How to Know if Cold Aisle or Hot Aisle is best for your Data Centre?

It’s a question every data centre owner has asked at some point – cold aisle or hot aisle? These terms refer to the layout of the server racks which hold all of a data centre’s computing equipment. The purpose of having a hot or cold aisle is to reduce energy costs by conserving energy and managing air flow.

At Secure IT, we provide both hot and cold air containment units, so we’re well placed to advise on which system would be best for your data centre.

Energy Efficient Data Centre

Energy Efficient Data Centre

Cold Aisle Containment

Cold aisle containment stops hot air mixing with cold air by creating a cold air chamber within a cold aisle. End of row doors, overhead vertical wall systems or aisle ceilings are installed so that the cooling system effectively sends airflow into the cold aisles.

Cold aisle containment can benefit your data centre by improving your cooling control and stabilising the temperature within your facility. Cold aisle systems can be useful if your data centre doesn’t meet Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) requirements as installations of cold aisle closures and in-row cooling can help reduce your overall energy usage. Some benefits of cold aisle containment include:

  • Reduced energy consumption, which saves money
  • The elimination of humidity and static problems
  • Reduced carbon dioxide emissions
  • Less chance of equipment failure and downtime as temperatures are stable

Hot Aisle Containment

With hot aisle containment, air conditioning units only receive hot air from the aisles.  Hot aisle systems, essentially work in reverse, by controlling the flow of ‘used’ warm air and directing it back to the Computer Room Air Conditioning Unit. Hot aisle containment involves collecting all that warm exhaust air that comes from the daily use of IT equipment and cooling it so that it can be reused in the air conditioning unit.

By separating the supply and return airflow, hot air containment controls and stabilises the temperature surrounding IT and other electric equipment. Some of the benefits of using a hot aisle containment system are:

  • They Work in raised floor and slab data centres
  • An increased cooling capacity
  • Hot and cold air mixing is eliminated
  • They reduce energy consumption and improve cooling efficiency

What type of containment unit do you use in your data centre? What other advantages do you see in both systems?

Fun-draising for Cancer Research

The Secure IT Environments’ team took part in the Cancer Research – Race for Life event. Together they managed to raise a whopping £1220!

They all completed the 5km in 33mins with some of the younger energetic team members securing a 22min finish.

A fantastic day out and a worthwhile cause. Well done girls!

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Top Safety Accreditation for Secure IT Environments

We are delighted to once again be awarded accreditation from Safecontractor for our commitment to achieving excellence in health and safety. Safecontractor is a leading third party accreditation scheme which recognises very high standards in health and safety management amongst UK contractors.

The company’s application for Safecontractor accreditation was driven by the need for a uniform standard across the business. Chris Wellfair, Director says ‘In any business safety has to come first but it is particularly important for a business in the building industry. We take it very seriously, not just for our own benefit but for that of our clients and the general public. We are really pleased to have been recognised for our high standards in this area once again.’

Safecontractor accreditation will enhance the company’s ability to attract new contracts and its commitment to safety will be viewed positively by its insurers when the company liability policy is up for renewal.

John Kinge, technical director of Safecontractor said, “Major organisations simply cannot afford to run the risk of employing contractors who are not able to prove that they have sound health and safety policies in place.” “More companies need to understand the importance of adopting good risk management in the way that Secure IT Environments has done. The firm’s high standard has set an example which hopefully will be followed by other companies within the sector.

Safecontractor plays a vital role in supporting our clients in meeting their compliance needs, whilst working with their contractors as they progress through the accreditation process.”

Under the Safecontractor scheme, businesses undergo a vetting process which examines health and safety procedures and their track record for safe practice. Those companies meeting the high standard are included on a database, which is accessible to registered users only via a website.

Over 210 major, nation-wide businesses, from several key sectors, have signed up to use the scheme when selecting contractors for services such as building, cleaning, maintenance, refurbishment or electrical and mechanical work.

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The Importance of Maintaining a Data Centre – Prevention is Better than Cure

When it comes to maintaining a data centre, you don’t want to leave anything up to chance. Poorly maintained facilities can have devastating consequences and that’s why prevention is better than cure. Here are our top three essentials to maintaining a data centre:

Air conditioning in a data centre is critical to ensuring that your IT infrastructure doesn’t overheat and catch fire. There are several server room cooling options out there that will match your specific needs and at Secure IT, we can advise you on the most suitable solution for your modular data centre. Some of the climate control options available to data centres include traditional chilled water air conditioning, cold aisle containment, rear door coolers and in-row cooling systems for standard and high density applications.

Server Room

Server Room

This is an important one. If you have a climate control system in place, hopefully fire will never be an issue, but nevertheless, your data centre should be prepared for every possible threat. At Secure IT, we work with several fire suppression suppliers who offer a full range of suppression and detection solutions for modular data centres. When choosing a fire detection system, you’ll want one with a quick detection time that uses high-specification open digital communications. We work closely with suppliers who provide Novec, Inergen, Argonite, Water Mist and oxygen solutions.

We can advise on the best fire suppression systems for your data centre based on the layout of your facility, your IT infrastructure and the size of your data centre.

Security

It goes without saying that access security is paramount to any data centre facility. First of all, the building itself needs to be structurally sound and secondly, access controls need to be in place to prevent potential threats. At Secure IT, we offer a full range of security products for Modular Date Centres including card-swipe entry systems, FOB’s, Iris Retina Scanners and Biometric Readers. Our CCTV systems also offer high definition, 24 hour internal and external security filming.

Whether you’re looking for internal or external security measures, Secure IT can help advise you on the best products for your needs.

What do you see as being the most essential elements of maintaining a data centre?

Solihull Council Project Update

Below is an image of the Soliuhull midlevel car park where the new DC is planned to be constructed. The team have coated the flooring with a specialist paint to minimise dust. It may seem a little extreme painting the floor for dust-control but in actual fact a whopping 70% of Server room breakdowns are due to dust particles which cause blockages and overheating. All the clients who maintain their facility with Secure IT Environments are offered a specialist cleaning service along with other preventative measures for keeping Data Centre facilities squeaky clean.

Things will be quiet at Solihull for a few weeks as the council are hosting an important enquiry and so the team have moved out for the duration of this process. When we return, we will be installing overhead ventilation and duct work will be removed and repositioned. In the interim…off to the Government Actuary department to do some additional work for them.

Solihull Data Centre

Protecting Your Data Centre from Physical Security Threats

Access Control and Security

Access Control and Security

When it comes to building a data centre, security should be at the forefront of every project. Not only do you want your IT infrastructure to be protected against virtual attacks, but physical ones too. Natural disasters, intruders and terrorism are very real threats, especially to large organisations, so we’ve put together a list of considerations to make when securing your data centre build.

Surrounding Environment

Whether you’re planning a brand new data centre or moving an existing facility to a new location, researching the surrounding area beforehand is essential. Generally speaking, you’ll want your data centre to be housed away from main buildings and built up areas where nearby hazards could cause problems. Busy roads, residential areas and other businesses can all have an impact on the security of your centre.

Also, be sure to check if the surrounding area has any history of natural disasters like forest fires or flooding, as you’ll want to avoid these areas at all costs. The less attention you draw to your data centre building the better, so any fences, woodland areas or other landscape elements that can help hide your building are a plus point.

Physical Security Features

There are a number of security features that your data centre should make use of. At Secure IT, we offer a full range of security and access products to ensure your facility is as secure as it possibly can be. Among our access control products, we have card-swipe entry systems, FOB keys as well as more complex systems such as Iris Retina Scanners and Biometric Readers.

CCTV systems are also an integral part of every data centre’s security. At Secure IT, our CCTV systems offer 24 hour recorded footage both internally and externally. We also have high definition CCTV security cameras with the ability to record day and night time colour images and thermal imaging. You’ll also want your CCTV cameras to be able to film at 360 degrees to give you a full overview of your data centre.

Protection Against Intruders

Protecting your data centre against intrusion is one of the most important aspects of securing your facility. Make sure you have a locked door policy in place throughout your building in areas that don’t use enhanced security entry systems. Every visitor to the facility should also be screened and shouldn’t be allowed entry without a confirmed appointment with data centre staff.

Similarly, all employees should be background checked to ensure they don’t have any criminal record that may compromise the data centre’s security. Some data centres even go as far as carrying out yearly checks on employees thereafter as well.

What do you see as being the biggest security threat to data centres? Which of the elements above do you see as being most important in protecting data centres from natural disasters, intruders and terrorism?

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