Getting Creative With Database Partitioning

Security directors have discovered that partitioning databases provides value to any security management system. It can become a profit center, provide independence and convenience while reducing the need for security guards.

To the average commercial real estate owner, using the database partitioning feature in a security management system provides two main benefits. First, it’s a profit center for the owner. The real estate owner installs one security system for the entire building, say a 30-floor commercial high rise. The owner charges his tenants a fee for the service, and the database is partitioned so each tenant can manage their own security and database of card holders. The tenant can run their own reports and operate autonomously from the other tenants.

Second, the owner provides a value added benefit to tenants. Tenants rent office space knowing they have a built in security system. The tenant is pleased they don’t have to source and budget for their own security system, and it may give the owner a competitive advantage in the commercial real estate market.

Some integrators have a central station operation in their building. Some security directors have found that when they allow their integrator to manage their security, it saves them time, money and headaches.

For example, a security system end user in a small office building installs access and security hardware, but the access control and intrusion software is kept at the central station. A central station officer monitors the building’s security and enters card holder information for new employees or dispatches police in the event of a serious alarm. The security director pays a fee for this service, and saves money by not budgeting for additional security staff or costly software upgrades.

Universities also benefit from database partitioning. One Big Ten university security director purchased a security management system and partitioned the database by individual college. Each college, such as the College of Nursing, was responsible for its own database management. Students received their security credentials from one central location at the start of the school year, and then each college managed the students and staff associated with it. Security officials assigned access levels for each card holder depending on their status within the security system, for example student, graduate student, professor, office staff, janitor, etc.

The campus security department may then manage all public areas or non-college areas on campus such as the student union, library, residence halls and administration buildings.

Separating it out by college made management easier. Independence was achieved by each college, and the responsibility of securing a Big Ten university was allocated over many people.

Security directors are finding creative ways to use database partitioning with minimal budgets and manpower, as well as finding ways to give ownership to tenants. The options are endless.

About the Author

Kim Rahfaldt is Director of Media Relations at AMAG Technology, Inc., based in Torrance, Calif.

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