The Formula for Data Security

Data centers across United States implement integrated security solution for protection of customer assets

Involta, LLC is an award-winning national provider of IT intelligence, end-to-end infrastructure, managed services and colocation through their enterprise-class, multi-tenant data centers. The company offers a lineup of scalable, reliable, best-in-class services to meet the growing demands of businesses, including 24/7/365 network operations center solutions and managed technical and cloud services, including their Involta PULSE PlatformSM and Involta CompliantCloudSM services platform.

Founded in 2007, Involta has data centers spread across in Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania. The company serves a multitude of clients in healthcare, technology, manufacturing, government and various other industries where IT is missioncritical, including numerous Fortune 500 companies.

Strict Requirements for Security

Involta facilities are built in secure, climate-controlled structures and are located in geographic safe zones. Additionally, their centers have no exterior signage and all staff are trained to follow stringent security procedures for client confidentiality purposes. While these measures play a key role in day-to-day security operations, another crucial aspect to be considered is their physical and electronic security.

Because Involta houses an organization’s most critical equipment and disseminates highly sensitive data, their facilities required a layered approach to their security solution—including access control, video surveillance, wireless locks and more—to ensure access is granted only to the appropriate person.

“There are several requirements our access control system and overall security solution must be able to meet,” said Thomas Lang, Involta data center manager for the Ohio region. “We refuse to compromise security or performance when it comes to our customers’ data and IT infrastructure.”

Open Platform Access Control and Integrations Fit Bill

Open Options’ DNA Fusion platform was able to meet these requirements and then some.

“We implemented Open Options’ DNA Fusion in our corporate headquarters back in 2007,” Lang said. “And it has since become the standard in access control technology for Involta.”

DNA Fusion is installed at 11 sites in Idaho, Arizona, Iowa, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Minnesota, and currently has 14 authorized operators.

Authentic Mercury hardware panels and other equipment are installed in the head end room of the centers, which is only accessible by authorized Involta staff.

Lang cited the scalability of the software, user-friendly feature set, and ease of use as some of the standout characteristics of DNA Fusion.

Another feature that was non-negotiable when selecting their access control provider was the ability of the system to integrate with other technologies. DNA Fusion connects with a host of other systems including video management, intelligent locks, critical communications and more, and has two decades of access control innovation and development to the Authentic Mercury open hardware platform to provide a true open architecture access control solution.

Mercury Security has more than 20 OEM partners, the most extensive feature set available, and the world’s largest install base with more than 3 million controllers. Multiple manufacturers support this hardware platform, which allows the end user a valuable choice in software. Because of Open Options’ commitment to open architecture and their numerous third-party technology integrations, Mercury Security named Open Options one of the company’s first Platinum Elite partners in 2014.

Alongside Open Options, Involta works with a number of their technology partners for a customized integrated solution. Some of these include ASSA ABLOY’s HES KS100 server cabinet lock with Aperio technology to secure their cabinets and HID multiCLASS card readers to support a variety of proximity cards. The company has also installed Samsung and Axis cameras for video surveillance in both the interior and exterior of the properties, and uses Milestone XProtect software for their video management needs.

Furthermore, Involta deploys two-factor authentication at high security entrances with Iris ID iCAM7 series biometric readers, and powers various components of their solution, including electromagnetic locks and PTZ cameras, with Altronix products.

Intuitive Feature Set Provides Well-rounded Solution

In addition to its impressive portfolio of integration partners, DNA Fusion also houses a number of user-friendly features within the software, including drag and drop capabilities, the option for custom toolbars, and instantaneous reporting.

“DNA Fusion is intuitive and has a wide array of features that prove to be very valuable in our operation,” Lang said. “Time schedules and access levels are two features in particular we use in our daily operations to streamline access for our nearly 200 employees. We appreciate DNA Fusion’s ability to recognize assigned authority and schedules to make sure proper access is being observed.”

A recent improvement to Involta’s security solution at the Akron data center is the addition of Open Options’ mantrap controller. Lang worked with their integrator company to make sure the implementation and execution went smoothly. The mantrap feature is unique to a designated area containing two or more doors that the customer wants to strictly control access to. During the operation of a mantrap, when a single door is open, no other doors will open until the initial open door closes.

In order to manage their security remotely, Involta uses DNA Fusion’s web application, Fusion Web. This allows operators to take advantage of the critical features of DNA Fusion—such as managing, addressing alarms and events, and controlling doors—from any supported web browser. Because Involta logs and retains access and events for auditing purposes, their employees find DNA Fusion’s ability to run custom reports extremely helpful.

“The software and supporting products, coupled with Open Options’ customer service and support, have proven time and time again they are the best choice for our access control needs,” said Lang. “We look forward to implementing DNA Fusion in our new facilities as we continue to grow.”

Involta has opened two new data center locations in 2017 alone—one in Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania—and continues to look at underserved markets for future expansion opportunities.

This article originally appeared in the December 2017 issue of Security Today.

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    • The Formula for Data Security
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