IT Rack Monitoring

Successfully planning and implementing IT infrastructures also includes a well thought-out usage of IT and distribution cabinets. They contain high quality server and network technology that has to be physically secured – in order to avoid theft or tampering with sensitive data on the one hand, and on the other hand in order to keep mission-critical IT processes running flawlessy. Find out how easy it can be to guarantee the physical security of server racks and to fulfill regulatory requirements.

Step One – Expedient Planning and Successful Implementation

A server rack is usually placed in a data center or IT room, but there are plenty of other options as well. Depending on its location it is required to have a certain protection class which is expressed by the international IP norm (IP = International Protection). If the IT rack is located in a common office for example, it must have an access control according to IP 20 with a lockable door. In production or storage halls it must also have a lockable door and, according to IP 55, it must additionally be protected against dust and splash water. If the IT rack is located in a locked room or a data center that is only accessible to authorized personnel, the IP 20 is sufficient. The single racks don’t need to be lockable as well since access to the room is restricted to begin with.

So first of all, there must be a plan that determines the location of the IT racks, the regulatory requirements to physical security it falls under and also, whether it will just be one IT rack or a system of racks that are to be interconnected and centrally managed.

Step Two – Physical IT Rack Monitoring

A reliable environmental monitoring system is essential in order to secure IT and distribution cabinets against theft, sabotage and physical threats such as over temperature, fire or leakage. Many single sensors require high installing efforts and unnecessary costs; plus they are not always fully compatible with each other and therefore may cause difficult administration procedures. The Kentix MultiSensor-RACK monitors server cabinets for all critical threats with just one device. With 12 integrated sensors it detects up to 25 physical threats in and around the IT rack. The MultiSensor-RACK is simply installed directly inside the IT cabinet. The configuration is done via the integrated web server with its intuitive surface. The MultiSensor-RACK is stand-alone-capable and therefore suitable for the monitoring of single racks. In combination with a Kentix AlarmManager, however, it can also be integrated into a system of several sensors which is centrally controlled and enables the monitoring of multiple IT cabinets across several rooms or even buildings. The MultiSensor-RACK also contains a mechanism for uninterrupted power supply (UPS) which filters voltage fluctuations that are harmful to IT components. A Power Distribution Unit (PDU) distributes power inside of the racks. In case a threat is detected, an alarm is immediately being sent to the system administrator. Due to redundant reporting channels, this will always happen reliably, even when the company network is down.

For additional protection against water ingress and moisture, a LeakageSensor can be installed as well. The smooth integration of other Kentix sensors is ingeniously easy. Moreover, the Kentix monitoring solution supports SNMP (Simple Network Management Protocol) and enables the connection to DCIM (Data Center Infrastructure Management-Software) this way.

The Kentix MultiSensor-RACK in action

Monitored threats:

  • Overheat, under temperature (frost)

  • Defective A/C, A/C control or dehumidification

  • Clogged filters, general errors in A/C system

  • Smoldering fire on cables, devices and distributors

  • Charred, defective electronic components

  • Fire, fire gases and battery decarburization

  • Unauthorized access and burglary

  • Access to unauthorized subareas

  • Power loss, short-term power loss (flickering)

  • Grid overvoltage (peak) and undervoltage

  • Deviation of power or UPS frequency

  • Over current, overload

Step Three – Access Control for IT Racks

Unauthorized access to server cabinets can have severe consequences. It can mean loss of high quality equipment or sensitive data which often leads to financial losses or a damaged public image. However, it can also have legal consequences. The ISO 27001 for example prescribes the implementation of a management system for information security (ISMS). Part of the ISMS is an access control to monitor data access and to protect IT racks against unauthorized access.

The Online Cabinet Lock offers an ingeniously easy solution for the protection of IT and distribution cabinets against unauthorized access. Due to several included adapters and lock rods, it is suitable for merely any rack door. The assembly is very simple. The Cabinet Lock is battery powered which reduces the installation efforts to a minimum. The battery is secured mechanically against unauthorized removal. An integrated RFID card reader enables the contactfree unlocking of the rack door via RFID mediums such as chips or transponder cards. The Online Cabinet works online as well as offline. When used online, up to 1.600 rack doors are interconnectable via a Kentix AccessPoint. Additional online door openers from the Kentix DoorLock portfolio auch as the door knob or door lever can be integrated into the system. Another option is the integration of IP cameras that record a sequence of pictures whenever the rack door is unlocked. False attempts or sabotage trigger an email immediately being sent to the system administrator with the according pictures attached.



IT Rack Monitoring Made Easy –  With Kentix

Implementing efficient IT rack monitoring can seem like an overwhelming task at first – however, with the right solution that suits the required application the implementation is child’s play. If you have questions about our products, contact us or set up a free Live Online Demo – we will be happy to show you how to fulfill lawful requirements with Kentix and how our solutions fit your needs as well.