9 November 2020

The Data Centre of the Future, Surveillance at the Edge

Data centre network and security monitoring is a highly complex, costly and resource-intensive activity, with a Security Operations Centre (SOC) and Network Operations Centre (NOC) commonly using more than 300 physical cameras to monitor and record all movement within a data centre.

The monitoring of the video footage of data centre cameras typically relies on multiple Security Operations Engineers to physically sit in front of an array of screens and keep a literal eye on the comings and goings of the data centre facility. Having to constantly look at anywhere between two and twenty screens at a time, this complicated setup introduces some inherent challenges into the monitoring and management of data centres.

Data centre customers rely on their providers to stay abreast of every movement in and around the building, which is physically impossible for humans to do. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) can have a tangible and immediate impact on data centre security, cost control, and resource management.

A people problem

According to a recent report developed by Information Services Group (ISG), the role of security operations is gaining importance within many enterprise organizations due to data breaches and privacy concerns.

Physically monitoring multiple screens at a time on a 24/7 basis is not only monotonous and exhausting for the individuals involved, which impacts morale and engagement, but is also highly resource intensive.

It is physically impossible to focus on multiple screens at once, and often results in Security Engineers focusing on certain scenes or areas that they are particularly interested in or concerned about, while other screens go ignored. This defeats the purpose of having every corner of the facility setup for monitoring and introduces a significant risk of certain areas being ignored.

Labour intensive

The most common challenges found within SOC are skills shortages and budget constraints. It’s expensive to resource multiple teams across both a NOC and SOC and traditional video methods come with slow and methodical ways of analyzing issues.

Should a breach occur, reviewing security historical camera footage in a SOC requires extensive resources and time. If a suspicious person was identified within a data centre, a Security Engineer would need to find out when that person arrived, how they entered the building, which car they used and where they parked, and where else in the data centre they have been since entering. This could take multiple people hours to uncover.

Couple this with minimal resources or workers without the correct skillsets, data centres put themselves and their customers at risk of serious security breaches.


Introducing AI to data centre monitoring

Data centres now have the opportunity to replace hours of manual labour with an AI platform, where larger amounts of footage can be monitored simultaneously on an automated basis. Instead of monitoring multiple screens, Security Engineers can view a single, easy-to-control, and customizable dashboard which alerts them to ‘hot spots’ of new or irregular movement.

For example, during the current era of social distancing, a Security Engineer can be easily alerted when several people are within close proximity of each other and not following social distancing rules. Similarly, if someone has an accident or slipped within a data centre, an alert of someone’s inaction for a period which can ensure they are attended too quickly.

This data centre surveillances innovation reduces hours that would have otherwise been spent trawling through copious amounts of video footage to uncover an issue. An AI-based approach to monitoring and security enables any security threats to be identified and actioned quickly, while also identifying any associated threats, such as accomplices who may have entered at the same time.

Not just an inside job

With a business focus to innovate, Leading Edge Data Centres will be using Verkada, an AI cloud-based platform offered by SYNO Global as their surveillance solution. The AI solution will command and control all data centres sites through one centralised location.

With a host of cameras strategically placed at the entrance, around the perimeter as well as inside the building, tracking someone’s whereabouts during their visit from start to finish can be completed within a few clicks – including identifying their car number plate using advanced number plate recognition (ANPR) technology to see where else in the vicinity the car has been.

Other AI features include person recognition, POI/VIP notifications, crowding and vehicle analytics for security enforcement, which can all be implemented without a complex infrastructure, NVRs, or servers.

Surveillance monitoring at the Edge

Leading Edge Data Centres is the first Edge data centre company in Regional Australia to be using an AI platform to quickly, securely, and cost-efficiently monitor their data centres, delivering a whole new level of service to customers who would have previously been relying on human ability to view multiple screens at once to keep their data and networks safe.

Verkada supports Leading Edge Data Centre’s core competency as an edge based provider, as the solution itself is engineered as an edge-based technology, achieved by completely eliminating raditional server and NVR recording infrastructure whilst performing AI tasks directly on the device. This type of architecture naturally enables unlimited scalability and control across an unlimited number of sites as the cameras are acting as intelligent IoT devices. Other benefits of this architecture means the solution is highly secure as local devices are enforced with the highest levels of encryption between the device and the cloud. Being an IoT based solution, command now supports additional devices such as the environmental sensors which are also being deployed across our data centres, allowing to remotely monitor a range of environmental factors including dust particles with live alerts and surveillance integration. Within our SOC, we can monitor all sites from a single pane of glass with AI bringing to our attention events that matter. The use of AI within this solution will enable us to better respond and understand human behaviors within our DCs to ensure we are constantly innovating and providing maximum value to our clients

About SYNO Global: SYNO Global are a innovation and artificial intelligence focused company bring the worlds most innovative technology solutions to enterprises

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