A huge heat exchanger spewing steam into the cold February morning air was the only thing distinguishing the building I was going to from other nearby buildings. This building was a newly renovated data center that a friend managed, and I was there to check out his toys.
As I walked up to the entrance, I noticed all the empty concrete planters spaced uniformly around the main door. Since this was Minnesota, they were just wide enough for two people or a snowblower to fit through. I remember my friend mentioning the architect called them, "Intrusion protection without sacrificing aesthetics."
While waiting at the front desk, I recalled my friend mentioning the security upgrades that were required due to the facility changing from a multidiscipline building to a mission-critical building. The differences being:
- Multidiscipline buildings are designed to house a data center plus office space. These facilities can only obtain basic-security ratings due to people working in the building who have jobs that are not related to the upkeep of the data center.
- Mission-critical buildings are single-purpose facilities. By limiting access only to those running the data center, and the increased physical security, these buildings can obtain higher security ratings.
- All exterior glass is now bulletproof.
- All window and door hardware is inside.
- Fire doors are exit only.
- Security cameras cover 100 percent of the building grounds.