Involta is an award-winning national provider of IT intelligence and end-to-end infrastructure, including fiber connectivity, managed services, and colocation in their enterprise-class, multi-tenant data centers. With centers located in Arizona, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania, Involta serves a wide range of client sectors by offering a lineup of scalable, reliable, best-in-class services to meet the growing demands of their customers.

The provider has five facilities in Ohio; a brand-new, purpose-built facility in Independence; a world-class enterprise facility in Akron; two diversely connected facilities in Youngstown; and an operations management agreement for the WēConnect Community Data Center near Columbus. Altogether, Involta owns more than 5,500 fiber route miles throughout Ohio.

Driven by customer request, Tom Lang, Involta data center manager for the Ohio Region, began searching for a way to provide enhanced, customized security for their servers. A customer from the financial services sector had very specific regulatory and business requirements to meet, including a detailed audit trail at the server cabinet level.

“Key locks or combination locks are good to a point, but they don't tell us who accessed a cabinet, when, or why. This request required a better security solution,” said Lang. “I did a lot of research and realized that ASSA ABLOY has a vast portfolio of brands and we use a lot of their hardware in other areas of our data center spaces. It was a no-brainer to work with the people at ASSA ABLOY.”

With customers looking for more flexibility, control, and accountability in regard to their cabinets and suites, Mike Mullen, PSP, CWTS, EM sales specialist at ASSA ABLOY, presented the HES KS100 wireless server cabinet lock solution. Mullen worked with Lang to set up a demonstration of the system, integrating the lock into their existing access control management, training, and overseeing the first-phase installation of the locks.

“A key element of this project is that we needed a reliable, seamless integration between the wireless server cabinet locks and the facility’s existing physical access control system, which is Open Options’ DNA Fusion,” said Mullen. “The ASSA ABLOY Aperio wireless technology gave the customer an extremely effective, secure, wireless solution that could be managed from their DNA Fusion platform with zero learning curve.”

The HES KS100 wireless server cabinet lock brings real-time, single card access control to individual server cabinet doors. It uses local wireless communication to connect to Involta’s existing access control system, greatly improving the monitoring security of each server cabinet. This convenient system uses existing ID badges so there are no keys to control or replace and no codes to secure or remember.

“We’re finding customers who traditionally would be placed into a private cage space, actually prefer a shared space because of the lower cost,” said Lang. “And if the customer is not bound by regulatory or audit requirements, they can't justify the cost of a private cage, but they still want the added security, control and the audit trail. The use of wireless cabinets locks within the shared space is an excellent solution.”

The wireless locks also feature high-security asset protection with lock latch bolt status monitoring and online/offline transaction audit trail capabilities. The system supports HID 125kHz proximity or 13.56MHz iCLASS contactless credentials.

“Our typical footprint for a shared space includes 30 cabinets. It can comprise of 30 different companies or any mix of customers and numbers of cabinets for each,” said Lang. “Customers currently making use of the wireless cabinet locks have chosen to place the locks on the front and back of the cabinets. So we’re deploying two HES KS100 wireless locks per cabinet, potentially reaching 60 wireless locks per shared space.”

Involta takes pride in offering a complete and secure lineup of scalable, reliable, best-in-class services to meet the evolving demands of their customers. This includes a range of colocation services, a 24/7/365 network operations center (NOC), and a range of managed technical and cloud services.

“We’re beginning to showcase this capability on our client tours, it allows us to show great flexibility in providing different options when it comes to the security for customers’ physical assets within our space,” said Lang. “We’re seeing a lot of interest in the wireless cabinet locks within the shared spaces. Since the system is so simple and powerful, many customers are asking about it and reevaluating their security needs.”

In terms of an integrated security approach, Involta facilities are built in secure structures in geographic safe-zones. Multiple layers of security, including video surveillance and biometric access control, ensure that access is granted only to appropriate individuals. Access is logged and retained, and the data centers have no exterior signage. Additionally, all Involta staff is industry-trained and follows stringent security procedures.

“It’s worth mentioning that Involta’s name actually comes from the Italian phrase for ‘in the vault’, because we absolutely refuse to compromise security or performance when it comes to our customer’s data and IT infrastructure,” said Lang. “The HES wireless server cabinet lock system is allowing us to extend a powerful yet personalized level of security to our clients. I’m sure we’ll deploy a large number of these systems over the next few years.”