In 2009 the EEC was completing the it major remodel and part of our new design was to secure each rack from unauthorized access. I set out to create a solution on a limited budget. Reason to secure racks:The EEC works with Microsoft top customers to test and validate Microsoft products for the Enterprise. The facility in Building 25 of main Campus (http://www.bing.com/maps/?v=2&where1=Microsoft%20Building%2025%2C%20WA&q=microsoft%20building%2025&form=LMLTSN&cp=47.64513799999999~-122.13020552380371&lvl=17&sty=r&encType=1) has 7 separate customer labs that allow for 8-16 people per lab. We have 2 server PODs that have 15 and 18 Rittal 42U server racks. We use the Rittal LCP+ in-row cooling which gives us a closed loop and allows both front and rear doors to be closed.
Side note: Our business model required that we have a visually appealing design. This required that we have transparent glass on front doors. The LCP+ system also required that the doors be non-perforated so no ambient air was pulled into cooling system. Our light touch system deployment automation (SNaPs aka Green Monster) along with having more than 1 customer onsite at a time poses several issues.
These along with many other items drove the decision to secure each rack.
An option that was considered was to integrate the 24v locks with the Microsoft facilities building access control system. While this option would have been ideal it had a few issues.
Because the building access integration was not an option I had to come up with another solution. I determined what components I needed and set out to create a Proof of Concept. Components (After countless searches on Bing I had found all the parts I needed for a solution.):
Video that shows concept:
UI Showing limited User access based on RFID badge scanned. User has limited access to only front doors. And NO access to P1-R1
UI Showing FULL access based on RFID badge scanned. Includes Lockdown button to disable all relays and open all to allow fast open of all racks.
Rittal Lock notes:The Rittal locks have 4 handle positions:
Key Access: Each lock ships with a set of keys (that by default is the same for all locks). Because our physical security requirements are not that high simply collecting the keys was enough for us. In some scenarios a unique keyed core might be required. Handle position sensor: Each lock/handle assembly has a sensor to detect if the handle is in positions 3 or 4 (Unlocked or Opened). My solution did not utilize this feature but some simple additions in hardware would allow it. This sensor along with adding a contact sensor to the physical door could provide the pieces to create solution that would notify you if the door was left unlocked or opened. We decided to use policies rather than technology for that. Project source can be downloaded at http://code.msdn.microsoft.com/Inexpensively-improving-d6e0f6d1
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