Data Centre Safety & Security Innovation Of The Year
Equinix Pushes Boundaries While Developing World-Class Security Program with Symmetry
Equinix connects the world's leading businesses to their customers, employees and partners inside the most connected data centers in 25 markets (68 cities globally) across five continents. Housing the data for some of the largest, most well-known companies in the world, poses security challenges on a whole new level. Failing is not an option, and a robust, easy-to-use security program coupled with superb customer service is Equinix’s recipe for success.
For over two decades, Equinix has been continuously growing and adding to its portfolio of International Business Exchange™ (IBXⓇ) data centers. Whether they are building new sites or acquiring them, AMAG has been a reliable partner during that time, and Symmetry has easily expanded to accommodate each new building regardless of location.
Each IBX is equipped with multiple layers of biometric security from the front door to the customer’s cage to meet compliance standards and ensure the highest level of security. Schlage Handkey biometric readers are used in legacy locations, and Suprema N2 fingerprint readers with a mobile option are being installed as the new global standard for Equinix. The Suprema N2 readers allow a fingerprint and card plus PIN, providing three levels of authentication to meet the highest security standards. Using Suprema readers keeps Equinix GDPR compliant. The data is stored on the card, and the customer is in control of their data the entire time.
The fingerprint reader supports mobile credentials, allowing Equinix to offer this solution to its clients and employees. The user enrolls their mobile device and uses a biometric from their phone instead of on the reader itself. Users can unlock doors using their phone, and the reader will know if the user is the person holding the phone. The customer will have the option to use their smartphone or a card to gain access.
When Equinix was looking for a solution to integrate their video into Symmetry, Craig Knakmuhs, Director Global Security, turned to AMAG’s Symmetry CompleteView Video Management System. Symmetry CompleteView is tightly integrated with Symmetry Access Control to deliver a unified system. The security team can view live video, playback recorded video and export the video from the Symmetry Access Control software. While their operations center in Tampa can view video at all locations, each individual Equinix IBX security office can configure, view and manage their video locally, providing the flexibility to make changes to accommodate multiple scenarios and events.
“What I love about AMAG is that I didn’t want a bunch of disparate systems from different companies,” said Knakmuhs. “I turned to AMAG for input and asked what is the way forward with video? They recommended Symmetry CompleteView VMS, which was well known in the industry. It’s a fabulous product, and I made it part of our standard.”
Equinix has installed Symmetry Control Room, AMAG’s command and control software, which allows their security officers to manage video and alarms from one screen, rather than having to toggle back and forth between systems. This saves time and improves the efficiency of the security staff. It also gives the security team the ability to take over managing a site if there is a major incident and security officers are busy responding to the emergency.
As Equinix’s security plan grew, they needed to add an audio component so security guards could verbally communicate with customers throughout the data center. If there is a question or problem, customers can quickly and clearly talk to the security officers up front to find a solution. Keeping in mind the types of customers that work within the data center, communication could become mission-critical. Knakmuhs chose Zenitel’s Turbine Intercom Station. Turbine tightly integrates with the Symmetry platform and delivers intelligent communication for environments that require the management of critical assets and activities. Equinix standardized on Zenitel’s solution globally.
Using AMAG’s Symmetry Visitor Management software, Equinix and AMAG teamed up to build a visitor management tool specifically designed for their needs, called Kiosk. Kiosk integrates with their online customer portal and their onsite visitor registration systems, which is how they announce and track every customer, vendor and contractor that goes in and out of their facilities globally.
Automating manual processes is another priority. Equinix selected AMAG’s Symmetry CONNECT identity management system, which will remove the manual process of entering data into the access control system. Symmetry CONNECT will integrate with Equinix’s customer portal to allow access into any IBX globally. The process of installing Symmetry CONNECT is underway with a completion goal of Q3 2022. As a result, an Equinix customer will be able to directly manage their own access to the data centers, along with pull reports directly from the portal on any of their assets or employees globally without requesting the reports from the individual IBX sites.
AMAG’s Symmetry suite helps Equinix to monitor and track data points and eliminate manual logs and reports to help easily meet compliance requirements. Data centers must meet strict compliance requirements such as SSE18, SOC1, SOC2, FISMA, HIPAA, plus many others. To meet compliance, audits are conducted manually, which takes a lot of time. With Symmetry CONNECT, the process will be automated and the data available in real-time.
It’s all about the Customer
Equinix’s number one goal is to put the customer at the center of everything they do, so every security decision made is with the customer in mind. This customer-first culture drives Equinix to deliver cutting-edge technology solutions. Knakmuhs and his global team are continuously inspiring their vendors to develop the best solutions and perform at their highest levels. That’s why he likes working with AMAG Technology.
“AMAG has always backed their product and is committed to doing the right thing, and that’s where the relationship really made a difference,” said Knakmuhs. “My relationship with AMAG has been paramount to the success of our security program.
“Data centers are mission-critical,” said Knakmuhs. “The people that work in those data centers need to be qualified and be able to think with a critical mind while using technology. We don’t have errors; that’s not an option. In our industry, if there is an error, it’s an outage and it’s customer impacting.”
AMAG works closely with Equinix to enhance our Symmetry products to help Equinix provide the best possible experience to their customers.
What the Future Holds
Equinix is currently deploying Symmetry Incident Management to help automate tasks for reporting and make its security officers more efficient and proficient. The goal is to pull data from different points (Symmetry Access Control, Symmetry Incident Management, visitor management tool) automatically and run analytics.
The ultimate goal is to expedite the customer’s ability to get into an IBX/data center while still maintaining the high level of security they are demanding. Security is a pain point for customers, but necessary. Balancing customer interactions with security officers along with security technology and processes are Equinix’s biggest challenges. They will achieve this by having the customer interact directly with the technology.
Equinix continues to grow globally. AMAG Technology looks forward to continuing the journey of supporting Equinix with its growth and expansion.