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The Importance of Firewalls in Data Centres

Servers in a data centre

They are facilities that you will almost never see signposted if you’re passing and their multi-layered security precautions, both physical and virtual, ensure its contents are free from external threat. This means that the design and build of a data centre, or colocation facility as they’re also known, cannot be understated for reducing vulnerability to assets, especially as technology continues to drive the world forward.

What is a Data Centre?

Ever becoming more crucial in the modern-day, a data centre is a secure facility where important data-driven and IT server equipment is housed. Such units vary in size; from vast centres with storage space available to rent to single-purpose units with just one main occupant. Therefore, the need for safe and secure storage of such valuable company assets is greater than ever.

As many businesses are now moving to cloud-based computing, choosing remote data centres for IT and server management, backup and storage are beneficial in really saving the cost and vulnerability of creating and running their own internal network infrastructure.

Data Centre Fire Protection

Costing millions to build and the value of its contents a similar figure, the importance of adequate fire prevention cannot be understated. Where stringent on-site security measures include CCTV and surveillance, biometric access systems and high-level secure fencing to defend against hackers and unauthorised visitors, fire protection looks to take care of the safety of the facility in its entirety.

Due to the large quantities of equipment contained within these facilities and the vast amounts of energy used and exerted in their operation, a lot of heat is generated in the process, making the possibility of a fire greater than usual. This is where firewalls and fire-rated partitioning come in; areas need to be segmented not only to just divide the space, but also to be able to contain the spread of flame should a fire occur. This will ensure that equipment is kept as safe as possible.

Not to be confused with virtual firewalls that work within the data network, physical firewalls are a key consideration during the build of a data centre. They work in conjunction with active fire protection systems, including sprinklers and gas extinguishers, to provide maximum protection for servers, data and the people who manage them.

Finding a Robust Passive Fire Protection System 

Where fire safety is concerned, only the most experienced and skilled labourers will do. A hard-wearing system, efficient build time and reliable technical knowledge are essential when appointing a contractor to carry out these works within your data centre.

Firewalls built from insulated composite panels ensure a long-lasting and maintenance-free finish, and with no wet trades required during the build, can be expertly installed in no time, compared to more traditional methods of fire protection. This type of design and installation means that there is flexibility for future expansions within the centre.

As each data centre is different in terms of configuration, area and requirements, a bespoke design and installation schedule needs to be carefully considered. A contractor with consistent technical and construction knowledge within this field is key to ensure the end user’s requirements are met at every stage of the project.

An LPS 1500 accredited contractor will also be able to demonstrate full competency in installing fire-rated compartmentation systems, where they have completed a detailed training programme and regularly get assessed on their work. Only the highest quality of workmanship and installation can be assured with this certification.

Stancold have been installing insulated composite panel systems for over 70 years, where the team’s strong technical knowledge of passive fire protection has been utilised across many different industries. We have been working with partners that specialise in the overall design and build of data centres for decades, to provide only the highest quality fire-rated partitioning systems for facilities of varying sizes. Our experience in working with and around other contractors on site as part of the overall build ensures that every project is completed on time and to our clients’ satisfaction.

For more information on our experience in providing passive fire protection systems for data centres and colocation facilities, get in touch with us now on 0117 316 7000 or send your enquiry here.

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