Knowing what's really going on at collocation facilities can be difficult to the point of impossibility. Whether you're a tenant at the facility, or even if you own the building, most of the site is outside your control.
|Make sure backup power is supplied to both your DC power plant AND your A/C powered devices, such as air conditioners.|
But that's exactly why you need to monitor collocation facilities closely. If you're a collocation tenant, monitoring the factors that you can't control will keep you a step ahead of potential threats to your network.
And if you're a collocation host, you have an even greater need to keep close tabs on your collocation facilities. You have a contractual obligation to provide your tenants with a specified standard of environmental conditions and site security.
Industry experts advise that both collocation tenants and hosts monitor the following factors:
Collocation facilities are not always able to provide a constant supply of power to their tenants. The collocation agreement usually specifies that the collocation host will provide AC and DC power, and a backup power supply in case of commercial power failure. However, large-scale or long-term power outages can strain even the best-prepared backup power plans.
Collocation hosts usually fully monitor facility power, including the commercial power supply, battery levels, and generator activity. It's beneficial for all parties for hosts to share this information with all the occupants of the collocation facility.
Alarm sharing can be performed automatically with the DPS Telecom Alarm Distribution Shelf (ADS). A DPS client who manages collocation facilities routinely uses the ADS to share power alarms with tenants.
Collocation hosts should also regularly test backup generators to ensure they are working properly. This task can be conveniently automated with the T/MonXM Network Alarm Management System. Let's say the generator at your collocation site performs a self-start test every Thursday at 3 a.m (which can be considered as a nuisance alarm). Using T/MonXM's derived alarms feature, you can create a custom alarm that will notify you only if the generator fails to perform the test.
Collocation tenants should be aware that power failure also creates a potential for dangerously high temperatures at the facility. Even if the collocation facility provides plenty of backup power for your telecom equipment, there is often no backup power for running the air conditioning. Your revenue-generating equipment will run, get hotter steadily until it's damaged or fails, and eventually shut off network services to your customers.
Site security is an especially important consideration for both collocation hosts and tenants. Personnel from each of the companies tenanted at the facility are coming and going at all times, so it makes excellent sense to monitor entry to your portion of the facility.
Most conventional means of securing an entryway don't provide effective security, especially if the entryway is at a remote collocation site far way from your NOC. Keys and even magnetic stripe cards can be stolen and duplicated, and there's no guarantee that former employees will return their keys when they leave your employment. A contact closure on a door strike will let you know if a door opens and closes, but it won't tell you who is entering your facility.
To get the best security of remote entries, you need a keyless access control like the Building Access System (BAS). Access is granted only to personnel who enter the correct code on the keypad. For people who need temporary access to the site, like outside repair staff, you can assign entry codes that expire after a certain time.
Control who enters your facility, which parts of the facility they can access, the time they can enter, and how long they can stay. The BAS will maintain complete logs of all entries.
Best of all, the BAS integrates into the rest of your remote site monitoring. If there is an intrusion at your collocation facility, or someone attempts entry with an invalid code, you will be immediately notified by your Network Alarm Management System.