Using Expanded Metal Cages for Data Center Security
As e-commerce and other digital operations continue to grow in popularity, data center security becomes more common. Data centers are helpful structures used for data processing and remote storage. Organizations can keep their online data secure and centralized by housing large collections of online servers, storage system servers and other security devices.
Cybersecurity helps data centers stay protected. However there’s another crucial element to center security — data center cages. These cages are made from steel wire mesh or expanded metal panels, keeping critical systems and servers organized and safely locked. They are an essential component of server physical security.
How Are Data Center Cages Used?
Metal server cages have many uses for data security centers. They enhance security features and ensure organizational data remains secure from outside visitors or potential intruders.
Here are more uses of data center cages:
- Secure data centers: Above all, server cages keep data centers secure. The durable metal and complicated lock systems keep critical data safe and accessible only to the right people. You can relax with the knowledge that metal cages protect critical computer servers and stored data.
- Subdivide colocation cages: Data center security cages are also organizational tools. If more than one organization shares the data center, keeping data and servers separate is crucial. Alternatively, you might want to keep different systems within the same organization distinctly apart. Cage walls can keep separate servers or systems apart from each other.
- Control access: You can also control access to servers with metal gates. By using locks or other restrictions on the entrances, only authorized personnel will be able to enter each cage.
- Prevent damage: Cages also provide protection for your servers and data systems. Most are made with mesh metal wiring, allowing for maximum airflow. As air circulates through, it prevents systems from overheating and keeps them functioning properly.
Types of Metal Data Center Cages
There are multiple types of data center cages, each with their own pros and cons. Here are a few examples:
- Expanded metal cages: Expanded metal is an economical and durable option for a data center cage. Manufacturers make expanded metal sheets by creating multiple slits in them. They then stretch the sheet to create a diamond pattern with the openings. This structure makes expanded metal sturdy, lasting for years on end.
- Wire partitions: This style of cage consists of either welded wire mesh, or a heavy duty woven mesh. Wire partitions allow it to be made in various dimensions or sizes, depending on someone’s need. It also has the largest openings available of these types. If you have a wire partition set in a metal frame and tack welded, there is no risk of the barrier coming loose.
- Perforated metal: Perforated metal is another data center cage option. You run sheets through a machine that punches out round holes to create a perforated surface. You can either create straight lines or stagger the holes to allow for more openings. Perforated metal has the smallest openings of these types.
Advantages of Expanded Metal Data Center Security Cages
Expanded metal security cages offer several advantages:
- Rugged materials: Expanded metal typically consists of durable materials, such as stainless steel and aluminum. Some materials, like steel, need a finish like paint to avoid damage. This makeup ensures your server cage will last for many years, resisting corrosion or rust formation
- Ensures local organization: Expanded metal is perfect for organizing data centers. It is also cost-effective, so buying multiple sheets to improve organization will not significantly impact your budget.
- Supports air circulation: As mentioned before, the openings in cages allow for optimized airflow. The diamond-shaped openings in expanded metal will keep air circulating around your systems, ensuring they stay cool.
- Maintains visibility: Many work environments require visibility of enclosed systems to ensure proper functioning and access. With expanded metal openings, you can keep an eye on critical systems without compromising on durable materials. If your organization prefers low visibility, you can opt for smaller openings or insert mesh netting within the cage to keep the interior hidden.
- Peace of mind: Expanded metal is strong, providing the perfect enclosure for any sensitive materials. You can rest easy knowing outsiders will not be able to come into contact with sensitive information without proper authorization. This peace of mind extends to data center operators and clients using the data center enclosures.
- Improved scalability: Lastly, you can easily rescale or replace expanded metal in your data security center. If you need to reorganize your space, you can remove expanded metal without extra costs. If you want to add expanded metal, it fits in smoothly alongside other cages. You can lower renovation and moving costs by using expanded metal.
Considerations for Expanded Metal Server Room Cages
If you decide to implement an expanded metal server room cage into your center, here are some parameters to consider when choosing a server cage design:
- Dimensions: Start by accounting for the dimensions of your server room. Most expanded metal comes in standard panel dimensions, and it’s usually more affordable to go by these rather than create a custom design. Remember to consider the height of the area in addition to the width and length.
- Opening sizes: The sizes of openings will dictate your cage’s visibility level. Think about your preferred degree of visibility before selecting the expanded metal. Remember that larger openings typically allow for more visibility, but also greater airflow.
- Gauge: The expanded metal gauge, or thickness, is also an important factor. The thicker the metal is, the more difficult it is to get past.
- Style: Expanded metal is available in two styles — raised and flattened. The metal strands are bound to the metal sheet plane at a fixed angle with a raised style, reinforcing the cage’s durability. For flattened expanded metal, manufacturers feed the metal through a leveler to achieve a smooth design. It is generally considered more aesthetically pleasing than the raised style, which shows the horizontal angles of the metal strands.
Contact Argus Steel for your expanded metal partition needs
At Argus Steel, we understand the critical role that metal cages play in data center security. As an expert expanded metal distributor, we work hard to provide customers with premier materials. No job is too big or small for us. Our dedicated team works with you to find the best solution for your specific project.
We can help you find the best expanded metal type for data centers and beyond. Request a quote from Argus Steel today to get started.