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Three Essential Capabilities for a Rack-Level Electronic Lock Solution

June 11, 2021

As you work to effectively develop and execute a physical security strategy in your data center or computer room, you may find that a rack-level electronic lock solution is the specific technology that will best support the needs and requirements of your business. 

Typical electronic access control systems automate monitoring, documenting and control of access and allow fast reprogramming if access rights change or if a credential is lost or stolen, but there are unique capabilities that ensure a fully integrated, successful physical security deployment.

Here are three considerations to help you dive in with confidence.

1. Electronic Locks with RFID Card Readers

Electronic locks secure the doors on cabinets, sense access attempts and indicate door latch (lock) opened or closed condition. They are typically a swinghandle with an integrated solenoid that operates the latch to opened or closed condition, a proximity sensor that indicates condition of the latch opened or closed, and an access card reader that senses and reads values from presented keys. The lock also carries a mechanical key override to handle door openings during a power outage.

Access card readers need to be compatible with the card types provided to individuals within an organization.  With access card technologies changing very rapidly, it is ideal if the swinghandle and the reader are separate integrated modules. Some models may also include an integrated keypad or biometric reader.

2. Door Sensors

An electronic locking solution for the cabinets needs to monitor not just the cabinet lock status but also status of the door itself. It is critical that an effective locking solution be able to collect input from multiple doors on the cabinet. In the event a door is opened, a warning notification should be provided immediately, followed by additional warnings if the door is left open for an extended duration.

3. Multiple Networking Options

There are three types of network connections. The first is through rack intelligent power distribution units (PDUs), the second via a separate networked controller module and the third in which the locks are connected to a building’s security access panel. In the first two scenarios, the locks are managed by IT through a data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software solution while the latter is managed through the building security system, which is also used to manage access within the entire campus.


To summarize, as higher amounts of confidential data get stored in the cloud, physical access control at the cabinet level needs to become a norm rather than an exception. A myriad of solutions that vary based on the level of security, management modes and budgets are available for organizations to consider. Technology media company International Data Group (IDG) predicts 50 ZB of data will be created worldwide this year. It is safe to say that enterprise businesses that inspire trust and know how to ethically address risk, security, and compliance will excel in a big way.

And if you're interested in this topic and want even greater detail, be sure to read a complete article penned by CPI's Sr. Product Manager, Ashish Moondra, for BICSI's ICT Today magazine.
Posted by Raissa Carey, Senior Public Relations Specialist/Technical Writer at 6/11/2021 8:23:39 AM
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