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Datacentre security is vital: there are biometric readers and secure mantraps (pictured) on both levels of the datacentre that control access to the datahalls and are programmed so that the first set of doors must close before the second set opens. Each door has a proximity card reader that is pre-programmed with a client's access information.
To prevent unwanted guests from accessing the facility, there is a 3m high fence and a gate that is manned by security 24/7. If somebody were to penetrate the fence, they'd have a tough time evading the intruder alarms around the complex, and 50 infrared CCTV cameras.
These security features help make Virtus into a Tier III. Another thing clients look for in a datacentre is increased resilience so they can be confident their services will be available all the time.
"The reason people go for Tier III is twofold. One is because there is a level of redundancy built in so there can be some failure and the service will continue," David Watkins, Virtus operations director, told ZDNet. "More importantly, Tier III gives you the ability to concurrently maintain equipment."
The Enfield site fits into the Tier III category because it abides by the "n+1 rule", which means that there is always one spare piece of equipment, be it a generator or an air=conditioning unit, to provide back up in the case of a failure.
For example, the Tier III Enfield site needs two generators to function but there are three just in case one fails. Meanwhile, a Tier IV would need a complete spare set.
Watkins explained that it would have cost Virtus an extra £15m to make the site Tier IV and would have involved adding large quantities of extra equipment.
Image: Sam Shead