Physical security market for data centers to grow rapidly

PSIM, video surveillance and disaster management solutions to generate most revenue
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Monday, May 5, 2014

LONDON—As adoption of cloud-based services continues to expand, the need for secure and reliable data computing hubs rises with it. The proliferation and evolution of large-scale data facilities is generating a growing demand for the physical security appliances and solutions that protect them, according to a new report from TechNavio Research, a market analysis company headquartered here. The report projects the global data center physical security market will grow at a CAGR of more than 22 percent between 2014 and 2018, rising from $3.66 billion to $8.87 billion.

The North American market, whose estimated worth is around $1.3 billion right now, is expected to reach $3.4 billion by the end of the forecast period, Faisal Ghaus, vice president of TechNavio and co-author of the report, told Security Systems News.

Ghaus said large-scale data centers have proliferated in recent years due to the consolidation of smaller- and medium-sized facilities, as enterprises and data center providers are “finding it easy to manage and maintain the facilities in a single centralized location compared to multiple locations.”

These hubs are becoming increasingly sophisticated, equipped with “high-performance computing equipment” designed to “perform mission-critical computing,” Ghaus noted. This trend, he added, has picked up as enterprises and data center service providers place increasing emphasis on incorporating security equipment and services into their data center operation.

Ghaus stressed that it’s not so much the concept of data center physical security that’s new as it is the type of solutions being deployed.

“Data center security is not a new-age phenomenon,” he said. “However, the concept of security solutions is gaining prominence in recent years and hence witnessing an impressive growth pattern.”

These solutions include physical security features such as concrete walls and enclosed infrastructures, which increase the reliability and security of the data center, according to the report. Data centers are also being reinforced with bomb-resistant concrete walls and laminated glass structures to provide maximum protection for enclosures that house data storage devices.

With more computing being done under fewer roofs, large-scale data centers tend to generate greater heat, leading to a rise in dreaded “hot spots,” which, if neglected, can lead to significant damage of the facility. As a result, data center service providers are coming to rely on thermal sensors that help identify hot spots and provide signals to facilitate the cooling process, which is performed by precision air conditioning systems, according to the report.

The report also said more R&D is being carried out to develop new designs for the facilities themselves.

PSIM, video surveillance and disaster management solutions are expected to generate the highest revenue, Ghaus said, “since monitoring of the data center facility holds higher importance compared to installation of physical security equipment.” Because the impact of physical disasters is higher than that of intrusion, more capital is being invested in physical security management solutions, which can mitigate the adverse effects of a disaster, according to Ghaus.

The physical security equipment most relevant to this sector includes biometric devices, smoke detectors, alarms and identity authentication, the report stated.

Ghaus noted that some favorable regulatory factors are also contributing to growth in this sector, as data center service providers are pushed to form closer relationships with physical security equipment providers. Increasing global standardization of data centers also stands to benefit the market, Ghaus said.