With bases across Europe, site security specialists VPS Group were selected by an international building contractor, to help protect and secure the construction of massive data centres.

Data Centre in Ireland

A glob­al social media giant opened new data cen­tres late last year in Coun­ty Meath, Ire­land. One of just six such data cen­tres across the world, they han­dle the data of their 2.5 bil­lion users globally.

Built on a 250-acre site, they deployed their award-win­ning VPS Smart Tow­ers, state-of-the-art CCTV tow­ers that are pur­pose-built to cope with the dynam­ics of ever-chang­ing build­ing sites. 

Work on the huge data cen­tre start­ed in April 2016 and fea­tures two 2,300sq m (25,500sq ft) build­ings cur­rent­ly hous­ing eight data halls, linked by an admin­is­tra­tion build­ing. A third data hall is cur­rent­ly under con­struc­tion and two fur­ther blocks are going through the plan­ning process. It is esti­mat­ed to have cost €300m and at one stage was the largest build­ing project in Ireland.

Com­pris­ing day and night cam­eras, sen­sors and alarm sys­tems, net­worked to an on-site mon­i­tor­ing sta­tion run by their part­ners, Provin­cial, the 20 tow­ers cov­ered the site 247, and were inde­pen­dent­ly pow­ered by hydro­gen cylin­ders, with zero emis­sions, apart from water.

Theft of equip­ment, plant and fuel from con­struc­tion sites is a major prob­lem all over the world, with Ire­land expe­ri­enc­ing a 35% rise last year, with the val­ue of stolen goods reach­ing almost €8 mil­lion” Says Eoin Foley, VPS Group’s Ire­land Man­ag­ing Direc­tor. The VPS Smart Tow­ers are ful­ly loaded, that com­bine lead­ing tech­nolo­gies, but they have two out­stand­ing features.

One is their flex­i­bil­i­ty and their wire­less con­nec­tiv­i­ty which enables them to be moved around the site eas­i­ly, with­out any cabling. For a dynam­ic con­struc­tion envi­ron­ment that is crit­i­cal, as the works areas will change almost dai­ly, so that the Smart Tow­ers will often be moved two or three times a week. And sec­ond­ly, the hydro­gen cylin­ders, with zero emis­sions apart from water, is an addi­tion­al envi­ron­men­tal ben­e­fit, and dove­tails well with the pri­ma­ry clien­t’s zero car­bon com­mit­ment, as the data cen­tre itself is fuelled by renew­able energy.”

Advanced cam­era tech­nol­o­gy wire­less­ly trans­mits live and record­ed images over any mobile, WiFi or satel­lite net­work. 247 mon­i­tor­ing com­bined with siren warn­ings to cre­ate an extreme­ly effec­tive deter­rent — as soon as an alarm is trig­gered, the on-site secu­ri­ty oper­a­tions cen­tre can iden­ti­fy the exact loca­tion and send out a patrol immediately.

The VPS Smart Tow­ers incor­po­rate van­dal-proof pan-tilt zoom (PTZ) and fixed cam­eras, sup­ple­ment­ed with infra-red illu­mi­na­tors, a vari­ety of move­ment detec­tors; dig­i­tal recorders, and a pub­lic address sys­tem can also be fitted.

The unique com­bi­na­tion of tech­nolo­gies and exper­tise has helped to pre­vent tres­passers and crime on the site, and have won VPS Group sev­er­al of Secu­ri­ty and Excel­lence awards, includ­ing for Cus­tomer Care Ini­tia­tive, Best Use of Tech­nol­o­gy, and Inno­va­tion of the Year. They are cur­rent­ly hold the Trans­port Tech­nol­o­gy Busi­ness of the Year Award.