Automating data center security?

Automating data center security?

A controversial idea has surfaced as one technology pioneer says data center security can be automated. A Data Center Knowledge article quoted Sun Microsystems co-founder, Vinod Khosla, as saying "it's ridiculous to have humans manage the level of complexity that we have humans manage inside the data center." Khosta added that the main cost in IT is people, not infrastructure, and that's it time to remove the human element and bring costs down.

Unanimous support not forthcoming
A recent Infoworld report spoke of the attributes of automation but also addressed some dangers that companies may be overlooking. Automation works well, said the report, and can do so for a long time, but when something goes wrong and there's no one around to fix the issue, a company could be heading for disaster. The report cautioned against full automation and urged companies planning to go that route to plan for contingencies that will involve human interaction.

Biometric technology can help humans adapt
The comments from Khosta come at a time that biometric technology has devised new technology to make securing data centers more effective. Fingerprint scanning makes access to the data center virtually impossible to all but the employees who's fingerprint identity is enrolled in the security system.

If companies opt for biometric solutions to their security problems wouldn't that preclude the need for a company to automate as personnel costs wouldn't fluctuate but would, in fact, stay constant each year? Many IT managers, while salivating at the prospect of cutting personnel costs, continue to study both options as the call for automation, while not new, has come to the forefront for security and budget discussions since Khosta's comments were made public.

Traditional security efforts are costly, cumbersome and are being slowly phased-out by companies that are merging with the cloud or turning to automation. With biometric technology security in place, businesses can cut costs and ensure strong and solid security while retaining top managerial IT staff to deploy during emergency situations.

Nobody wants to deal with a breach in security that causes loss of private and intellectual data. Having server cabinets and data centers protected by state-of-the art biometric technology can keep a company safe and also allow it to have experienced and capable staff on-site to deal with emergency situations as they occur. That can't be done with a fully automated system no matter how many fail-safe mechanisms or protocols are built in to the automation system.

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