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security solutions for north Carolina schools

Security is an extremely vital issue in college today. In 2015, at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill alone, there were 25 reported burglaries, 10 aggravated assaults and 21 rapes according to the University’s crime statistics. UNCs crime data is not atypical. A college campus is extremely difficult to protect, whether it’s UNC, USC, UVA or any school across the country. You have dozens of large buildings, acres of land and thousands of people roaming all over at all times. It’s an extremely difficult situation to police.


This is why security systems for colleges are so important. We’ve come a long way since the typical extent of campus security was a handful of (hopefully) adequately-trained campus security guards and a call box every mile or so.

Today, security solutions are far more advanced. Here are some of the security systems in NC and beyond that your college or university should be using.


Access Control For North Carolina Schools

Digital access control that allows you to dictate exactly who can enter which buildings is paramount. Lock and key systems are too easy to beat and allowing students or other individuals on campus to roam freely from building to building is unacceptable. There is valuable property scattered throughout campus buildings to steal as well as an inherent danger of allowing unsupervised individuals to wander through school buildings unsupervised at inappropriate times.


Why Choose Surveillance Cameras For NC Schools

The more surveillance cameras you have, the more eyes you have on your campus. Patrolling your entire campus at all times with manpower is simply unfeasible. A strategically placed network of cameras, however, with high-definition video and recording and encoding tools, can be a fantastic deterrent to crime as well as a way to quickly identify the perpetrators of campus crime and get them to the proper authorities.


Are Alarms Right For Your School?

Alarms remain a viable way to deter crime in your neighborhood and on your college campus. Loud sounds that alert everyone in the vicinity of a crime in progress can scare off the perpetrators, and even the threat of an alarm going off may deter a potential criminal.


For the best security solutions in North Carolina and beyond for colleges and Universities, turn to Intellicom. Intellicom stands out among security companies in NC due to our state-of-the-art security technology, highly-gifted engineers to set up your system and our commitment to customer service.

To learn more about creating the safest possible environment for your school, contact Intellicom, Inc. today.

Today's data centers require a great deal of monitoring to keep running efficiently. Proper maintenance includes a variety of factors, one of which is appropriate temperature control. The IT equipment used in data centers needs electricity to function but often produces heat as a byproduct of that function. In the enclosed space of a data center, this heat can quickly build up.


While the American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers' temperature guidelines for data centers allow temperatures up to 104 degrees Fahrenheit, sustained high temperatures at or above this level can damage or destroy devices and components within the data center. Such damage not only results in significant repair costs but can also lead to costly downtime as well.


To prevent such outages, removing heat from a data center is of the utmost importance. Fortunately, a variety of methods and technologies are available today to help maintain data center temperatures at an appropriate level.


Choose the Best Cooling Design for Your Facility

If you're in the process of designing a data center or renovating your current one, one of the most valuable data center cooling tips is to choose the best plan for your facility's needs. The best choice depends on several factors but can have a significant impact on your data center's cooling efficiency. Just a few of the factors to keep in mind when choosing your center's cooling design include:


  • Power Density: The density of your system primarily will affect the type of cooling system you'll need to keep temperatures within acceptable ranges. For example, while a low-density system can usually get away with basic air cooling, a high-density implementation may require more active, and more expensive, liquid cooling systems.

  • Room Size: Part of your system's density has to do with the scale of the room in which you'll be keeping your data system. Will it be big enough to allow sufficient space between racks, or will it cause them to be too tightly packed?

  • Budget: The bottom line for most companies is the budget dedicated to your data center's cooling design. For example, if you have a relatively small budget, using a combination of efficient rack placement, air cooling and air-side economization bypasses can help make the most of your resources. If your budget is on the upper end of the scale, however, an expensive liquid cooling system can facilitate even high-density data centers.


Here are four of the most important things to keep in mind about data center cooling strategies so you can determine the best cooling methods for your data center.

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1. Pick the Right Cooling Method

By considering these factors and balancing them appropriately, you can have a better idea of what your facility can handle. Once you have a better grasp of this, you can choose which cooling method would suit your facility's needs best. The most conventional cooling methods are described in more detail below:


Air Cooling

This basic method of cooling uses computer room air conditioners, or CRACs. These air conditioners remove heat from warm air, converting it into cold air before recirculating it. These CRACs can be arranged in any number of configurations, focusing on the whole room, a single row or even a single rack.


CRACs can also be used in combination with raised floors, supplying cold air underneath the area so fans can draw it upward to cool the equipment. The CRACs can then collect the heated air from the upper portions of the room, cool it and recycle it back underneath the floor, moving the heat out of the chamber.


Liquid Cooling

Liquid cooling is more expensive than air cooling, both on a technical and budgetary level, but it offers more cooling power. Liquid cooling designs use cold water or refrigerants from a cooling tower to remove heat from the facility. The liquid does this by moving around or through racks or CRACs, collecting heat as it goes before recycling back into a cooling tower, which removes the heat from the liquid as waste.


Because it offers greater cooling power than air-cooling, this type of cooling system is often a necessity for high-density systems. However, it requires much more infrastructure and planning and is more expensive than air cooling or free cooling methods.


Free Cooling

Free cooling is also known as air-side or water-side economization. The air-side method of cooling uses outside air to cool the equipment, limiting the expenses associated with chillers and air conditioners by minimizing their usage. This type of cooling increases the problems associated with air contaminants and variations in humidity, but more sophisticated systems have reduced these problems by transferring heat outdoors in a more indirect fashion.


Water-side economization uses similar methods, employing outside air combined with evaporation techniques to cool liquid run through the facility without using chillers. This has become a more popular approach to cooling as allowable data center temperatures have increased. Free cooling usually has a similar infrastructure as liquid cooling but costs significantly less.


By considering each of these options and comparing them to your company’s plans and expectations, you can choose a system that best suits your data system’s needs.


data center cooling


2. Be Proactive About Potential Problems With Your Cooling System

Designing your cooling system doesn’t end at choosing the type of system to implement. Too many organizations simply pick a room, pick a cooling system and fill the space in whatever arrangement will fit. However, this approach can lead to several problems.


Improper Infrastructure

An undersized power or cooling infrastructure can severely limit your operational capacity, while an oversized infrastructure can unnecessarily increase your capital expenses and monthly expenditures.


Poor Component Placement

If you place your components without considering your infrastructure, you may reduce your cooling system’s efficiency. For example, misplacing a rack may force you to detour an air duct in a way that reduces its potential airflow.


Inappropriate Floor Planning

If you have too little space in your data center room, it can complicate your component placement and waste floor space.


Preventing Cooling System Pitfalls

To avoid these pitfalls with your cooling system, take some preventative measures both in designing and maintaining it.


Implement a Hot-Aisle/Cold-Aisle Configuration

Instead of trying to cool your entire data center at a single low temperature, focus on removing hot air from the room before it has a chance to recirculate. You can easily separate hot and cold air by making rows with the racks. Have the front of the racks face each other, to create a "cold aisle," and the back face each other, to create a "hot aisle." Once you've accomplished this configuration, you can more efficiently vent air from the hot aisles before it has a chance to affect the servers in adjacent rows.


More sophisticated variations on this design involve walls between the racks or between the racks and the ceiling, isolating the warm and cold air even further. This type of configuration can help decrease energy usage up to 20 percent and can prevent some cooling inefficiencies.


Maintain Organized Cables

Tangled cables can substantially block your airflow, preventing cold air from distributing beneath raised floors. They also actively trap heat within enclosures, causing heat to increase to dangerous levels more quickly. Avoid these cabling issues by moving your cables to overhead cable managers and using high-capacity cable managers inside enclosures, minimizing the tangle. This is an easy process if you implement it early on and can prevent a lot of cooling inefficiencies.


Plan for Your Racks

Too many companies design the room before they choose their racks. The best way to operate is to select the racks best suited to your needs, decide on their configuration and density, and design the room around them. The company doesn’t risk overcrowding or under-provisioning and can plan the best infrastructure of cooling and power resources for its data center’s needs. This prevents costly structural deficiencies.


data center efficiency

3. Look for New Ways to Improve Your Data Center’s Cooling Efficiency

Years ago, energy efficiency in data center cooling systems was an afterthought. With relatively cheap energy available and rack density low, companies weren’t too worried about the electric bill each month. However, today’s data center managers are expected to pay much closer attention to energy costs.


Data center cooling can account for up to 30 percent of a data center’s operational costs and 70 percent of a data center’s energy use. According to a 2011 survey, 97 percent of data center managers said reducing their energy expenditure is either a “somewhat” or “very” important concern. Of those respondents, 87 percent cited lower costs as the primary motivation for reducing their energy expenditure.


With costs such a high priority, data center managers have to do what they can to continually improve the efficiency of their data center cooling systems. Here are a few ways to improve the effectiveness of your existing cooling system.


Install Blanking Panels

Block off unused rack spaces by installing blanking panels. If you use these panels in combination with a hot-aisle/cold-aisle configuration, they prevent hot air from recirculating through the unused rack space. Plan for these blanking panels by using racks compatible with snap-on panels. This way you don’t need to break out the toolkit every time you need to reconfigure your data center arrangement.


Replace Inefficient UPS Systems

Any unnecessary heat sources must be removed from your room if you want to improve efficiency. You can easily replace traditional online UPS systems with more modern models, which are more energy efficient. This reduces your system's heat output, rendering your cooling efforts more efficient.


Use Close-Coupled Cooling

Close-coupled cooling systems tend to be more efficient than traditional perimeter and raised floor systems. Instead of cooling the whole room, these systems use hot-aisle/cold-aisle configurations with row-based air conditioning units in close configuration to focus cooling where it’s needed most, reducing unnecessary energy expenditure. The modular nature of this system also helps managers more easily reconfigure the system to install new equipment or handle overheating racks.


Regularly Re-Evaluate the System

Whenever you make a substantial change to your current system or company budget, re-evaluate your system to make sure you’re using the best cooling system for your configuration, room and budget. Check equipment temperatures regularly to make sure you’re falling within national standards and make changes when necessary. The same system you’ve used for years may fall short if you’ve made substantial changes to your equipment configuration since initial implementation.


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4. Remember Why Structured Cabling Makes a Difference for Your Cooling System

One way to help your cooling system work more efficiently, regardless of the cooling system you use, is through structured cabling.


In most data centers, the methodology employed with cabling is a simple point-to-point system, where patch cables run directly to and from connected hardware. In a structured cabling system, these patch cables are replaced with patch panels, which are placed at the top of a rack.


These patch panels, in turn, connect to other patch panels via a multi-fiber assembly trunk that connects to the main distribution area. At this main distribution area, all the moves, adds and changes can be accomplished with short patch cables, improving visibility and organization.


In short, the system creates a modular alternative to the point-to-point system that is more organized and standardized. When properly designed and installed, this system provides your data center with an organized cabling infrastructure that offers numerous benefits to your operations, including:


  • Organization: The organization of this scheme is much better than the point-to-point system. Instead of using long cables running from one side of the room to the other, the system uses short, properly labeled cables for easy recognition. This helps operators and managers trace ports and cables much quicker since they don't need to sift through piles of cables to track a single one.


  • Reduced Human Error: With easier cable tracking, it’s less likely for an operator to make a mistake and easier for them to rectify one. This helps reduce the potential for downtime and the potential length of a system outage.


  • Aesthetic Appeal: A more organized system both looks and runs better, offering a much cleaner appearance than a point-to-point method. This gives your facility a more polished impression to potential clients while also presenting a better workspace for employees and managers.


  • Improved Performance: Structured cabling systems, when properly designed and installed, offer improved redundancy and overall performance over point-to-point systems, as they are more capable of handling updates and structural adjustments.


  • Effective Cooling: Most importantly to your cooling system, structured cabling makes it easier to implement effective cooling systems. Whereas point-to-point cabling systems can result in tangled cables that block airflow in your data center, structured cabling systems minimize the mess, allowing for improved air flow in and among your racks. Additionally, the modular structured cable system lets you more easily implement new cooling systems more quickly, minimizing the disruption in your data system.


In short, a structured cabling system can bring more efficiency and flexibility to your data center and its cooling system.


Contact Intellicom to Help Install a Structured Cabling System

If you’re interested in implementing a structured cabling system in your data center, Intellicom’s data cabling services can help. Intellicom has provided structured cabling services and support for data centers for over 25 years, helping companies accomplish everything from data center construction to expansion and reconfiguration. We offer expert care and service across the United States, operating as a structured cabling company in North Carolina, our home state, and across the country.

Cheaper is not always better. You may feel that the Category 6 cable you get from your communications services provider is too expensive, and you can save money by buying and installing your own cables. There are a number of reasons why this could be a mistake.


First, trying to install cables yourself rather than doing it professionally could lead to myriad errors and hazards. This would require you to bring in a professional anyway, costing you more money and wasting your company’s time. Additionally, if you find cheap cables, you just might be purchasing CCA cables without realizing it.


What Is CCA Cable?

CCA cable is copper clad aluminum cable, and it is cheaper because it is made of aluminum rather than solid copper. However, here is a clear case of “you get what you pay for.” While these cables are cheaper, cables made with CCA conductors are just not worth the risk. They are not standards-compliant and they do not have a valid UL safety listing under the National Electric Code, or NEC. If you find a CCA cable with a UL mark suggesting it is in compliance, it is probably counterfeit.


For one thing, CCA cables tend to offer significantly lower network performance than standard cables, which will frustrate your employees and cost you efficiency. Because aluminum cable has more than one and a half times the resistance of a similar copper cable, you will generate more heat and lower voltage, potentially resulting in not enough power to your end device and increased insertion loss. The poor workmanship of CCA cables can also lead to bit errors and faulty links.


Just as important, however, is the safety issue. Standard cables are tested rigorously for the risk of fire damage and spreading. CCA cables typically are not, and it’s easy to see how catastrophic a cable fire can be for your business.


How to Identify CCA Cable

If the cable you buy is significantly cheaper than you would expect, that would be a first indicator. In addition, you can scrape the conductor to see if the copper rubs off, revealing aluminum underneath. You can also weigh the cable against cable you know to be real copper, since copper is heavier.


Rather than buying cable yourself and worrying about how you can figure out if it is CCA cable or not, your best bet is to contact a professional communications company to provide and install your cables. Thousands of customers from a wide variety of industries, including finance, real estate, health care and many others, use Intellicom for their unified communication needs. We offer expert communication services and can handle all your cable-related needs and more.


Don’t put your company at risk by attempting unskilled installation of potentially CCA cables. Contact the experts at Intellicom today.

One of the most important factors in having a successful business is having the right security. Technology for building security systems moves so quickly these days that there are even more options when it comes to security and alarm systems for commercial buildings than there were a few years ago.

Seven Security Options to Keep Your Business Safe

Instead of just our top five security systems for 2019, we've compiled a list of the top seven security systems for 2019 you should consider.

1. Outdoor Security Cameras

It all starts with reliable outdoor security cameras. Often, the mere presence of visible outdoor security cameras can deter potential intruders, as they can see right away they are being watched. Make sure your security cameras include High Definition video, cloud storage and optimally, a connection to a 24-hour monitoring station, so you and the authorities can act fast should a break-in attempt occur.

2. Indoor Security Cameras

Unfortunately, criminal activity in your business doesn’t always limit itself to strangers or unauthorized intruders. If you operate a retail establishment, it is especially essential for you to know what is going on inside your building. Reliable indoor security cameras similar to the ones you have mounted outside can serve as a deterrent, as well as help you quickly and accurately identify those in your facility who are misbehaving.

3. Access Control

Access control systems allow you to have a much better grasp over who can and cannot get into various areas of your business at any given time. Many companies are moving toward a biometric model, where entry is keyed to an element that cannot be lost or copied like an employee’s fingerprint or retinal pattern. You can control exactly which individuals can enter which areas at which times and always know who has entered a particular area and when.

4. Intrusion Alarms

Intrusion alarms are among the most basic of commercial building security options, but they can still also be among the most effective. These small-business alarm systems monitor your building and in the case of unauthorized access, set off a loud alarm and alert local authorities. Simple, but an extremely effective deterrent to intruders.

5. Motion Sensors

For areas where a traditional burglar alarm is not practical, motion sensors can quickly and effectively alert you and the authorities when someone is present in a place or at a time in your facility when they should not be.

6. App Controlled Indoor Drones

A new security measure — and one that is quickly growing in popularity — small, camera-enabled drones you control yourself through a simple wireless app are another simple and effective way to keep your eyes on those in your building.

7. Outdoor Security Robots

There's no need for the expense of a human, fallible security guard when you can purchase one or more outdoor security robots to patrol your facility at the locations of your choice. These bots provide 360-degree views and real-time tracking to deter or alert you to any unwanted activity around your facility.

With more than 25 years of experience, Intellicom can help you with all the commercial security system services you need in Raleigh, North Carolina, Charlotte, Research Triangle Park and beyond. We have an extremely experienced, professional staff with more than 80 years of combined experience, some of the highest-tech security solutions in the business and a full commitment to our customers. To learn more, contact us now.

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