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Data Centre Management HKBU
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I Background of Data Centre Management cont d,Centralised Asset Inventory or Repository. A centralised asset inventory or repository is an accurate and authoritative database that. records all data centre assets of a university including application servers network. devices power equipments e g Uninterrupted Power Supply and Heating Ventilating. Air Conditioning HVAC devices By implementing IT asset discover and tracking. function the IT management is able to accurately record data centre assets details such. as hardware software specifications supported IT services target user groups and. interdependences with other universities information systems or operations For large. scale data centres automated asset inventory or repository software is installed to. achieve efficiency and avoid human errors,Capacity Planning. Capacity planning is performed by data centre IT staff to estimate the amount of. information resources required to support the desired levels of services The estimation. leverages the data collected during the capacity monitoring process and requirements. gathered from various academic or administrative departments Effective capacity. planning improves the overall performance and availability of the information systems. hosted within the data centres through identifying underutilised resources and future. capacity needs,Operations, Batch job processing plays a vital role in sustaining the universities daily operations IT. staff working within Data Centre follow defined operational procedures or ad hoc user. requests to execute batch jobs manually or automatically through the use of job. schedulers Completion status of those batch jobs are closely monitored to ensure that. any job failures are timely followed up and resolved. Real Time Data Collection and Monitoring, Various system information hardware status and environmental data are collected. through manual monitoring process or by automated tools With such information data. centre IT staff can perform real time capacity monitoring effective usage trend analysis. and immediate data centre incident response Monitoring and control is a critical element. of maintaining desired availability for universities critical IT services Sophisticated. monitoring software can provide proactive surveillance on the status of data centre. assets enable quick assessment of present situation and notify the appropriate IT staff. should there be any threats that affect the availability of any information systems hosted. within the data centres,Reporting and Communication.
A data centre management solution establishes specific responsibilities for each. functional teams or IT staff and determines clear reporting lines to enable timely. exchange of operational status incidents and management decisions Right IT staff. members are located for handling routine batch tasks ad hoc maintenance requests. installation jobs or urgent problems A regular reporting function with the data centre. management team also feeds IT management with up to date information for better data. centre planning and administration,http www teamquest com pdfs whitepaper tqeb01 pdf. http www ciscosystems net en US solutions collateral ns170 ns896 ns1095 aag c45 647419 pdf. I Background of Data Centre Management cont d, Key Benefits Achieved through Effective Data Centre Management. Cost and Energy Saving Idle servers or devices do not contribute any value to. universities yet they still consume energy With a centralised asset inventory or. repository universities are able to detect unused equipments and decide whether. they should be turned off or re commissioned for other services. Meanwhile with proper capacity planning universities can determine the exact. requirements for the support of daily operations and level of services It helps to. identify underutilised resources so that they can be consolidated or re purposed. instead of unilaterally increasing the IT operational expenditure for acquiring. additional assets, Reduced Server Downtime Server downtime impacts on the availability of. universities information systems and reduces the level of services provided to their. students staff or other related parties A service interruption may be caused by. physical sabotage malfunctioned server software bugs environmental hazards or. scheduled installation upgrade reconfiguration Well established physical security. controls over the data centres can effectively prevent unauthorised physical access. attempts Comprehensive HAVC equipments enable fast detection or recovery from. environmental hazards Regular monitoring assists IT management in identifying. malfunctioned hardware or software timely and initiate the incident response. procedure Capacity planning allows better anticipation of future resource needs and. prevents forced addition or hot swapping of resources due to overload. Increased Productivity A comprehensive data centre management solution brings. efficiency in resource usage and allocation Underutilised or unused equipments are. re commissioned for other resource demanding services Overloaded systems are. timely detected and allocated with additional capacity Therefore higher. productivity is gained through efficient provisioning of information resources. including processing storing and networking, Improved Security Information security of data centres are enhanced when most. known vulnerabilities or weakness are considered during a comprehensive data. centre planning phase The mitigating strategies are then incorporated into the data. centre management solutions and continuously enforced by IT management. Compliance Universities are required to maintain compliance with regulatory. mandates e g Personal Data Privacy Ordinance information security standards. e g ISO 27001 or other internal IT governance policies A data centre. management solution can incorporate compliance requirements into its operational. procedures and assign specific responsibilities to IT staff members with proper. qualifications,http www teamquest com pdfs whitepaper tqeb01 pdf.
II Risk Factors in Data Centre Management in Universities. While data centre management is a cost saving approach and brings a lot benefits. including increased productivity higher reliability improved security and compliance. however there are risks that may make the universities vulnerable to attack Some. common factors that increase the risk exposure of data centres are. System and Technology Complexity, Universities IT environments are growing more complex that may result in the. proliferation of servers systems and devices Different operating systems and. management tools make IT management difficult to integrate with existing data. centre management framework and create interoperation problems Through the. expansion of universities IT services additional devices and or protocols in the. data centres also cause more complexity increasing the need for more management. effort and skilled IT staff, Without properly designed data centre management solution that addresses the. complexity within universities data centres issues such as inappropriate operational. procedures incompetent IT staff and gaps in communication may arise Eventually. these issues will lead to greater risks of service interruptions security flaws and. system damages due to human errors or incompatibilities. Virtualisation, One popular strategy for data centre management field is virtualisation that can. effectively increases the utilisation of data centre resources and achieve the cost. energy saving objective However the flip side of this technology is the increased. channels for attacks i e hosting multiple virtual machines on a single physical. machine increases the attack surface in the virtual environment increased difficulty. in change management controls of information system residing in virtualised. platform more complicated IT asset discovery and tracking process and data. confidentiality problem due to the sharing of physical server infrastructures. Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity, In the event of a disaster or major service interruption data centres require. consistent and reliable replication of IT equipments to sustain universities IT. operations and services which usually consumes costly resources. Without efficient allocation and management of the resources required for disaster. recovery and business continuity the reliability and availability of universities. information systems cannot be guaranteed within a cost constraint Additionally. unavailability of resources will render the disaster recovery or business continuity. plans ineffective of which universities may not be aware. http www cxo eu com article Data centre design improved performance efficiency. JUCC Newsletter for IT Professionals Virtualisation Page 4. III Risk Factors in Data Centre Management in Universities cont d. Growing Size, Generally speaking growth of universities information infrastructures will result in.
physical space crunch in the data centres as well as increases the consumption of. energy More networking more servers and more storage continue to occupy costly. floor space and consume higher power On the other hand such growth often. indicates additional management effort and IT staff resources to perform routine. operational jobs monitoring security checks and maintenance A data centre. management solution with poorly segregated functional teams and inefficient. management utilities may be incapable of handling the increased data centre sizes. Remote Access, Continuous and uninterrupted information access services such as e learning are. provided by most universities today The always on and always ready service mode. needs high system availability Remote data centre management tools allow IT staff. to instantly access to information systems without physically entering the data. centres However the flexibility and convenience of remote access also raises. security concerns Successful attacks by exploiting the vulnerabilities of remote data. centre management tools can grant hackers with privileged access to universities. critical information systems,Related Article,Data Centre Security A 10 point Checklist. Whether you are a hosting co locating or running your own data centre security. issues seems to persist Not only do you need to keep data safe and meet service. level agreements but the cost of a breach is also high That cost will vary depending. on a number of factors such as the type of breach or how you value your data. According to the Ponemon Institute s Annual Cost of a Data Breach study the cost. of a breach in 2009 was US 202 per personal record an amount made up of what. the institute describes as direct indirect and opportunity costs from the loss or theft. of personal information, Yet securing a data centre is a huge task that includes physical as well as electronic. and procedural issues Here is a 10 point checklist to help you verify that your. security arrangements cover the key areas, See the article http www zdnet co uk news security. management 2010 04 19 datacentre security a 10 point checklist 40088570. http www cxo eu com article Data centre design improved performance efficiency. http www eepublishers co za images upload Securing 20remote 20data pdf. III Exploitations on Data Centre Management, Vulnerabilities of data centres are found in their physical security systems devices.
hosted and management procedures implemented Several common exploitation. techniques are illustrated below,1 Back Door, Data centre procedures developed by the IT staff that may have flaws that can create. back door vulnerabilities Exploitation on such weakness can inadvertently. introduce security breaches and result in financial loss or repartition damage to. universities, A backup operation provides a good example of how data centre management can. be exploited by insecure backup process IT staff usually overlook the security of. tape backup infrastructures which may contain vulnerabilities and can be exploited. to create disastrous consequences Since the execution of the backup task that. usually requires escalated system privileges at the operating systems network data. repository and application system levels Malicious parties can take advantage of. this security weakness through penetrating flawed backup infrastructure to gain. access to universities sensitive data, 2 Attacks on Remote Access to Data Centre Management. Exploitations on remote access technologies used for data centre management are in. many forms Known attacking techniques include, Use of Virtual Private Network VPN access of terminated staff to gain. access to data centre systems or management tools, Offline password cracking through decrypting the hash data received from VPN.
servers with Internet Key Exchange IKE Aggressive Mode Shared Secret. Hash Leakage Weakness, Denial of Service DoS attack on Secure Sockets Layer SSL based VPN. can be achieved by using hidden attack packets which was undetectable by. Intruder Detection Systems IDS For example disguise malformed Internet. Security Association and Key Management Protocol ISAKMP headers as. standard IKE headers, Login guess attack on Windows Remote Desktop by hackers. 3 Social Engineering, As of today social engineering still remains as the biggest cyber threats to. information security As opposed to DoS and other remote hacking techniques. social engineering involves obtaining physical or logical access to data centre assets. via manipulating IT staff relevant to data centre management rather than by. breaking in or using technical cracking approaches Some social engineering. techniques frequently used by hackers include piggybacking penetrating data centre. by getting a job within the data centre management team and disguising as vendor. support personnel for performing maintenance services inside data centres. http www computereconomics com article cfm id 1112. http www ncp e com fileadmin pdf techpapers NCP Attack Vectors WP pdf. http www eepublishers co za images upload Securing 20remote 20data pdf. http www nta monitor com posts 2005 01 VPN Flaws Whitepaper pdf. http www pcworld com article 182180 top 5 social engineering exploit techniques html Page 6. IV Hardening Steps for Data Centre Management, To ensure that data centres meet the reliability and performance needs of universities. and achieve the comprehensive protection from various security threats a number of. aspects should be taken into the consideration during the design and implementation of. the data centre management solutions,Environmental Control.
Temperature and Humidity, The temperature of each computer room within the data centre is recommended to. be controlled between 20 and 24 degrees celsius and a humidity between 40 and. Fire Protection, Halon FM 200 or other total flooding agent solution should be deployed in each. computer room within the data centres Fire extinguishers should be located. strategically across the data centres Wet pipe sprinkler systems must not be used. Emergency power off switches should be available inside each computer room of. the data centres,Flood Protection, Whenever possible raised floors should be used in the data centres Water detectors. should be installed beneath the raised floors,Physical Security. Location of Data Centre, The locations of data centres should be carefully selected to reduce the risk of.
accidental or deliberate trespass by the unauthorised parties The data centres should. not have obvious signs It is best to have concrete walls without windows If there. are windows universities should use those areas for administrative purposes only. Data centres are also recommended to be located where the risk of external threats. such as flooding is low,Surveillance, There should be Closed Circuit Television CCTV cameras outside the data. centre monitoring the entrance and inside the data centre Security guards should be. hired to monitor the perimeter of data centres and report any incidents to IT. management on a timely basis, http www sans org reading room whitepapers awareness data center physical security checklist 416. IV Hardening Steps for Data Centre Management cont d. Physical Access Control Device, Lockers or key card access systems should be used to restrict the access to data. centres to authorised personnel only The best practice is to have two factor. authentication systems such as key card access systems with individual personnel. identification number PIN for each access card holder Other systems like. biometric e g fingerprint access control products can also be implemented to. achieve this objective,Assignment of Physical Access Rights. The IT management of universities should ensure that physical access is restricted. to personnel on an as needed basis Tiered approach can be deployed by granting IT. staff with physical access to different segments of the data centres based on their job. functions Only the IT staff members who absolutely need to operate with. information system servers or network devices directly should gain physical access. to the room hosting the servers, The IT management should also review the authorised personnel with physical.
access to the data centres on a regular basis e g quarterly or annually to detect any. discrepancies,Disaster Recovery,Disaster Recovery Plan. Universities should develop disaster recovery plans for their data centres and ensure. that the plans are regularly tested reviewed and updated at least on an annual basis. IT management should ensure sufficient backup resources are available to support. the disaster recovery plan,Offsite Backup, Regular offsite backups of essential data should be performed by the IT department. The IT management should establish a set of operational procedure to define the. scope frequency media and restoration of offsite backup process. Remote Data Centre Management,Logical Security Requirement. A secure remote data centre management solution should support one or more of the. following capabilities,Remote authentication dial in user service. Lightweight directory access protocol, Breach prevention modes programmable response to port scans pings.
Internet protocol IP and Firewall packet filtering. http www sans org reading room whitepapers awareness data center physical security checklist 416. http www eepublishers co za images upload Securing 20remote 20data pdf. IV Hardening Steps for Data Centre Management cont d. Dual factor authentication,IP security tunnelling, Comprehensive data logging and event notification features and. Other features necessary to support your security policy. Some popular data centre management products with remote access features. available on the market are Microsoft System Centre IBM System Director. VMControl and Avocent,IT Staff Training, Sufficient training program should be provided to IT staff members so that they are. adequately equipped with knowledge and skills to perform the monitoring. configuration installation and maintain tasks for systems and devices hosted within. the data centres, If data centre management software is used IT management should ensure that. comprehensive instruction manual and training courses are offered by vendors prior. to deploying the software in production,Operational Procedures. IT management should establish a set of operational procedures related to data. centre management functions For example routine monitoring of system health IT. asset tracking visitor logging and capacity planning These operational procedures. should include the detailed steps required for the performance of specific tasks and. any necessary information such as prerequisite s of each step expected system. return code and explanations on error messages, http indiasecure in sites default files Best 20Practices Data 20Center 20Security 0 pdf.
To meet the challenges of higher density information systems dynamic processing. workloads and the need for more efficient energy consumption it is necessary for. universities to have a management solution that operates data centres at minimum cost. and in a secure manner, A holistic data centre management solution can maximise the universities capacity to. control their data centre spending to preserve desired IT service level and to utilise IT. assets more effectively Such solution should combine proper data centre planning. committed management involvement competent IT staff and usage of sophisticated. management tools Various hardening steps should also be implemented at. environmental physical logical and procedural levels to reinforce the data centre. Copyright Statement, All material in this document is unless otherwise stated the property of the Joint Universities Computer Centre JUCC. Copyright and other intellectual property laws protect these materials Reproduction or retransmission of the materials in. whole or in part in any manner without the prior written consent of the copyright holder is a violation of copyright law. A single copy of the materials available through this document may be made solely for personal noncommercial use. Individuals must preserve any copyright or other notices contained in or associated with them Users may not distribute such. copies to others whether or not in electronic form whether or not for a charge or other consideration without prior written. consent of the copyright holder of the materials Contact information for requests for permission to reproduce or distribute. materials available through this document are listed below. copyright jucc edu hk,Joint Universities Computer Centre Limited JUCC. Room 223 Run Run Shaw Building,c o Computer Centre The University of Hong Kong.

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