Install of high security server safes to house public sector data


Born from an idea for the first commercially viable typewriter, Unisys has evolved to help businesses and governments protect their assets and apply IT to achieve new levels of competitiveness and success.

The company exists to optimise infrastructure, simplify management and transform business processes whilst helping to navigate clients through the ever changing digital landscape, emerging technologies and continually redefined ‘data centre’.

Now considered a global leader, Unisys operates in 43 countries with data centres in the US, Sweden and two sites in Milton Keynes, UK.


As the data centre industry continues to evolve, footprints within the computer room can and will continue to decrease. Also gaining momentum is the ever-growing threat of a physical attack to security and corporate espionage.

As a result of these two factors developing, Unisys required a footprint-reducing solution to house the data from their most security-conscious clients in the public sector.


The requirements of Unisys did not begin and end with the physical security and features of the proposed solution but too included the practicality and ease of install. 2bm was challenged to find a solution that is on one hand strong and durable enough to withstand physical attacks and keep extraneous persons out of the rack, but on the other hand could be flat-packed to be easily transported up the flights of stairs to the computer room and built.

In addition, as Unisys was keen to find a secure solution that could be retrofitted into their legacy Fox Milne site as well as their newer St Just site, it was soon apparent that the legacy facility, built in 1997, would need to be modernised in some way in order for it to house the new installation.


2bm has installed a total of 12 Ventis Server Safes across Unisys’ two UK data centres, Fox Milne and St Just, Milton Keynes. Approved for Government use by CPNI and used by various police forces nationwide, the Ventis Server Safe is designed around the principle of a safe, not a cage. The high security safes are suitable for servers, sensitive data and all 19” rack mounted equipment.

As the cabinets weigh approximately 500kg empty, before the rack install commenced 2bm’s team of engineers strengthened the room’s floor to take the weight of the cabinets, and cut holes to aid cable management.

The logistics of getting the Ventis server safes inside the data hall was of paramount importance to Unisys and a contributing factor when making a final decision between solutions. The fact that the Ventis Server Safes come fl at packed and delivered on a pallet in parts appealed as they are less likely to become damaged during transportation, as well as reduce possibility of damaging any walls etc. in the data centre.

As an attractive alternative to a cage, the Ventis safe not only reduces footprint in Unisys’ facility but also offers a more cost-effective solution in both the short and the long-term when compared to a traditional cage structure. Inside the safe, Unisys now has 45U rack mounts to mount server equipment or shelves.

In addition the ventilated front and rear door sections have approximately 60% free airspace contributing to the safes passing Sun Microsystems’ tests for ventilation levels, without the need for additional fans and cooling.


After working closely with 2bm for nearly a decade, we knew they were more than qualified to not only provide an informed and tailored solution, but to complete the installation process seamlessly.

For what we wanted to achieve, the Ventis Server Safe was the perfect fit. We can now sleep soundly at night knowing that our most high profile clients’ data is secured to the maximum capability.

Chris Stevens - Systems Support Analyst, Unisys

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