Passing Our Physical. How Operational Technology Is Transforming Physical Security

by: VMware Senior Manager PS&R Systems and Technology Philip J. Jang and VMware Head of Physical Security & Resiliency (PS&R) Prasad Saranjame

The traditional physical security industry is full of manual processes and legacy systems that seldom take advantage of modern technology. VMware’s Physical Security & Resiliency (PS&R) team aims to change all that with a series of initiatives, both technological and operational in nature.

Seeing things in a whole new way

The first is an implementation of VMware Project Dimension. This answers two of the oldest niche market arguments against the video surveillance industry changing to a Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) infrastructure model: Camera-to-server bandwidth consumption and high-cost storage requirements.

The key is the Dell EMC and VMware partnership that keeps the bandwidth local and allows storage to be sent to a Tier 2 cloud solution, all while keeping the computing and resources at the edge. This, for the first time ever, brings the benefits of SDDC infrastructure to the video surveillance world without the bandwidth and high storage cost issues. These benefits include centralized management, virtual hardware scalability, load balancing, auto scaling, virtual graphics processing units (vGPUs), virtual segmentation and change management agility. The solutions can also help significantly lower overall costs.

In addition, test deployments of drones and robots (to enhance security of our campuses and events) are also in the works.

Getting smart about the colleague experience using IoT

As our digital transformation progresses at VMware, Operational Technology (OT) and Internet of Things (IoT) technologies are taking more prominent roles. We envision several key use cases for OT/IoT, all currently in the proof-of-concept (PoC) stage.

For example, we are deploying the internally developed VMware Passport app through VMware Workspace ONE® to improve the colleague (employee) experience with seamless physical authentication and door unlock. We are also enhancing building efficiency and improving space utilization (including conference rooms and offices) by using occupancy sensors and advanced analytics. And we are capitalizing on an intelligent facilities surveillance solution to improve security, cost efficiency and scalability.

To help bring these use cases to life, we established an enterprise OT/IoT forum that is eliminating silos and driving better alignment across key OT groups, such as Real Estate and Workplace (REW), the aforementioned PS&R and Sustainability. We’re also integrating OT and IT by enabling OT teams to leverage existing IT processes for enterprise architecture, privacy, security and vendor management so teams can execute faster while reducing business risk. And we are kicking off an enterprise implementation of the VMware Pulse™ IoT Center—a secure, enterprise-grade edge infrastructure and IoT device management solution that will enable lifecycle management of all IoT and Edge devices across the company.

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