Georgia Tech Police Department
Managing Campus Facility Access within a Virtual Server Environment
The Georgia Institute of Technology is one of the nation’s top research universities, recognized for its excellence in science and technology. Georgia Tech’s campus occupies 400 acres in the heart of Atlanta, with 900 full-time instructional faculty and more than 20,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The Georgia Tech Police Department (GTPD) is responsible for ensuring campus safety and building security 24/7 and is responsible for managing access to more than 1,800 doors across multiple campuses, buildings and parking garages using the Georgia Tech BuzzCard access control system.
Georgia Tech’s campus buildings were controlled by proprietary door hardware, which locked GTPD into an inefficient physical access control system (PACS) supported by a single regional vendor. The existing software-based PACS required building managers to assign access control privileges from a specific workstation, with limited web browser support. The legacy, Windows-based PACS server required continual IT support and maintenance, weekly and monthly security patches and significant vulnerability testing before deploying software updates. All of these factors limited the effectiveness of GTPD’s access control system as well as the productivity of its IT and security teams.
GTPD deployed RedCloud Virtual to leverage its virtual IT infrastructure, reduce system maintenance and simplify facility access management.
GTPD worked with ICE Automation Group, a supplier of integrated automation solutions, to identify a cost-effective, web-based access control platform that could run in GTPD’s virtual server environment. GTPD selected RedCloud Virtual, a VMware Ready access control solution purpose-built for organizations that have migrated their IT infrastructure to a secure, private cloud environment. GTPD further leveraged RedCloud Virtual’s support for open, non-proprietary door hardware to future-proof its investment and regain control of its access control system.
After an initial pilot deployment, GTPD converted 60 doors in the Student Health Center and the Institute of Paper and Science Technology (IPST) to the RedCloud Virtual access control platform. RedCloud Virtual synchronizes card access credentials with Georgia Tech’s centralized identity management system. IT administrators are now able to partition role-based access control privileges by building,
course schedule or time of day and no longer need to maintain standalone application and database servers.
Building managers can now assign and remove card access privileges, modify door schedules and have the ability to stream surveillance video from its Pelco Endura IP cameras through a 100% browser-based web interface that is accessible anytime, anywhere from desktops, laptops and mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets with Internet access.
Now that Georgia Tech has a physical access control system that meets the needs of its IT and security teams, GTPD plans to roll out RedCloud Virtual to another 100 panels in the next 3-4 months with a couple hundred panels brought online by the end of the year.