They go by many names. Security Operations Center (SOC), Security Command Center, Security Control Room, Global Command Center (GCC), Control Room, Command & Control Room, and Command & Control Center (CCC or C3) are just some of the variations used. We will use SOC in our discussion for brevity. As varied as the names are, for the most part, the functions are the same; to provide situational awareness for the facility, complex, site, or even multiple sites spread out across the globe. This situational awareness is provided through the use of video surveillance systems, access control systems, intrusion detection systems, and security communications systems (the basics), as well as visitor management systems, weather, news, and dashboards providing network intelligence, cyber security, and/or web & social intelligence.
SOCs often have consoles developed using technical furniture manufactured for these specific purposes. An effective SOC will have sufficient room to allow for frequent maintenance and technology upgrades, movement of staff, and the housing of support equipment that may have distance limitations to consider.
The design of the technical furniture that houses the equipment must address consider equipment placement (workstations, monitors, keyboards and mouse, equipment clearances (for code compliance, safety, and equipment maintenance), equipment power, cable management, number and location of operators (sitting and standing positions) for monitoring and control the various systems, sight lines, and ergonomic design (reach and potential back and neck strain).
Manufacturers offer software that can assist in the visualization of equipment racks and consoles and may even provide 3D families compatible with Building Information Management (BIM) System software. Some of the images provided in this article are 3D renderings created in Revit, one of the more popular BIM software applications. Using the Revit compatible families, we can visualize, check dimensions, look at sight lines, check angles, and quickly adjust the design to accommodate the various workstations, monitors, and PCs, server, and storage hardware required to build an integrated electronic security system.
The process begins with understanding what systems will be implemented in the SOC to provide the level of situational awareness that the client needs, then to prioritize these systems in terms or importance and frequency of use. One that is understood, equipment dimensions must be gathered. If it is an existing space, the physical constrains must be understood. (Sometimes we have to work with very small spaces.) Once we have this information in front of us, we can begin laying out the consoles and equipment racks in the space provided.
Below are some photos of completed work as well as some computer rendering of projects that have not been photographed or are still in design. Design of SOCs is one of the more challenging and satisfying tasks we do.
Some of the latest development in technical furniture are Sit Stand Consoles that raise the working surface and monitors up from a sitting position to a standing position at the push of a button, and back down again when the operator is ready to sit again. This is in response to health recommendations for those who work sitting at a desk for long periods of time to get up and move around frequently.