Uptime Institute (Institute) today introduces a new standard for data center  owners, operators, and managers: Tier Standard: Operational Sustainability. This Standard addresses  the facility’s management behaviors and risks that affect long-term data center uptime by aligning the  infrastructure’s capabilities, as defined by the Tier Classification System (I-IV), with its ongoing  management.  

  “The Institute’s Tier Classification System ensures a data center facility is designed and built to deliver  uptime in accordance with its business requirements; Operational Sustainability ensures the site is  managed to sustain that level of availability over the long-term,” said Julian Kudritzki, vice president,  Uptime Institute, LLC. “Another benefit of the Operational Sustainability Standard is that the risks and  behaviors are prioritized to help owners and operators maximize staffing and budget resources.” 

  The Institute created Tier Standard: Operational Sustainability in response to data center operators’  needs for an industry standard to minimize operational risk and maximize uptime. The Institute’s Owners  Advisory Committee (OAC), which is composed of 29 global data center owners, has reviewed the  Standard and will adjudicate any changes.  

  The Operational Sustainability Standard, which works in tandem with the Institute’s international Tier  Classification System, is structured around the three most influential Elements of a data center’s ongoing  performance in the following prioritized order: Management & Operations, Building Characteristics, and  Site Location. 

  Each of the three Operational Sustainability Elements has multiple categories and components pertinent  to a data center’s Tier level. Detailed tables are provided in Tier Standard: Operational Sustainability.  Following are summaries of these Elements: 

  o Management & Operations: Staffing and organization; maintenance processes and procedures;  training; and planning, coordination, and management. 

o Building Characteristics: Building features that include the condition, age, and type of structure;  design principles; and the operational conditions of the equipment.  

o Site Location: Potential local or regional natural and/or man-made disasters and corresponding  mitigation plans. This includes everything from the likelihood of a tornado or flood to a disruptive  accident at a nearby railroad system. 

  The weighting of the potential impact of the Elements is based on analysis of the Institute’s Abnormal  Incident Reports (AIRs) database. AIRs are ‘lessons learned’ from thousands of reported data center  incidents at live, high-performance facilities around the world. AIRs analysis demonstrates that 70% of the  reported outages are directly attributable to human error, which is addressed by the Management &  Operations Element of the Operational Sustainability Standard. 

The Tier Classification System, as established in Tier Standard: Topology, defines data centers in  accordance with four Tier levels (I-IV). According to this rating system, Tier IV sites are capable of the  highest level of uptime by providing both maintenance opportunities and fault response. The Operational  Sustainability Standard establishes risk mitigation and site management behaviors by Tier level. Tier  Standard: Operational Sustainability also offers the global data center marketplace a universal rating  system for evaluating, comparing and promoting a data center’s ongoing operational capabilities based  on its Tier objective. These ratings-Gold, Silver, Bronze-are designed to complement the Tier  Classification, e.g., Tier III Gold.  

  Tier Standard: Operational Sustainability is a downloadable tool available to the industry at no charge.  Operational Sustainability assessments and Certifications are provided exclusively by Uptime Institute  Professional Services.