“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.