Environmental Systems Design, Inc. (ESD) has announced that it has been selected by UL to help develop a new data center certification program to certify data centers internationally. The new UL 3223 standard will serve as the basis for the certification program.

“Mass adoption of cloud computing has created a significant new risk: the potential to affect large numbers of companies and individuals in the event of a cloud services provider data center, infrastructure or network failure,” explained Paul Schlattman, senior vice president ESD Consulting. “With such incredible cloud momentum, the potential impact of a wide-spread outage from a major provider grows daily. To mitigate this risk, cloud providers need to address the most common causes of outages, which include human errors, software issues, network downtime, and hardware failure which can result in  corresponding failure of high availability architecture, and, of course, data centers.”

With few existing options to protect the end user, UL is developing a new data center certification program that provides end-user transparency, provider accountability and proper data center documentation to further mitigate operational risk. Through this program, data center owners and operators will further benefit by differentiating their services with the trusted UL brand and will have more performance based options to avoid over-engineering.

The UL Data Center Certification Program will address the continued reliability of key components of critical infrastructure by integrating multiple disciplines to create a comprehensive service. Professionals from technology, engineering, fire and life safety, security, commissioning, and eco-energy backgrounds from around the world are working closely to provide a best in class experience to data center owners and operators.

In 2016, based in part on UL’s own experiences, UL began to consider the development of a program to focus on the reliability and safety of data centers. UL approached ESD to assist in the engineering services portion of the UL Data Center Certification Program. ESD is widely regarded as a thought leader by influencers in the data center engineering, colocation and hyper-scale center industries. Together, UL and ESD deliver superior enterprise expertise, program development and go-to-market strategy.

“ESD is a critical partner to the UL Data Center Certification Program, and we are collaborating on many different levels,” said Chris Hasbrook, vice president and general manager for UL’s Building and Life Safety Technologies division. "We have a good and long relationship with ESD, and we found the ability to work together with ESD to solve client challenges with data centers a natural fit for us."

Raj Gupta, CEO and chairman of ESD stated, “This is really a game changer both for ESD and the data center industry as a whole. We are very excited to have teamed up with UL and the brand that they carry worldwide. UL and ESD have a combined capability that will benefit data center owners and operators as well as end users.”

The combination of UL and ESD services together has also created an aggressive marketing program that will include speaking engagements, advertising, trade shows, and industry sponsorships, according to Schlattman. “There are so many possibilities within this program. Phase I is just the tip of the iceberg,” he said.