I was frankly shocked today when Tom Deaderick, director of OnePartner’s Advanced Technology and Applications Center (ATAC), said that the his new data center was the only Tier 3 or Tier 4 data center to be certified by the Uptime Institute. Tom seemed sure of his information and directed me to a website hosted by the Uptime Institute Professional Services for confirmation.

It turns out that ATAC is the only certified Tier 3 or Tier 4 data center service provider in the U.S. Even more surprising, including ATAC, Uptime Institute Professional Services has certified only two Tier 4 facilities and nine Tier 3 facilities in the U.S. As owners of the Tier certification, Uptime's information is definitive.

These results are especially surprising given the number of data centers that describe themselves as Tier 3 or Tier 4, even in light of the Uptime Institute's aggressive campaign over the last 12 months to reinforce the need for professional certification of Tiers. Mission Critical published an article on the subject last summer. Other publications also supported this effort. I remember wondering afterward how extensive the problem really was. Now I know.

Far from being a rubberstamp, the certification process actually identified single points of failure that ATAC addressed before receiving certification, said Deaderich.

Mission Critical will be providing more detailed coverage of the ATAC data center in a coming issue, which we think will be an opportunity to discuss the ongoing relative priority between true reliability and real energy efficiency.

Deaderick is a believer in the ATAC data center and suggests that purpose-built greenfield data centers will almost always be more energy efficient than private counterparts that often grow organically with the enterprise.

Mission Critical will also be looking closely at this issue in an upcoming webinar.