Sun Life Financial completes Tier Certification of Constructed Facility and receives Tier III award from Uptime Institute

Posted by Sarah Lee Thomas | Posted in Uptime Institute Awards, Uptime Institute Certifications and Consulting, Uptime Institute Clients, Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 21-01-2014

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Uptime Institute awards the Sun Life Financial Waterloo Data Centre Tier III Certified Constructed Facility (TCCF). Sun Life Financial is a leading international financial services company, offering a diverse range of insurance and investment products. The Waterloo facility is the organization’s primary data center for internal and external business processes.

A couple of years prior, Uptime Institute performed a Condition, Capacity, and Capability (3Cs) review, to give Sun Life Financial a better picture of how the data center measured up against the organization’s Tier III goal. Using the 3Cs, Sun Life Financial identified gaps and developed a plan to upgrade the existing data center to meet Tier III requirements.

The first milestone in the Certification process is Tier Certification of Design Documents (TCDD). Sun Life Financial completed this step during the first half of 2013, paving the way for the next milestone—TCCF. FOIL-R_SLF6791_Waterloo_TCDD_TIII_130503_RGBWhat is TCCF?

After receiving the Tier III TCDD award, Sun Life Financial upgraded the existing data center with no down time.

Sun Life Financial successfully completed the TCCF process with no issues or impact to operations. Executing on its design documents, Sun Life Financial installed multiple upgrades, including new switch boards, UPS systems, an engine generator, and static transfer switches. The upgrades—along with testing  and demonstrations—were performed off-hours with minimal impact on business operations. As a result of the upgrades, the team can now perform regular maintenance without impacting day-to-day business. Planned maintenance is critical to ensuring any data center meets its availability requirements.

Sun Life Financial also won a Server Roundup Award in 2013. The annual Uptime Institute Server Roundup contest was launched in October 2011 to raise awareness about the removal and recycling of comatose and obsolete IT equipment in an effort to reduce data center energy use.


Sun Life Financial removed 387 servers in 2012, which resulted in 32 kilowatts of power savings across three data centers and financial savings of approximately $8,800 per month.

Since the contest’s launch two years ago, Server Roundup participants have decommissioned and recycled 30,000 units of obsolete IT equipment.

Flash storage poised to disrupt your data center

Posted by Jeannette Beltran | Posted in 451 Research, Uptime Institute Events, Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 05-09-2013

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This blog is the second in a series of blog posts highlighting keynote presentations from Uptime Institute Symposium 2013.

Flash storage – it’s the emerging technology with the most potential to seriously disrupt your data center, according to a keynote presentation delivered at Uptime Institute Symposium 2013. Flash storage is very low on power and space utilization, and is 10 times faster than the fastest disk. And though the current price is cost-prohibitive for many organizations, that’s expected to change. According to 451 Research’s Andy Lawrence, within three to five years, the price of flash storage should be on par with that of the fastest disk storage. “You should be preparing for flash in your data centers,” Lawrence said in his keynote, “The Disrupted Data Center: Ten Technologies That Might Change Data Centers Forever.”

When Lawrence and his team at 451 Research set out to determine which technologies may disrupt the data center industry, they focused on what will likely have an impact in the next five to 20 years, and based their analysis on three metrics:

– How big will the impact be?
– How fast will it happen?
– How likely is it to happen?

So why should we be concerned with the technologies that might be disruptive 10, 15 years from now? Because research shows that half of data center costs are invested up-front – so failing to prepare for a future disruptive technology can turn into a major liability down the road.

In addition to flash storage, Lawrence covers nine other technologies with the potential to make waves in the industry, including advanced DCIM, cloud-level resiliency and chiller-free data centers. And even if your organization hasn’t seen much change yet, doesn’t mean it’s not coming. The data center IS already being disrupted, Lawrence said.

This means that “capacity planning is absolutely critical” for the entire digital infrastructure, according to Lawrence, especially if you want stay competitive with cloud providers and the economies of scale they’re able to provide. In the data center industry it’s easy to stay focused on the infrastructure level, but organizations need to begin assessing these key technologies now.

Click here for more information on 451 Research’s Data Center Technologies team, and access to reports.

2013 Data Center Survey Results, Symposium videos available

Posted by Jeannette Beltran | Posted in Uptime Institute Events, Uptime Institute Publications and Research, Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 14-08-2013

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At Symposium 2013 in May, Director of Content Matt Stansberry presented the preliminary results of the third annual Uptime Institute Data Center Industry Survey. This year’s survey asked approximately 1,000 facilities managers, IT managers and industry executives questions on a range of data center- and IT-related topics. The survey reveals some significant and even surprising findings. Of the information Matt covers in his keynote, “State of the Data Center 2013 Survey Results,” there were three big takeaways.

–          DCIM adoption is skyrocketing. The survey has the number at 38% adoption and 32% planning to adopt within the next two years, with capacity planning being the No. 1 driver. Capacity planning mistakes can be costly, and many seem to be implementing DCIM software in hopes of reducing potential errors.

–          Green IT is important in theory rather than in practice. While the majority of respondents described reducing data center energy use as “very important” — especially in Asia and EMEA, less so in North America – organizations haven’t   adopted a financial structure to drive further efficiency. In recent years many facilities managers have made great strides in cutting energy consumption, but with only 16% of IT departments responsible for the power bill, there is currently little incentive to reduce the IT load.

–          Performance and cost reporting is critical to keeping your job. Data center budgets are growing, but much of this money is going toward third-party data center services. The growing appeal of third-party options threatens the jobs of enterprise data center staff, but survey data suggests that operators of enterprise-owned data centers may not be doing all they can to keep operations in-house. A surprising 40% of enterprise data center operators have NO plans to report their cost and performance levels to their executives. Even if it’s in your company’s best interest to continue with enterprise data centers, the C-suite won’t know about it unless you report it. If this trend doesn’t change, it’s enterprise data center jobs on the line.    

The Symposium keynote only scratches the surface of the information you’ll find in this year’s full report on the survey results, however. To download the full PDF, click here.

In the coming weeks on this blog, I’ll highlight the other keynote sessions from Uptime Institute Symposium 2013 with embedded full-length videos and some of my thoughts on the information these speakers present. The videos, along with the slide decks from nearly all the Symposium sessions, have been available to Symposium 2013 attendees since June. But in September, we’ll be releasing a PDF to the general public that showcases all the great presentations from this year’s Symposium. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to access this content from some of the most respected thought leaders in the industry.

You can download the presentations from Symposium 2012 right now!

Also in September, we’ll begin publishing more details about the content of the next Uptime Institute Symposium. If you weren’t able to make it to Santa Clara for Symposium this year, do consider attending in 2014 – the high-quality content and opportunities to network and share ideas make Symposium a fantastic investment for your company and your career.

The Uptime Institute Journal: Tales from the Data Center Industry

Posted by Kevin Heslin | Posted in Uncategorized, Uptime Institute Accredited Tier Training, Uptime Institute Network, Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 12-08-2013


After just a few months at Uptime Institute, I have learned that it has a great story to tell. Wait, no, great stories. And the number of stories grows almost exponentially when its affiliation with 451 Research is considered. Surprisingly, though, until recently Uptime Institute had no truly public and lasting vehicle in which to tell its story.

(From left) Uptime Institute's Kevin Heslin, Matt Stansberry and Julian Kudritzki with the first issue of The Uptime Institute Journal at Symposium 2013.

(From left) Uptime Institute’s Kevin Heslin, Matt Stansberry and Julian Kudritzki with the first issue of The Uptime Institute Journal at Symposium 2013.

In May, we launched the The Uptime Institute Journal, a new publication in which we will spotlight some of the fascinating ideas, practices, and techniques that industry professionals share with us.  The Uptime Institute Journal aims to showcase notable projects, recognize individual and team accomplishments, and provide peer-to-peer knowledge sharing and innovation within the global data center industry. In our first issue, for example, we highlighted design ideas from distinguished Accredited Tier Designers (ATDs) around the world.

You can order a copy of the first issue of The Uptime Institute Journal by visiting our website.

The next issue, due out in October, will feature contributions from Uptime Institute Network members. In this issue, readers will find observations about operations and maintenance practices shared by Network members, plus information about other Uptime Institute programs, such as the Server Roundup, FORCSS, and the M&O stamp.

In future issues, we will continue to look at Network activities, while fully honoring the member non-disclosure issue, Tier Certifications, the ATD and Accredited Tier Specialist programs, Uptime Institute research programs, and conclusions drawn from our data-gathering activities.

Shots from the first half of Uptime Institute Symposium 2013

Posted by mstansberry | Posted in Uptime Institute Symposium | Posted on 15-05-2013

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It’s been an exciting few days in the opening of Uptime Institute Symposium 2013. We have a stellar lineup of speakers this year, and the content has been fantastic so far. Here are just a few images from the last few days.