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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. What 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.]]>
Tier Certification is an unbiased, third-party validation of each and every system, providing assurances that there are not shortfalls or weak links anywhere in the data center infrastructure. Facility Certification confirms that the facility was constructed, not just designed, to meet an organization’s chosen availability objective.
What is TCCF?
Uptime Institute Senior Consultant Debbie Seidman said that, “EBRC was prepared and overall, the demonstrations went well. They were interested to learn from the Uptime Institute team and take the knowledge gained from this site to improve future sites and enhance design, operations and maintenance.”
The Tier-specific demonstrations enhanced the commissioning process. One example was demonstrations with differing UPS module configurations (what modules were isolated and which modules were in operation). Other tests performed included operating for a period without the chiller to verify continuous cooling chilled-water storage capacity for the Tier IV requirement. The demonstrations verified sufficiently sized chilled-water storage for continuous cooling upon loss of utility power. The chillers are not on UPS power and will shut down on loss of utility power. After power switches to engine-generator sources, the chillers need several minutes to fully restart and run. During this time, the thermal storage provided chilled water to meet the cooling loads. During this continuous cooling demonstration, the chilled water pumps and CRAH fans were proven to continue operating on UPS power.
“What impressed me most about this project is not the ‘stuff,’ it is the people,” said Ed Rafter, Uptime Institute Principal. “The most compelling message taken from this EBRC TCCF demonstration is not the technical capabilities of the facility, which are significant, but the sense of commitment of management and the engineering personnel. Bruno Fery, EBRC Head of Datacentre Services, has sincerely empowered his engineering staff. They are truly significant contributors for the successful execution of the data center design, construction, and commissioning. Mr. Fery is one of those rare managers who relies on his people and they have risen to the challenge.”
Mr. Rafter went on to say, “All high-performance organizations are committed to their human assets’ contribution to the organization, but EBRC exemplifies this corporate thinking and culture. I expect we will hear much more on EBRC and their successes.”
EBRC Uptime Institute Certifications]]>
Members of the Uptime Institute Network (a knowledge community of data center operators and executives) have described the challenge of attracting, training and retaining staff as chronic.
As the data center industry faces a global shortfall in qualified candidates, veterans represent a unique resource pool to address what many inside and outside the Uptime Institute see as an impending crisis of experience in data center operations. Uptime Institute has undertaken multiple initiatives to raise awareness for both veterans and those looking to fill vacant positions in data centers.
In the latest Uptime Institute Journal (V2), Lee Kirby, Retired Army Colonel and Uptime Institute SVP of Facilities Management, makes a case for veterans as data center talent and provides a practical course of action for those organizations interested in pursuing. Download Kirby’s article, “Resolving the Personnel Shortage in the Data Center Industry” here.
Before joining the Uptime Institute, Mr. Kirby founded Salute, Inc. an organization dedicated to hiring veterans for data center services with data center cleaning as the first entry position and progressing to installation and select maintenance services requiring disciplined labor.
Uptime Institute Network has formed a Veterans Subcommittee to proactively alert veterans to positions available with the data center industry. This is one remedy for the longstanding concern of Uptime Institute Network Members that the data center industry is hidden from those seeking to advance their careers in critical facilities engineering and management. Through this subcommittee, an impressive list of companies have committed to bridging veterans and data centers.
Uptime Institute is also organizing a forum to connect veterans with specific data center opportunities. For more information on Uptime Institute’s veterans activities, please contact Lee Kirby: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.uptimeinstitute.com/home/veterans.]]>
In just a few weeks, our team:
• Established five new awards categories
• Realigned the program to have global relevance
• Reached out to the media to create awareness
• Developed scoring criteria
• Recruited 73 judges (with a few more expected)
• Started developing our online scoring system
• Announced a simplified entry system
At its core, the Brill Awards for Efficient IT program is a vehicle for disseminating information about meaningful work so that it can profoundly change the industry. Meeting this goal requires high levels of participation. We want to see as many good submissions as possible.
All the work so far, including finding a large panel of preeminent experts to serve as judges, can be viewed as party planning. Everyone is invited, directions and FAQs can be found on our website, the entry procedure is not complicated, and we’re even serving food at our VIP Brill Awards dinner at Uptime Institute Symposium in May.
Register for the webinar today to learn more about the Brill Awards!]]>
Earlier this year, Digital Realty committed to having 20 data centers worldwide certified as Tier III by Uptime Institute. Digital Realty data centers have received six Tier Certification of Design Documents (TCDD) and four TCCF, with another six Certifications underway in Asia and Europe.
“Many providers claim to offer ‘Tier III’ data centers, but few have the discipline to seek the reality of Tier Certification,” said Julian Kudritzki, Uptime Institute Chief Operating Officer. “We are very pleased to be working with Digital Realty, which has made a significant investment in the Tier III Certification process across many new data centers on a number of continents. Digital Realty’s commitment to Tier Certification directly benefits an increasing number of customers that require highly reliable, resilient data center solutions.”
With this fourth TCCF, Digital Realty again demonstrates the importance of taking the potentiality of a TCDD on to the actuality of TCCF. (Read: What is Tier Certification of Constructed Facility?)
Digital Realty’s second Melbourne data centre is expected to be fully operational in November 2013.
The company’s first data centre in Melbourne and its data centre in Sydney also boast Uptime Institute’s Tier III Certifications of Design Documents and Constructed Facility.
Read the full press release.]]>
You can register for the Webinar here.
Compass’s description of the webinar below:
Many of today’s data center providers claim that they have Tier III data centers. If that were true, they would be displaying the Uptime Institute Tier Certification of Constructed Facilities award foil. In this webinar, Chris Crosby, CEO of Compass Datacenters and Julian Kudritzki, COO of Uptime Institute will examine the need for the industry to adhere to industry standards. Chris and Julian will discuss how Level 5 commissioning and Uptime Institute Tier III Design and Facility Certification ensure that the data center you buy is the one that is actually delivered.
Among the things that you will learn by attending this webinar are:
• The difference between design and constructed certification
• The importance of industry standards
• Why if you say it you need to certify it
• The importance of the relationship between certification and commissioning.
Please plan on joining us to learn how to ensure that you receive the data center you thought you purchased.]]>
These tables epitomize the spirit of the Network, which is dedicated to true problem solving in the IT realm and takes on issues of all types. The lunch table discussions cover issues ranging from personnel to operations to technology to maintenance.
Uptime Institute Network personnel will be on-hand to share data they have gathered and synthesized, but the true drivers of the discussions will be Network members sharing their experiences.
During the course of the 2 ½-day meeting, the schedule will be full of sessions and presentations, many of them given by Network members. These sessions, conducted under a nondisclosure agreement, are frank discussions of problems and challenges, and failures and successes encountered in meeting enterprise IT challenges. In other sessions, Uptime Institute and 451 Research staff provide insights gathered from wide bodies of research and surveys. These discussions do much to validate or challenge lessons learned from the field. But, more importantly in my mind, are working sessions that are open to all Network member attendees, who help drive these meetings to conclusions.
Uptime Institute COO Julian Kudritzki will lead such a group at this year’s meeting. The panel is entitled “Owners vs. Designers,” but the intent of the session is to address data center project dysfunction caused by poor relations between the design engineer and the owner. This is the third in a series of information-gathering sessions, which we believe will lead to a document that will help resolve knotty communication issues. What other event features continuity in its efforts and produces results that go beyond information sharing?
The Uptime Institute Network meeting also includes one other unique and well-known feature: data center tours. Members at next week’s Network meeting have chosen among four extensive data center tours during which they observe the workings of the facility first-hand, learn from best and innovative practices, and then critique the facility for the owner/operator.
I’ll be reporting back after the event to share more … and, of course, to encourage you to add your voice to that of other Network members.]]>
We’ll have the first copies available at the Uptime Institute Network‘s fall meeting. And right after that we’ll be distributing copies free of charge to Network members, Accredited Tier Designers/Accredited Tier Specialists and Tier-Certified facilities. We’ll be charging only for shipping and handling ($15 U.S. in North America, and $50 internationally). These charges only apply if you are unable to pick up your copy at one of our events, meetings or offices.
The second issue, which is almost one-third longer than our first issue, is full of terrific content. Here’s what you’ll find in this issue.
From Uptime Institute
It begins with a personal tribute to Uptime Institute founder Ken Brill (p.4) by Chief Operating Officer Julian Kudritzki. Julian started out in this industry as one of Ken’s employees, and the personal nature of the story is unmistakable; the focus, however, remains on Ken’s passions and demonstrates that he is still providing leadership in the industry.
Lee Kirby, now Uptime Institute’s senior vice president, Institute Services, also wrote an article that had great personal meaning for him (p.76). As a military veteran, Lee saw that his fellow veterans could be trained to address a looming staffing shortage in the data center industry, creating a benefit for the veterans and the industry.
And while I’m talking about personal experiences, Debbie Seidman, Uptime Institute senior consultant, and Vince Renaud, CTO, undertook an effort to document how data centers responded to the havoc wreaked by Superstorm Sandy (p. 96). The quotes reveal that industry people responded well and bravely to the dangerous situations spawned by the storm.
And finally, an article that I wrote (p.6) provides an opportunity for readers to get to know the faces behind the North American, Latin American and EMEA networks.
From Our Network Members
We have some other great articles from Pitt Turner and Matt Stansberry, which I’ll cover in future blogs, but the bulk of the book comes from the work and dedication of Uptime Institute Network members and other industry experts.
Some of these are personal, too. For example RagingWire’s COO Jason Weckworth relates an anecdote in which he barely escapes being fired, as he discusses the need for transparency in the industry (p. 46).
Digital Realty’s Dave Schirmacher (p. 54) talks about Digital’s DCIM implementation. But even this is a personal account, as I learned when talking to Dave about his passion for data. “Imagine what I could do if I had all the data I wanted,” Dave told me when he joined Digital, “Now I can do it.”
Juan Miguel Duran wrote what is perhaps my favorite story in the whole issue, as he tells about the Tier Certification process from Entel’s perspective (p. 64). His discussion of risks and mitigation are about as frank a disclosure as anything I have read in any publication.
Network members contributed other articles as well, including a very good one on diesel generator exhaust aftertreatment systems by Lamont Fortune. I’ll be writing more about Lamont’s article and the other technical pieces in coming weeks.
But, for today, I wanted to point out how much of the work in the industry gets done because it is personally important to its leaders.
Look for ordering information on our website in a few days. Meanwhile, I have to get back to checking proofs.]]>
Facility Certification demonstrates that the facility infrastructure adheres to the Tier requirements for the given Tier level. In other words, did the design work? A Tier IV facility must demonstrate Concurrent Maintainability and Fault Tolerance. (Read – What is Tier Certification of Constructed Facility?)
At the Melgha 2 Data Center, load banks were used to simulate the rated capacity. Populating the critical IT spaces with load banks demonstrates the capabilities of the electrical and mechanical systems. Next, various demonstrations were conducted to show the facility was Concurrently Maintainable and Fault Tolerant (including autonomous response to a fault) from a performance perspective. The Melgha 2 facility demonstrations were conducted at extreme conditions because with the data hall loaded to the design load, the day’s temperatures happened to be at the ASHRAE N=20 dry bulb temperature.
The design for this site showed a good understanding of not only the Tier requirements, but also the challenges presented by the data center location. For example, it is common to have the radiators mounted on the engine skid. Riyadh has a big dust problem, thus the air intake louvers required sand filters, which create a significant pressure drop. The design engineers decided to put coolers on the roof to cool the engine coolant, which avoided the pressure drop problem.
The completed facility demonstrated good construction quality and attention to detail. “This was the third TCCF with Mobily in KSA, and the Melgha 2 showed continuous improvement from the lessons they’ve learned with their other data centers,” said Chris Brown, Uptime Institute Vice President of Professional Services.
Mobily also owns and operates two Tier III Facility Certified data centers in KSA. “These state-of-the-art Tier III and Tier IV data centers are used by Mobily to host Business and Government customers’ infrastructures and critical applications,” Mobily representatives said.
Read more about Certifications on our Website.]]>
What does a long-time technology editor do at Uptime Institute? You know, the very place that first developed the Tier System, the place where founder Ken Brill first discussed the consequences of Moore’s Law for data centers, and home of the tech-savvy men and woman who certify designs and facilities for reliability. They even train expert engineers and consultants in the nuances of the Tier system.
Well, it turns out that my skills and background have been a great fit here, and every few weeks I pick up a new assignment. Developing the first issue of The Uptime Institute Journal and getting it to press was the first of these assignments. The first issue, which has been available on our website since May, focused on design issues and included contributions from several prominent Accredited Tier Designers (ATDs), including Gary Orazio (page 28), Steve Emert (page 40), Alexander Martynyuk (page 54), Chad Beery (page 60), Charles Selkirk (page 64), and Panagiotis Laziridis and Juan Carlos Sens (page 76). I was also able to interview Edarat’s Adel Rizk, Digital Realty’s Gerard Thibault, and Metronode’s Michael Kalny, all also ATDs. We also included content from Uptime Institute’s Keith Klesner and Matt Mescall.
Everyone who’s seen the first issue has found the content interesting and useful, so much so that I’m now at work on a second issue, due in October, which is focused on operations issues. The articles in the upcoming issue, like those in the first, will all be written by people familiar with Uptime Institute’s policies, techniques and programs. Some of the authors will be Uptime Institute staff, while others are Uptime Institute Network members. My interviews with Uptime Institute Network directors will be part of this second edition as well.
The Journal will also include two new Uptime Institute documents — one describes the results of our annual Data Center Industry Survey, and the other is the release of Uptime Institute’s new FORCSS system. In addition, all content in both issues is refereed by Uptime Institute experts.
I’ll be telling you more about the content in both issues in coming weeks, not only because this assignment is a real challenge but also because I expect these publications to set a new standard for excellence in the data center industry. Already the series is unique, as it features several distinctive elements:
– International perspective
– Publishing platform for Uptime Institute research
– Inside perspectives from Uptime Institute Network members and ATDs
– Contributions from prominent industry thought leaders
– No advertising or advertising messages
Please keep an eye out for release of the new publication. The Uptime Institute Journal is intended only for a very small and targeted audience, and we are printing relatively few copies. At this time, we do have some remaining copies of the design edition, which can be ordered here.]]>