Does the spread of direct liquid cooling make PUE less relevant?

Does the spread of direct liquid cooling make PUE less relevant?

The power usage effectiveness (PUE) metric is predominant thanks to its universal applicability and its simplicity: energy used by the entire data center, divided by energy used by the IT equipment.

ASHRAE Guidelines

New ASHRAE guidelines challenge efficiency drive

Earlier in 2021, ASHRAE’s Technical Committee 9.9 published an update — the fifth edition — of its Thermal Guidelines for Data Processing Environments.

Too big to fail? Facebook’s global outage

Too big to fail? Facebook’s global outage

The bigger the outage, the greater the need for explanations and, most importantly, for taking steps to avoid a repeat.

Vertiv’s DCIM ambitions wither on Trellis’ demise

Vertiv’s DCIM ambitions wither on Trellis’ demise

Operators often say that data center infrastructure management (DCIM) software is a necessary evil. Modern facilities need centralized, real-time management and analytics, but DCIM is notoriously difficult to deploy.

Startups brew new chemistries for fresh battery types

Startups brew new chemistries for fresh battery types

Widespread net-zero carbon emission pledges are spurring innovative data center battery technologies.

Eyeing an uptick in edge data center demand

Eyeing an uptick in edge data center demand

Data center end-user organizations and suppliers alike expect an uptick in edge data center demand in the near term.

Fastly outage underscores slow creep of digital services risk

A recent outage at content delivery network Fastly took down thousands of websites in different countries, including big names, such as Amazon, Twitter and Spotify, for nearly an hour. It is the latest large outage highlighting the downside of a key trend in digital infrastructure: The growth in dependency on digital service providers can undermine […]

Green tariff renewable energy purchases

Until recently, power purchase agreements (PPAs) and unbundled renewable energy certificates (RECs) were the primary means for data center operators or managers to procure renewable electricity and RECs for their operations. Many companies are not comfortable with the eight-to-20-year length and financial risks of a PPA. Unbundled RECs are an ongoing expense and do not […]

Pandemic has driven up data center costs

As the pandemic began to make an impact in early 2020, it became clear that data center operators were going to have to invest more if they were to provide the services on which their customers were increasingly reliant. Short-term needs included protective equipment, deep cleaning and, it seemed likely, more spending to support extended […]

Renewable energy and data centers: Buyer, be aware

Across the world, data center owners and managers are striving to buy more renewable energy and reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. The global internet giants and the largest colocation companies have led the way with huge green energy purchases. But the impact of renewable energy on the grid operator’s economics, and on the critical […]

The insider threat: Social engineering is raising security risks

Uptime Institute Members say one of their most vexing security concerns is the insider threat — authorized staff, vendors or visitors acting with malicious intent. In extreme examples, trusted individuals could power down servers and other equipment, damage network equipment, cut fiber paths, or steal data from servers or wipe the associated storage. Unfortunately, data […]

Data Center Security

Data center insecurity: Online exposure threatens critical systems

In early March 2021, a hacker group publicly exposed the username and password of an administrative account of a security camera vendor. The credentials enabled them to access 150,000 commercial security systems and, potentially, set up subsequent attacks on other critical equipment. A few weeks earlier, leaked credentials for the collaboration software TeamViewer gave hackers […]

Datacenter fire frequency trends

Datacenter Fire Frequency

The catastrophic fire that occurred at OVHcloud’s SBG2 data center in Strasbourg, France (see last week’s blog about it) has led many operators to question their vulnerability to fires. Fires at data centers are a constant concern, but are rare. In almost all cases of data center fire, the source is quickly located, the equipment isolated, […]

Learning from the OVHcloud data center fire

The fire that destroyed a data center (and damaged others) at the OVHcloud facility in Strasbourg, France, on March 10-11, 2021, has raised a multitude of questions from concerned data center operators and customers around the world. Chief among these is, “What was the main cause, and could it have been prevented?” Fires at data […]

How data center operators can transition to renewable energy

Transitioning to renewable energy use is an important, but not easily achieved, goal. Although the past decade has seen significant improvements in IT energy efficiency, there are indications that this may not continue. Moore’s Law may be slowing, more people are coming online, and internet traffic is growing faster than ever before. As energy consumption […]

Climate Change and Digital Infrastructure

Extreme weather affects nearly half of data centers

Recent extreme weather-related events in the US (the big freeze in Texas, fires on the west coast) have once again highlighted the need for data center operators to reassess their risks in the face of climate change. The topic is discussed in depth in the Uptime Institute report (available to Uptime Institute members) entitled, The gathering […]

Data center staff shortages don’t need to be a crisis

In every region of the world, data center capacity is being dramatically expanded. Across the board, the scale of capacity growth is stretching the critical infrastructure sector’s talent supply. The availability (or lack) of specialist staff will be an increasing concern for all types of data centers, from mega-growth hyperscales to smaller private enterprise facilities. […]

Extreme cold — a neglected threat to availability?

In Uptime Institute’s recent report on preparing for the extreme effects of climate change, there were over a dozen references to the dangers of extremely hot weather, which can overwhelm cooling systems and trigger regional fires that disrupt power, connectivity and staff access. But the effects of extreme cold were discussed only in passing. The […]

Network problems causing ever more outages

Power failures have always been one of the top causes of serious IT service outages. The loss of power to a data center can be devastating, and its consequences have fully justified the huge expense and effort that go into preventing such events. But in recent years, other causes are catching up, with networking issues […]

Data center staff on-site: engineering specialists or generalists?

The pandemic has led to a renewed interest by data center managers in remote monitoring, management and automation. Uptime Institute has fielded dozens of inquiries about these approaches in recent months, but one in particular stands out: What will operational automation and machine learning mean for on-site staff requirements? With greater automation, the expectation is […]

Ensuring physical security in uncertain times

Recent events have heightened concerns around physical security for many data center operators, and with good reason: the pandemic means many data centers may still be short-staffed, less time may have been available for review of and training on routine procedures, and vendor substitutes may be more common than under non-pandemic conditions. Add the usual […]

Critical Infrastructrure Innovation in 2021

A Surge of Innovation

Data center operators (and enterprise IT) are generally cautious adopters of new technologies. Only a few (beyond hyperscale operators) try to gain a competitive advantage through their early use of technology. Rather, they have a strong preference toward technologies that are proven, reliable and well-supported. This reduces risks and costs, even if it means opportunities […]

Sustainability: More challenging, more transparent

Through 2021 and beyond, the world will begin to recover from its acute crisis — COVID-19 — and will turn its attention to other matters. Few if any of these issues will be as important as climate change, a chronic condition that will become more pressing and acute as each year passes. In the critical […]

Edge Computing – The Next Frontier

One of the most widely anticipated trends in IT and infrastructure is significant new demand for edge computing, fueled by technologies such as 5G, IoT and AI. To date, net new demand for edge computing — processing, storing and integrating data close to where it is generated — has built slowly. As a result, some […]

Accountability – the “new” imperative

Outsourcing the requirement to own and operate data center capacity is the cornerstone of many digital transformation strategies, with almost every large enterprise spreading their workloads across their own data centers, colocation sites and public cloud. But ask any regulator, any chief executive, any customer: You can’t outsource responsibility — for incidents, outages, security breaches […]

Five Trends for 2021: accountability, automation, edge, sustainability, innovation

What we can expect for mission-critical digital infrastructure in 2021? Each autumn Uptime Institute, like many other organizations, puts together a list of some of the big trends and themes for the year ahead. This time, we have focused on five big trends that might not have been so obvious 12 months ago. Heading into […]

Rack Density is Rising

Density is rising The power density per rack (kilowatts [kW] per cabinet) is a critical number in data center design, capacity planning, and cooling and power provisioning. There have been industry warnings about a meteoric rise in IT equipment rack power density for the past decade (at least). One reason for this prediction is the […]

Common Factors for IT venue selection (Choosing In-house or Outsource)

Data center capacity is rapidly expanding in outsourced, third-party IT venues, such as colocation data centers and public cloud. Whether measured in megawatts (MW) of uninterruptible power supply capacity or IT load (or by some other measure, such as square feet of white or leased space, or in units of compute or storage) overall capacity […]

COVID-19, air filtration and energy use

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused concerns about data center HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) filtration. So many data center operators are adjusting filtration protocols, including upgrading to finer MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) 13 filters, to better filter out aerosols and COVID-19 virus carriers.1 But there is no free lunch. Depending on the design […]

Why ASHRAE is concerned about edge data centers

There are few organizations that have had as big an impact on data center design as ASHRAE — and specifically, their Technical Committee (TC) 9.9. ASHRAE’s 2004 publication Thermal guidelines for Data Processing Environments (now in its fourth edition) described the optimal environmental operating conditions for the electronics in a data center, and in doing so, effectively […]

PUE: The golden metric is looking rusty

When the PUE (power usage effectiveness) metric was first discussed at a meeting of The Green Grid in Santa Clara, back in 2007, a microphone stand was placed in each aisle of the auditorium. The importance of the initiative was understood even then: experts, including the founders of Uptime Institute, formed lines to give their […]

Why data center operators are investing in more redundancy

When Uptime Institute recently asked over 300 data center managers how the pandemic would change their operations, one answer stood out: Two-thirds expect to increase the resiliency of their core data center(s) in the years ahead. Many said they expected their costs to increase as a result. The reasoning is clear: the pandemic — or […]

Job Projections, 2019-2029, Macro shifts, Gig work and the Baby-Boomers

In mid-September 2020, The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics published their updated 2019-2029 Employment Projection summary news release and the associated handbook which discusses various job roles and hiring and salary expectations over the next decade. It identified a number of easy to consume trends which caught my attention and perhaps worth your consideration. In the […]

Increasing data center temperatures to reduce energy costs

Periodically we get questions about data center temperatures and energy savings. The questions usually ask about possible energy savings in commercial data centers by raising the temperature of the data hall. Some form of this question surfaces regularly over time because it just seems to be a common sense opportunity. But there is alot to […]

Infographic: Data Center Industry Staffing Shortage is Getting Worse

Data Centers and Thunder, Lightning, Wind and Rain

Data centers are built and sited to withstand all that Mother Nature can throw at them — or at least, is likely to throw at them — during their lifecycle. This has long been a given, practiced and understood by designers, planners and regulators. But climate change is changing everything. Recent weather events have led […]

Will the pandemic accelerate the move to public cloud?

As the COVID-19 pandemic has unfolded, many people have suggested that the business case for enterprises to move more workloads to the public cloud has been strengthened. Some have argued that the pandemic will accelerate the decline of the enterprise data center. Is this actually the case? And if so, why? This is one of […]

Data Centers and Wildfires

As will be discussed in our upcoming note about managing data center with the severe weather caused by climate change, we continue to highlight the need for data center managers to not only review existing emergency plans but also anticipate previously unforeseen challenges. The need to understand the new ‘Normal’ Which brings us to wildfires… […]

Pandemics: Operators plan to be ready next time

Data center managers, on both the facilities and the IT side of operations, are known for their preparedness. Even so, the pandemic caught most by surprise. Few had an effective pandemic plan in place, and most had to react and adapt on the fly, as best as they could. A small but significant number suffered […]

Lithium-ion batteries in the Data Center: An ethical dimension?

One of the emerging trends in data centers is the use of lithium ion (Li-ion) batteries, both for distributed and centralized uninterruptible power supplies. Research by Uptime Institute and others predicts high levels of adoption in the years ahead. The primary reasons for this are technical, relating to energy density, rechargeability and management. But Li-ion […]

Data center workforce diversity makes good business sense

Increasingly, data centers cannot find qualified candidates for open jobs. Companies that commit to diverse and inclusive workplaces are more likely to have better financial performance; greater innovation and productivity; and higher employee-ambassador recruitment, employee retention and employee job satisfaction rates.

Uptime Institute’s 10th Annual Data Center Survey is here!

It’s HERE!!!  Every year, Uptime Institute reaches out to thousands of industry leaders, enterprises and suppliers to ask them about their view of where the data center and digital infrastructure industry is going and what kinds of challenges they are dealing with today and expect in the future. We ask about trends and migrations, tactics […]

The pandemic, outages and the internet giants

In a recent Uptime Institute Intelligence analysis we considered a question that Uptime Institute has been asked many times since COVID-19 lockdowns began: Has the pandemic caused any increase in outages? The question arose because the pandemic has caused staff shortages, extended shifts, delays to maintenance, and a shortage of parts for at least some operators. […]

Best-in-class data center provisioning: Simplify, Standardize, Repeat

Demand for IT capacity continues to grow rapidly across the globe, which has driven the need for more industrialized approaches to data center provisioning including construction and component assembly. Large operators and their partners have scrambled to apply new processes and disciplines, expand and re-organize supply chains, deploy prefabricated components, and, where possible, reduce cost […]

COVID-19: Critical impact and legacy

What will be the long-lasting impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the digital critical infrastructure industry? It may be too soon to ask the question given that, at the time of writing, the virus is taking its toll at scale across the world. But Uptime Institute has been asked this question many times, and it’s […]

Enterprises’ need for control and visibility still slows cloud adoption

During the current COVID-19 crisis, enterprise dependency on cloud platform providers (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform) and on software as a service (Salesforce, Zoom, Teams) has increased. Operators report booming demand, with Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella saying, “We have seen two years’ worth of digital transformation in two months.” This […]

Data Center cleaning and sanitization: detail, cost and effectiveness

Fear of the coronavirus or confirmed exposure has caused about half (49%) of data center owners to increase the frequency of regular cleanings, according to a recent Uptime Institute flash survey. Even more (66%) have increased the frequency of sanitization (disinfection) to eliminate (however transitorily) any possible presence of the novel coronavirus in their facilities. […]

COVID-19: What worries data center management the most?

To date, the critical infrastructure industry has mostly managed effectively with reduced staff, deferred maintenance, social distancing and new patterns of demand. While there have been some serious incidents and outages directly related to the pandemic, these have been few. But what worries operators for the months ahead? Clearly, the situation is changing all the […]

Pandemic is causing some outages and slowdowns

To date, media coverage of the impact of COVID-19 and the lockdowns has been largely laudatory. There have been few high profile or serious outages (perhaps fewer than normal) and for the most part, internet traffic flow analysis shows that a sudden jump in demand, along with a shift toward the residential edge and busy […]

Data center PUEs flat since 2013

The average power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratio for a data center in 2020 is 1.58, only marginally better than 7 years ago, according to the latest annual Uptime Institute survey (findings to be published shortly). PUE, an international standard first developed by The Green Grid and others in 2007, is the most widely accepted way […]

Uptime Institute's COVID19 Q&A Part 3

COVID-19: Q&A (Part 3): Deferred Maintenance, Remote Work, Supply Chain, Long-Term Outlook

The final installment of our Q&A regarding digital infrastructure considerations during the COVID19 crisis includes Deferred Maintenance, Remote Word, Supply Chain, Tier Standard and Long-Term Outlook Below is Part 3 of the Q&A responses brought up during our recent series of webinars about managing operational risk during the COVID19 crisis. (Part 1 dealt with Staffing and […]

COVID-19: Q&A (Part 2): Site Sanitation and Security

Here is Part 2 of our Q&A regarding digital infrastructure considerations during the COVID19 crisis. Keep in mind that we are all handling this crisis in varied ways, and learning from each other along the way. In that process, we really ARE all finding our own “New Normal” and ultimately we will come out of […]

COVID19: Digital Infrastructure Q&A

COVID-19: Q&A (Part 1): Staff Management

We are all in this together. We are all finding our own “New Normal”. We are all learning from each other and will come out of this crisis stronger due to the renewed focus on operational effectiveness, risk avoidance and contingency planning. To this end, Uptime Institute has been creating many types of guidance and […]

Are IT Infrastructure Outages Getting Longer?

One of the findings of Uptime Institute’s recently published report Annual outage analysis 2020 is that the most serious categories of outages — those that cause a significant disruption in services — are becoming more severe and more costly. This isn’t entirely surprising: individuals and businesses alike are becoming ever more dependent on IT, and it is […]

COVID-19: IT organizations move from planning to implementation

Over the past few weeks, Uptime Institute held multiple customer roundtables to discuss the impact of the COVID-19 virus on data center operations and potential operational responses to its spread. We gathered our communities insights and best practices, we combined with our own 25 years worth of infrastructure operational management knowledge and we are now […]

Pay-as-you-go model spreads to critical components

As enterprises continue to move from a focus on capital expenditures to operating expenditures, more data center components will also be consumed on a pay-as-you-go, “as a service” basis. “-aaS” goes mainstream The trend toward everything “as a service” (XaaS) is now mainstream in IT, ranging from cloud (infrastructure-aaS) and software-aaS (SaaS) to newer offerings, […]

Phasing Out Data Center Hot Work

Despite years of discussion, warnings and strict regulations in some countries, data center hot work remains a contentious issue in the data center industry. Hot work is the practice of working on energized electrical circuits (voltage limits differ regionally) — and it is usually done, in spite of the risks, to reduce the possibility of […]

The spectre of ransomware

Uptime Institute Intelligence plans to release its 2019/2020 outages report shortly. This report will examine the types, causes and impacts of public outages, as well as further analyze the results of a recent Uptime survey on outages and impacts. The data will once again show that serious IT service interruptions are common and costly, with […]

Micro data centers: An explosion in demand, in slow motion

A wave of new technologies, from 5G to the internet of things (IoT) to artificial intelligence (AI), means much more computing and much more data will be needed near the point of use. That means many more small data centers will be required. But there will be no sudden mass deployment, no single standout use […]

Technology Refresh

Optimizing server refresh cycles with an aging Moore’s law

Hardware refresh is the process of replacing older, less efficient servers with newer, more efficient ones with more compute capacity. However, there is a complication to the refresh cycle that is relatively recent: the slowing down of Moore’s law. There is still a very strong case for savings in energy when replacing servers that are […]

Outages drive authorities and businesses to act

Big IT outages are occurring with growing regularity, many with severe consequences. Executives, industry authorities and governments alike are responding with more rules, calls for more transparency and a more formal approach to end-to-end, holistic resiliency. Creeping criticality IT outages and data center downtime can cause huge disruption. That is hardly news: veterans with long […]

Data center energy use goes up and up and up

Energy use by data centers and IT will continue to rise, putting pressure on energy infrastructure and raising questions about carbon emissions. The drivers for more energy use are simply too great to be offset by efficiency gains. Drivers Demand for digital services has seen sustained, exceptional growth over the past few years — and […]

Data Center Investment

Capital inflow boosts the data center market

Data centers are no longer a niche or exotic investment among mainstream institutional buyers, which are swarming to the sector. There is now a buyer for almost every type of data center — including traditional-infrastructure investors and sovereign wealth funds. How might this new mix of capital sources change the broader data center sector? Traditional […]

Surveillance Capitalism and DCIM

In her book “Surveillance Capitalism,” the Harvard scholar Shoshana Zuboff describes how some software and service providers have been collecting vast amounts of data, with the goal of tracking, anticipating, shaping and even controlling the behavior of individuals. She sees it as a threat to individual freedom, to business and to democracy. Zuboff outlines the […]

Data centers without diesel generators: The groundwork is being laid…

In 2012, Microsoft announced that it planned to eliminate engine generators at its big data center campus in Quincey, Oregon. Six years later the same group, with much the same aspirations, filed for permission to install 72 diesel generators, which have an expected life of at least a decade. This example illustrates clearly just how […]

Top-10 Digital Infrastructure Trends for 2020

The digital infrastructure industry continues to grow and change at a striking price. Across the world, a thriving community of investors, designers, owners and operators are grappling with many of the same issues: resiliency and risk, the impact of cloud, the move to the edge, rapid innovation, and unpredictable (although mostly upward) demand.  What should […]

Separation of Production vs. Non-Production IT

Non-production IT can hinder mission-critical operations

Separating production and non-production assets should be an operational requirement for most organizations. By definition, production assets support high-priority IT loads — servers that are critical to a business or business unit. In most organizations, IT will have sufficient discretion to place these assets where they have redundant power supplies, sufficient cooling and high levels of […]

99 Red Flags: The Availability Nines

99 Red Flags

One of the most widely cited metrics in the IT industry is for availability, expressed in the form of a number of nines: three nines for 99.9% availability (minutes of downtime per year), extending to six nines — 99.9999% — or even, very rarely, seven nines. What this should mean in practice is show in […]

Big Tech Regulation

Big Tech Regulations: an UPSIDE for Cloud customers?

Regulation of Internet giants has focused so far mostly on data privacy, where concerns are relatively well understood by lawmakers and the general public. At the same time, the threat of antitrust action is growing. Congressional hearings in the US with Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have begun, and governments in Europe, India and elsewhere […]

IT Outages in the Financial Community

Outage Reporting in Financial Services

In the movie “Mary Poppins,” Mr. Banks sings that a British bank must be run with precision, and that “Tradition, discipline and rules must be the tools.” Otherwise, he warns, “Disorder! Chaos!” will ensue. One rule, introduced by the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in 2018, suggests that disorder and chaos might be quite common […]

Data Center Outages - Part Deux

How to Avoid Outages – Part Deux

A previous Uptime Intelligence Note suggested that avoiding data center outages might be as simple as trying harder. The Note suggested that management failures are the main reason that enterprises continue to experience downtime incidents, even in fault tolerant facilities. “The Intelligence Trap,” a new book by David Robson, sheds light on why management mistakes continue to […]

Business Outages

Why do some industries and organizations suffer more serious, high profile outages than others?

In a recent Uptime Institute Intelligence note, we considered a June 2019 report issued by the US General Accounting Office (GAO) on the IT resiliency of US airlines. The GAO wanted to better understand if the all-too-frequent IT outages and resultant chaos passengers face have any common causes and if so, how they could be […]

How to avoid outages: Try harder!

Uptime Institute has spent years analyzing the roots causes for data center and service outages, surveying thousands of IT professionals throughout the year on this topic. According to the data, the vast majority of data center failures are caused by human error. Some industry experts report numbers as high as 75%, but Uptime Institute generally reports […]

Forecasting Capacity

Troubling for operators: Capacity forecasting and maintaining cost competitiveness

In the recently published 2019 Uptime Institute supplier survey, participants told us they are witnessing higher than normal data center spending patterns. This is in line with general market trends, driven by the demand for data and digital services. It is also a welcome sign for those suppliers who witnessed a downturn two to three […]

Free Air Cooling

Data Center Free Air Cooling Trends

With the recent expansion of the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers’ (ASHRAE’s) acceptable data center operating temperature and humidity ranges — taken as an industry-standard best practice by many operators — the case for free air cooling has become much stronger. Free air cooling is an economical method of using low external […]

IT Outages in the Airline Industry, A New Report by the GAO

Uptime Institute’s Annual outage analysis, published early this year, called attention to the persistent problem of IT service and data center outages. Coupled with our annual survey data on outages, the analysis explains, to a degree, why investments to date have not greatly reduced the outage problem — at least from an end-to-end service view. Gathering […]

Data center AI: Start with the end in mind

An artificial intelligence (AI) strategy for data center management and operation requires more than just data and some very smart humans. Selecting specific use cases and understanding the types of data that influence AI outcomes — and then validating those outcomes — will be key if the needs of the business are to be met. […]

Open19-Rack Platform

Open19 expects 2019 to be the year of “Accelerated Adoption”

We have heard for a dozen years about the Open Computing Project (OCP) and their non-traditional approach to computing hardware, from the racks to the servers, storage and networking. And over the last few years to the Open19 Foundation started to promote their alternative platform which resembles the more traditional 19-inch rack approach we have […]

Climate Change changes all the norms

PG&E Turns Power Off (a.k.a. Climate Change and the Data Center)

In our October 2018 report, A mission-critical industry unprepared for climate change, Uptime Institute Intelligence urged data center operators and owners to plan for the effects of climate change. We specifically encouraged data center owners and operators to meet with government officials and utility executives to learn about local and regional disaster preparation and response plans. […]

Enterprise IT and the public cloud: What the numbers tell us

The spectacular growth of the public cloud has many drivers, only one of which is the deployment, redevelopment or migration of enterprise IT into the cloud. But many groups within the industry — data center builders and operators, hardware and software suppliers, networking companies, and providers of skills and services alike — are closely watching […]

Artificial Intelligence in the Data Center: Myth versus Reality

It is still very early days, but it is clear that artificial intelligence (AI) is set to transform the way data centers are designed, managed and operated — eventually. There has been a lot of misrepresentation and hype around AI, and it’s not always clear how it will be applied, and when. The Uptime Institute […]

Renewed Pressure for Renewables to Power the Data Center

In a recent presentation at the Energy Smart data center conference in Stockholm, Gary Cook, the Greenpeace activist who has tracked data center carbon emissions for a decade, showed a slide of logos, indicating companies that have made a commitment to use 100 percent renewable energy for their IT. Cook showed the commitment started with […]

The Data Center Staffing and Skills Shortage is here NOW!

Sometimes it can be hard to get people to talk about their issues — other times, it can be hard to keep them quiet. A recent Uptime Institute Network member’s meeting began as an open discussion but was soon dominated by one issue: data center staffing. The members’ concerns reflect the growing disquiet in the […]

Is PUE actually going UP?

One of the more intriguing results of the Uptime Institute Global Data Center Survey 2019 concerned energy efficiency.  For years, data centers have become ever more efficient, with power usage effectiveness (PUE) ratings across the industry (apparently) falling.  Big operators, such as hyperscale cloud companies and big colos, regularly claim annual or design PUE figures […]

Comparing the severity of IT service outages: Uptime Institute’s Outage Severity Rating

Avoiding IT service outages is a big concern for any operator or service provider, especially one providing a business-critical service.  But when an outage does occur, the business impact can vary from “barely noticeable” to “huge and expensive.”  Anticipating and modeling the impact of a service interruption should be a part of incident planning and is key […]

Data Center AI (Artificial Intelligence) Creates New Risks

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used in data centers to drive up efficiencies and drive down risks and costs. But it also creates new types of risks. This is one of the findings from a recent Uptime Intelligence research report #25, “Very smart data centers: How artificial intelligence will power operational decisions”, published in April […]

“Think Globally, Act Locally”: Re-Evaluating Data Center Resiliency in the Face of Climate Change

The 1970s-era environmental phrase “Think globally, act locally,” is an apt way for data center operators to consider the best approach to understand and address the effects of climate change on their facilities and IT operations TODAY. Globally, we all hear that climate change threatens to bring warmer temperatures, stronger storms, rising sea levels, and […]

NEXTDC: Obsessed with the details so our customers’ business is always available

This is a guest post written by Brett Ridley, Head of Central Operations and Facility Management for NEXTDC.NEXTDC is Australia’s leading independent data centre operator with a nationwide network of Uptime Institute certified Tier III and Tier IV facilities. NEXTDC provides enterprise-class colocation services to local and international organisations. If you are interested in participating in […]

Fiber Optic Cables in Data Center

Application Resiliency vs. Infrastructure Resiliency

Software enabled application resiliency is now playing a significant and increasing role in bolstering applications availability and reliability across the enterprise, reducing risk to the business. No longer are clients solely reliant upon the stability provided by the electrical and mechanical systems in their data center. By utilizing new software techniques, enterprises are now able […]

Data Centers & Mission Critical Fabric

Mission Critical Computing Fabric

We’ve entered an era where our IT infrastructures are now becoming a compilation of capacity that is spread out and running upon a wide range of platforms; some we completely control, some we control partially and some we don’t control at all. No longer should our IT services discussions start with ‘And in the data center […]

How Edge Computing Is Transforming IT Infrastructure

New technologies such as IoT and cloud architectures are driving computing to the edge. Companies must embrace this trend in order to survive. The definition of computing infrastructure is changing. While large traditional data centers have been the mainstay of information technology for the past 60 years, we’re seeing a perfect storm today where mobility, […]

Data Center Security

Hacking the Physical Data Center – Not just for Hollywood Movies

We have all seen big headline stories for years about overseas network hackers who are able to extract millions of account details and social security numbers from the retail, financial and a litany of other industries. And Hollywood has done a great job of painting the picture about bad guys physically breaking into data centers […]

Shrinking Data Center

As Data Center Footprint shrinks, the Importance of the Data Center Grows!

Today, your data center is more important and essential than it has ever been! Let me explain. We are at a cross-roads in thinking for IT Infrastructures. For nearly 40 years (about the time when the first connected computing systems came into being), bigger has always been better. Bigger processors, bigger disk drives, bigger servers, […]

Delivering IT in 2018 is All About Accountability!

It has always been incredibly difficult to align an organization’s business needs and strategies with the underlying information technologies required to get there. For many years, the long-tenured IT organization was given a tremendous amount of leeway due to the complex nature of delivering IT. IT was viewed as an almost magical discipline, something that […]

Myths and Misconceptions Regarding the Uptime Institute’s Tier Certification System

True or false? When it comes to Tier Certification, just ask Uptime Institute By Uptime Institute Staff Uptime Institute’s Tier Classification System for data centers has reached the two-decade mark. Since its creation in the mid-1990s, Tiers has evolved from a shared industry terminology into the global standard for third-party validation of data center critical […]

Top Considerations for Addressing Data Center Facilities Management Risks

Uptime Institute recently published “Top Considerations for Addressing Data Center Facilities Management Risks,” a guide for reducing data center risks in enterprise IT organizations . The guide comprises 14 top considerations useful for designing and running an enterprise-grade data center facilities management program. The full guide is available for download on the Uptime Institute website. […]

Japan’s Biggest Provider of Critical IT Services Earns M&O Stamp of Approval

Nearly perfect M&O Stamp of Approval scores prove that NRI’s data centers operations are world class By Kevin Heslin Nomura Research Institute, Ltd. (NRI), a ¥18 billion ($US169 million) company that provides consulting, financial IT solutions, industrial IT solutions, and IT platform services mainly to a global financial marketplace, has earned Uptime Institute Management and […]

Highlights from Uptime Institute Symposium: Shanghai

This week, Uptime Institute hosted its first major event in China, Uptime Institute Symposium: Shanghai. Over 400 invite-only attendees joined Uptime Institute for a day of collaborative learning at the Grand Hyatt. The photos below illustrate some highlights from the the day. Stay tuned to the Symposium website for updates on our events in North […]

CenturyLink Benefits from Its Commitment to Excellence

David Meredith says that CenturyLink’s involvement, including the M&O Stamp of Approval, with Uptime Institute provides mutual benefits. Uptime Institute’s Risk Journal for IT Infrastructure is the most recent example. CenturyLink’s commitment to operational excellence has become one of the company’s competitive advantages, and David Meredith, a senior VP at CenturyLink, has been an enthusiastic […]

Luxembourg Colo Provides Multi-Tier Options

Luxconnect obtains different Tier Certifications to meet the needs of the changing market demands By Christine De Ridder LuxConnect, a multi-tenant, multi-tier data center and dark fiber network operator based in Luxembourg, developed an innovative strategy using Uptime Institute Tiers to differentiate the services and pricing it offers to key customer groups. In doing so, […]

When an Australian Government Department Required Operational Sustainability, Metronode Delivered

Senior facility manager calls achieving Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability “a dream” By Kevin Heslin The New South Wales (NSW) Department of Finance, Services and Innovation (DFSI) is a government service provider and regulator for the southeastern Australian state. DFSI supports many government functions, including sustainable government finances, major public works and maintenance programs, government […]

LinkedIn’s Oregon Data Center Goes Live, Gains EIT Stamp of Approval

Uptime Institute recently awarded its Efficient IT (EIT) Stamp of Approval to LinkedIn for its new data center in Infomart Portland, signaling that the modern new facility had exceeded extremely high standards for enterprise leadership, operations, and computing infrastructure. These standards are designed to help organizations lower costs and increase efficiency, and leverage technology for […]

Airline Outages FAQ: How to Keep Your Company Out of the Headlines

Uptime Institute has prepared this brief airline outages FAQ to help the industry, media, and general public understand the reasons that data centers fail. The failure of a power control module on Monday, August 8, 2016, at a Delta Airlines data center caused hundreds of flight cancellations, inconvenienced thousands of customers, and cost the airline […]

Tier III Certified Facilities Prove Critical to Norwegian Colo’s Client Appeal

Green Mountain melds sustainability, reliability, competitive pricing, and independent certifications to attract international colo customers By Kevin Heslin Green Mountain operates two unique colo facilities in Norway, having a total potential capacity of several hundred megawatts. Though each facility has its own strengths, both embody the company’s commitment to providing secure, high-quality service in an […]

Top 10 Considerations for Enterprises Progressing to Cloud

Industry data from Uptime Institute and 451 Research evidence a rapid rate of cloud computing adoption for enterprise IT departments. Organizations weigh cloud benefits and risks, and also evaluate how cloud will impact their existing and future data center infrastructure investment. In this video, Uptime Institute COO Julian Kudritzki and Andrew Reichman, Research Director at […]

FORTRUST Gains Competitive Advantage from Management and Operations

FORTRUST regards management and operations as a core competency that helps it win new clients and control capital and operating expenses Shortly after receiving word that FORTRUST had earned Uptime Institute’s Tier Certification for Operational Sustainability (Gold) for Phase 7 of its Denver data center, Rob McClary, the company’s executive vice president and general manager, […]

Reduce Data Center Insurance Premiums

Uptime Institute President Lee Kirby and Stephen Douglas, Risk Control Director for CNA, an insurance and risk control provider for the software and IT services industry recently coauthored an article for Data Center Knowledge: Lowering Your Data Center’s Exposure to Insurance Claims. In this follow on, Kirby discusses how companies can reduce insurance premiums by […]

Identifying Lurking Vulnerabilities in the World’s Best-Run Data Centers

Peer-based critiques drive continuous improvement, identify lurking data center vulnerabilities By Kevin Heslin Shared information is one of the distinctive features of the Uptime Institute Network and its activities. Under non-disclosure agreements, Network members not only share information, but they also collaborate on projects of mutual interest. Uptime Institute facilitates the information sharing and helps […]

Ignore Data Center Water Consumption at Your Own Peril

Will drought dry up the digital economy? With water scarcity a pressing concern, data center owners are re-examining water consumption for cooling. By Ryan Orr and Keith Klesner In the midst of a historic drought in the western U.S., 70% of California experienced “extreme” drought in 2015, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. The state’s […]

Bank of Canada Achieves Operational Excellence

The team approach helped the Bank earn Uptime Institute’s M&O Stamp of Approval By Matt Stansberry The Bank of Canada is the nation’s central bank. The Bank acts as the fiscal agent of the Canadian government, managing its public debt programs and foreign exchange reserves and setting its monetary policy. It also designs, issues, and […]

IT Sustainability Supports Enterprise-Wide Efforts

Raytheon integrates corporate sustainability to achieve savings and recognition By Brian J. Moore With a history of innovation spanning 92 years, Raytheon Company provides state-of-the-art electronics, mission systems integration, and other capabilities in the areas of sensing, effects, command, control, communications, and intelligence systems, as well as a broad range of mission support services in […]

Tier Certification for Modular and Phased Construction

Special care must be taken on modular and phased construction projects to avoid compromising reliability goals. Shared system coordination could defeat your Tier Certification objective By Chris Brown Today, we often see data center owners taking a modular or phased construction approach to reduce the costs of design, construction, and operation and build time. Taking […]

Failure Doesn’t Keep Business Hours: 24×7 Coverage

A statistical justification for 24×7 coverage By Richard Van Loo As a result of performing numerous operational assessments at data centers around the world, Uptime Institute has observed that staffing levels at data centers vary greatly from site to site. This observation is discouraging, but not surprising, because while staffing is an important function for […]

Examining and Learning from Complex Systems Failures

Conventional wisdom blames “human error” for the majority of outages, but those failures are incorrectly attributed to front-line operator errors, rather than management mistakes By Julian Kudritzki, with Anne Corning Data centers, oil rigs, ships, power plants, and airplanes may seem like vastly different entities, but all are large and complex systems that can be […]

IT Chargeback Drives Efficiency

Allocating IT costs to internal customers improves accountability, cuts waste By Scott Killian You’ve heard the complaints many times before: IT costs too much. I have no idea what I’m paying for. I can’t accurately budget for IT costs. I can do better getting IT services myself. The problem is that end-user departments and organizations […]

AIG Tells How It Raised Its Level of Operations Excellence

By Kevin Heslin and Lee Kirby Driving operational excellence across multiple data centers is exponentially more difficult than managing just one. Technical complexity multiplies as you move to different sites, regions, and countries where codes, cultures, climates, and other factors are different. Organizational complexity further complicates matters when the data centers in your portfolio have […]

Meeting the M&O Challenge of Managing a Diverse Data Center Footprint: John Sheputis and Don Jenkins, Infomart

By Matt Stansberry and Lee Kirby Driving operational excellence across multiple data centers is exponentially more difficult than managing just one. Technical complexity multiplies as you move to different sites, regions, and countries where codes, cultures, climates and other factors are different. Organizational complexity further complicates matters when the data centers in your portfolio have […]

The Calibrated Data Center:  Using Predictive Modeling

Better information leads to better decisions By Jose Ruiz New tools have dramatically enhanced the ability of data center operators to base decisions regarding capacity planning and operational performance like move, adds, and changes on actual data. The combined use of modeling technologies to effectively calibrate the data center during the commissioning process and the […]

Avoiding Data Center Construction Problems

Experience, teamwork, and third-party verification are keys to avoiding data center construction problems By Keith Klesner In 2014, Uptime Institute spoke to the common conflicts between data center owners and designers. In our paper, “Resolving Conflicts Between Data Center Owners and Designers” [The Uptime Institute Journal, Volume 3, p 111], we noted that both the […]

Improve Project Success Through Mission Critical Commissioning

Rigorous testing of data center components should be a continuous process By Ryan Orr, with Chris Brown and Ed Rafter Many data center owners and others commonly believe that commissioning takes place only in the last few days before the facility enters into operation. In reality, data center commissioning is a continuous process that, when […]

Data center design goals and certification of proven achievement are not the same

On March 13, 2015, Data Center Knowledge published an article “ViaWest Accused of Misleading Customers in Las Vegas”. The following is excerpted from the article. ViaWest, the Shaw Communications-owned data center service provider, is being accused of misleading customers about reliability of its Las Vegas data center. Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s office has asked […]

Proper Data Center Staffing is Key to Reliable Operations

The care and feeding of a data center By Richard F. Van Loo Managing and operating a data center comprises a wide variety of activities, including the maintenance of all the equipment and systems in the data center, housekeeping, training, and capacity management for space power and cooling. These functions have one requirement in common: […]

Empowering the Data Center Professional

Five questions to ask yourself, and five to ask your team By Fred Dickerman When Uptime Institute invited me to present at Symposium this year, I noticed that the event theme was Empowering the Data Center Professional. Furthermore, I noted that Uptime Institute described the Symposium as “providing attendees with the information to make better […]

RagingWire’s Jason Weckworth Discusses the Execution of IT Strategy

In this series, Uptime Institute asked three of the industry’s most well recognized and innovative leaders to describe the problems facing enterprise IT organizations. Jason Weckworth examined the often-overlooked issue of server hugging; Mark Thiele suggested that service offerings often did not fit the customer’s long-term needs; and Fred Dickerman found customers and providers at […]

Mark Thiele from Switch examines the options in today’s data center industry

In this series, three of the industry’s most well-recognized and innovative leaders describe the problems facing enterprise IT organizations today. In this part, Switch’s Mark Thiele suggests that service offerings often don’t fit customer’s long-term needs. Customers in the data center market have a wide range of options. They can choose to do something internally, […]

Annual Data Center Industry Survey 2014

The fourth annual Uptime Institute Data Center Industry Survey provides an overview of global industry trends by surveying 1,000 data center operators and IT practitioners. Uptime Institute collected responses via email February through April 2014 and presented preliminary results in May 2014 at the 9th Uptime Institute Symposium: Empowering the Data Center Professional. To immediately […]

Data Center Cooling: CRAC/CRAH redundancy, capacity, and selection metrics

Striking the appropriate balance between cost and reliability is a business decision that requires metrics By Dr. Hussein Shehata This paper focuses on cooling limitations of down-flow computer room air conditioners/air handlers (CRACs/CRAHs) with dedicated heat extraction solutions in high-density data center cooling applications. The paper also explains how higher redundancy can increase total cost […]

Executive Perspectives on the Colocation and Wholesale Markets

An interview with CenturyLink’s David Meredith and Drew Leonard By Matt Stansberry Through our survey data and interactions with global Network members, Uptime Institute has noted large enterprise companies that have gone from running their own data centers exclusively to augmenting with some form of outsourced infrastructure. Does this match your experience? Do you see […]

A Holistic Approach to Reducing Cost and Resource Consumption

Data center operators need to move beyond PUE and address the underlying factors driving poor IT efficiency. By Matt Stansberry and Julian Kudritzki, with Scott Killian Since the early 2000s, when the public and IT practitioners began to understand the financial and environmental repercussions of IT resource consumption, the data center industry has focused obsessively […]

Explaining the Uptime Institute’s Tier Classification System (April 2021 Update)

Note: This is an April 2021 update to an article previously published. Uptime Institute’s Tier Standard and its Tier Classification System for data centers have been applied by owners and operators of data centers for nearly 30 years. Since its creation in the mid-1990s, the system has evolved from a shared industry terminology into the […]

Start With the End in Mind!

Involving operations at the beginning of a data center capital project is a good way to reduce TCO and gain other benefits By Lee Kirby As the data center industry grows in geographic breadth and technological sophistication, it is natural that design professionals, owners and operators pay attention to the capital-intensive effort of designing and […]


Resolving the Data Center Staffing Shortage

The availability of qualified candidates is just part of the problem with data center staffing; the industry also lacks training and clear career paths attractive to recruits. The data center industry is experiencing a shortage of personnel. Uptime Institute Founder Ken Brill, as always, was among the first to note a trend, mentioning it more […]


Resolving Conflicts between Data Center Owners and Designers

Improving communication between the enterprise and design engineers during a capital project For over 10 years, Uptime Institute has sought to improve the relationship between data center design engineers and data center owners. Yet, it is clear that issues remain. Uptime Institute’s uniquely unbiased position—it does not design, construct, commission, operate, or provision equipment to […]


Decommissioning as a Discipline: Server Roundup Winners Share Success

How did these six enterprises find and eliminate so much waste? Comatose IT equipment, servers long abandoned by application owners and users but still racked and running, are hiding in plain sight within even the most sophisticated IT organizations. Obsolete or unused servers represent a double threat in terms of energy waste—squandering power at the […]

Data center cost

Data Center Cost Myths: SCALE

What happens when economies of scale is a false promise? By Chris Crosby   Chris Crosby is a recognized visionary and leader in the data center space, Founder and CEO of Compass Datacenters. Mr. Crosby has more than 20 years of technology experience and 10 years of real estate and investment experience. Previously, he served […]

The data center in 2020 and beyond

In this keynote video from 2014 Uptime Institute Symposium, Andy Lawrence, Research Director at 451 Research, provides an overview of what a data center might look like in 2020 and beyond. This presentation covers how all the various new technologies might be combined with new data center services, along with extrapolated improvements in processing, storage […]

Designing Netflix’s Content Delivery Network

David Fullagar, Director of Content Delivery Architecture at Netflix, presents at Uptime Institute Symposium 2014. In his presentation, Fullagar discusses the hardware design and open source software components of Netflix Open Connect, the custom-designed content delivery network that enables Netflix to handle its massive video-streaming demands, and explains how these designs are well-suited to other […]

How FORCSS Works: Case Study 1

This paper launches the Uptime Institute FORCSS Case Study Series and introduces the FORCSS Index Uptime Institute FORCSS is a means to capture, compare, prioritize, and communicate the benefits, costs, and impacts of multiple IT deployment alternatives. Deployment alternatives may include owned/existing data centers, commercial data centers (wholesale, retail, colocation, managed service), or IaaS (including […]

2014 Uptime Institute Data Center Survey Results

Uptime Institute Director of Content and Publications, Matt Stansberry, delivers the opening keynote from Uptime Institute Symposium 2014: Empowering the Data Center Professional. This is Uptime Institute’s fourth annual survey, and looks at data center budgets, energy efficiency metrics, and adoption trends in colocation and cloud computing.

Introducing Uptime Institute’s FORCSS System

A new process to compare IT deployment options across both in-house and outsourced alternatives By Julian Kudritzki and Matt Stansberry, Uptime Institute Uptime Institute FORCSS™ is an original system to capture, compare, and prioritize the various impacts to the many IT deployment alternatives. On an ongoing basis, enterprise organizations decide to deploy IT assets in […]

Building a data center facilities management team from scratch

The Dream Job By Fred Dickerman Editor’s note: Mr. Dickerman’s feature on the challenges of starting a Facilities Team breaks new and unexpected ground, as Mr. Dickerman adapts the new FORCSS methodology to help resolve a staffing question in a hypothetical case. The Uptime Institute did not anticipate this use of FORCSS as it developed […]