Operations


Fire Suppression Systems Bring Unexpected Risk

Hazards include server damage from loud noise during discharge of inert gas fire suppression systems By Kevin Heslin, with contributions from Scott Good and Pitt Turner A downtime incident in Europe has rekindled interest in a topic that never seems more than a spark away from becoming a heated discussion. In that incident, the accidental […]

Top Considerations for Addressing Data Center Facilities Management Risks

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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

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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 […]

Reconsider Your Diesel Fuel Supply

New diesel formulations put your generators at risk By Bernard Oegema, Pat Smyth, Brian Ponstein, William “Bill” Klein, and Martin Wesolowski The increased use of biodiesel has increased the risk to the diesel infrastructure of data centers and other facilities first noted with the adoption of ultralow sulfur diesel (ULSD) in 2006. The U.S. Environmental […]

ENTEL Achieves Uptime Institute Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability

Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability enhances ENTEL’s services to customers By Kevin Heslin ENTEL began operations in 1964 as a provider of national and international long distance telephone services to companies in Chile. Today it is a consolidated provider of integrated telecommunication services and information technologies services, meeting the needs of corporations and large companies […]

When an Australian Government Department Required Operational Sustainability, Metronode Delivered

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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

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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

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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 […]

Bulky Binders and Operations “Experts” Put Your Data Center at Risk

Wearable technology and digitized operating procedures ensure compliance with standardized practices and provide quick access to critical information By Jose Ruiz No one in the data center industry questions that data center outages are extremely costly. Numerous vendors report that the average data center outage costs hundreds of thousands of dollars, with losses in some […]

If You Can’t Buy Effective DCIM, Build It

After commercial DCIM offerings failed to meet RELX Group’s requirements, the team built its own DCIM tool based on the existing IT Services Management Suite By Stephanie Singer What is DCIM? Most people might respond “data center infrastructure management.” However, simply defining the acronym is not enough. The meaning of DCIM is greatly different for […]

Open19 is About Improving Hardware Choices, Standardizing Deployment

In July 2016, Yuval Bachar, principal engineer, Global Infrastructure Architecture and Strategy at LinkedIn announced Open19, a project spearheaded by the social networking service to develop a new specification for server hardware based on a common form factor. The project aims to standardize the physical characteristics of IT equipment, with the goal of cutting costs […]

FORTRUST Gains Competitive Advantage from Management and Operations

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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, […]

Saudi Aramco’s Cold Aisle Containment Saves Energy

Oil exploration and drilling require HPC By Issa A. Riyani and Nacianceno L. Mendoza Saudi Aramco’s Exploration and Petroleum Engineering Computer Center (ECC) is a three-story data center built in 1982. It is located in Dhahran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It provides computing capability to the company’s geologists, geophysicists, and petroleum engineers to enable them […]

Data-Driven Approach to Reduce Failures

Operations teams use the Uptime Institute Network’s Abnormal Incident Reports (AIRs) database to enrich site knowledge, enhance preventative maintenance, and improve preparedness By Ron Davis The AIRs system is one of the most valuable resources available to Uptime Institute Network members. It comprises more than 5,000 data center incidents and errors spanning two decades of […]

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

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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 […]

Bank of Canada Achieves Operational Excellence

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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 […]

Avoid Failure and Delay on Capital Projects: Lessons from Tier Certification

How insights from Tier Certification of Constructed Facilities avoids unforeseen costs and errors for all new projects By Kevin Heslin Uptime Institute’s Tier Classification System has been a part of the data center industry lexicon for 20 years. Since its creation in the mid-1990s, the system has evolved into the global standard for third-party validation […]

Achieving Uptime Institute Tier III Gold Certification of Operational Sustainability

Vantage Data Centers certifies design, facility, and operational sustainability at its Quincy, WA site By Mark Johnson In February 2015, Vantage Data Centers earned Tier III Gold Certification of Operational Sustainability (TCOS) from Uptime Institute for its first build at its 68-acre Quincy, WA campus. This project is a bespoke design for a customer that […]

Arc Flash Mitigation in the Data Center

Meeting OSHA and NFPA 70E arc flash safety requirements while balancing prevention and production demands By Ed Rafter Uninterruptible uptime, 24 x 7, zero downtime…these are some of the terms that characterize data center business goals for IT clients. Given these demands, facility managers and technicians in the industry are skilled at managing the infrastructure that supports […]

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

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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 […]

AIG Tells How It Raised Its Level of Operations Excellence

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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

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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

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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 […]

Retainers Improve the Effectiveness of IEC Plugs

These small devices prevent accidental disconnection of mission critical gear By Scott Good Today IEC plugs are used at the rack-level PDU and the IT device. IEC plugs backing out of sockets create a significant concern, since these plugs feed UPS power to the device.  In the past, twist-lock cord caps were used, but these did […]

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

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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 […]

The Making of a Good Method of Procedure

Good MOPs (method of procedure) help humans manage the complexity inherent in data centers By Alfonso Aranda with Lee Kirby Data centers are complex techno–human systems. The number of interrelated and interdependent elements (including the human element) that interact in the normal operation of a data center and the large number of interactions that take […]

Sun Life Plots Data Center Facilities and Operations Roadmap to Meet Application Demands

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An imminent return of service causes a top-to-bottom examination of data center facilities and operations By Rocco Alonzi and Paolo Piro When Sun Life Financial completed a return of service for its data center operations in 2011, the Enterprise Infrastructure (IE) and Corporate Real Estate (CRE) teams immediately saw an opportunity to improve service stability, […]

Digital Realty Deploys Comprehensive DCIM Solution

Examining the scope of the challenge By David Schirmacher Digital Realty’s 127 properties cover around 24 million square feet of mission-critical data center space in over 30 markets across North America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and it continues to grow and expand its data center footprint. As senior VP of operations, it’s my job to […]

Annual Data Center Industry Survey 2014

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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 […]

McKesson Retrofits Economizers in Live DC Environment

Pharmaceutical installs economizers in a live site to improve energy efficiency By Wayne Everett, Dean Scharffenberg, and Coleman Jones McKesson Corporation, the oldest and largest health-care services company in the United States, plays an integral role in meeting the nation’s health-care needs. McKesson is the largest pharmaceutical distributor in North America, delivering one-third of all […]

Avoid Target Fixation in the Data Center

Removing heat is more effective than adding cooling By Steve Press, with Pitt Turner, IV According to Wikipedia, the term target fixation was used in World War II fighter-bomber pilot training to describe why pilots would sometimes fly into targets during a strafing or bombing run. Since then, others have adopted the term. The phenomenon […]

Data Center Outages, Incidents, and Industry Transparency

The lack of transparency can be seen as a root cause of outages and incidents By Jason Weckworth I recently began a keynote speech at Uptime Institute Symposium 2013 by making a bold statement. As data center operators, we simply don’t share enough of our critical facilities incidents with each other. Yet Uptime Institute maintains […]

New System Combats Data Center PQ Concerns

Using relevant technologies and techniques to develop an optimized system for addressing data center PQ concerns By Kuochuan Chu For years, engineers and data centers operators have implemented various strategies to improve power quality in mission-critical facilities. We have found, however, that good power quality requires a solid grounding system. By efficiently utilizing the essential […]

Solving Air Contaminant Problems in Data Centers

RoHS-compliant products exacerbate the problem By Christopher Muller, Dr. Prabjit Singh, G. Henry White, and Paul Finch End users have worried about the reliability of electronic gear almost since the introduction of the circuit board. Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS), or lead-free, manufacturing regulations for electronic equipment that went into effect in 2006 only served […]

Dual-Corded Power and Fault Tolerance: Past, Present, and Future

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Details of dual-corded power change, but the theme remains the same. Uptime Institute has worked with owners and operators of data centers since the early 1990s. At the time, data center owners used single-corded IT devices for even their most critical IT assets. Figure 1 shows a selection of the many potential sources of outage […]

Putting DCIM to Work for You

At Symposium 2013, Erik Ko of Twitter, Hewlett-Packard’s Ken Jackson, and James Pryor of Regions Bank discussed the experience of selecting and implementing DCIM solutions from the end user perspective. The panel was moderated by Uptime Institute’s Kevin Heslin. Earlier that week, Symposium 2013 attendees heard presentations that focused on the potential for DCIM and […]

Uptime Institute Network Activities Around the Globe

No longer “the best kept secret” the Uptime Institute Network has gone international These interviews with Uptime Institute Network directors Rob Costa, Sylvie Le Roy, and Mozart Mello highlight the qualifications of the Uptime Institute staff working with Network members across the globe and also portray the opportunities for growth and need for the Network […]

Lessons Learned From Superstorm Sandy

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An Uptime Institute survey reveals that best practices and preparation pay dividends In late October 2012, Superstorm Sandy tore through the Caribbean and up the east coast of the U.S., killing over a hundred, leaving millions without power and causing billions of dollars in damage. In the aftermath of the storm, Uptime Institute surveyed data […]

Implementing Data Center Cooling Best Practices

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Step-by-step guide to data center cooling best practices will help data center managers take greater advantage of the energy savings opportunities available while providing improved cooling of IT systems The nature of data center temperature management underwent a dramatic evolution when American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) adopted new operating temperature guidelines. […]

Code mandates for data center operations

Data center operations and management are increasingly the target of codes that impact safety, communications, and economic systems. Going well beyond the guidelines laid out by NFPA 75 and 76, the new 2011 National Electrical Code (NFPA 70) actually provides for regulatory oversight of mission-critical facility management. This video will provide a history of codes […]

Server Decommissioning as a Discipline: Paul Nally, Barclays

In 2013, Barclays removed 9,124 physical servers from its data centers globally, winning Uptime Institute’s Server Roundup competition for the second year running. This effort is part of a server footprint reduction across the entire company. The organization reaped significant cost benefits, but this project has also reduced risk and complexity, providing Barclays’ internal IT […]

Diesel exhaust after treatment for data centers

Cleaning up your act: A guide to exhaust standards By Lamont Fortune, PE, United Health Group Are your diesel generators used strictly for emergency or non-emergency purposes? Your answer to this question will tell you just how clean your diesel exhaust has to be by 2015 (and as early as 2014) as far as the […]

How business practices can impair data center availability

Don’t pit man against machine By Charles Selkirk, ATD While data centers in Southern Africa utilize world-class designs and construction techniques, ongoing operational sustainability models struggle to attract and retain sufficient qualified and motivated personnel, in part due to the lack of recognition of the importance of their work (unless something goes wrong!). The Uptime […]

Documenting Underfloor Conditions in an Operational Data Center

Excel is the basis of a surprisingly simple visual tool By Chad Beery, ATD Engineers regularly employ pictures and drawings to communicate design ideas. They sketch on whiteboards during a meeting, talk with their hands and sometimes even sketch on the back of napkins. In fact, the deliverables produced by design engineers and consultants include […]