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  1. #1
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    [EN] Switch backs away from Uptime’s Tiers, pushes own data center standard

    Yevgeniy Sverdlik
    June 8, 2017



    Switch, the Las Vegas-based data center provider that’s been one of the more vocal users of Uptime Institute’s four-tier rating system for data center reliability, will no longer pursue certification by Uptime for the facilities it builds.

    The company is proposing a new standard it calls Tier 5, which includes data center design elements other rating systems cover, as well as elements it says they lack. The “standard” is proprietary, Switch said in a statement, but the company is planning to launch a non-profit organization that will control Tier 5 and the way data center operators use it, Adam Kramer, Switch’s executive VP, said in an interview with Data Center Knowledge.

    The non-profit body, which Switch expects to roll out next year, will also “vigorously defend the certification,” he said. This, according to him, addresses another problem with Uptime’s rating system – its misrepresentation by data center operators for marketing purposes, which in Kramer’s opinion is not policed aggressively enough by Uptime, a subsidiary of The 451 Group.

    Finally, having a non-profit body administer the standard would ensure impartiality, he said. While Uptime is vendor-neutral, it is a commercial entity that provides tier certification as a professional service, its core revenue source. Uptime’s parent company pursues the same customers Uptime sells these services to, raising concerns of “conflict of interest and independence questions,” Switch said in a statement.

    Uptime Sticks to Its Guns

    Commenting on these concerns, Matt Stansberry, a senior director at Uptime, said impartiality is a big part of the value the organization provides. “We collect money for our services, but we are an unbiased, vendor-neutral organization that specifically makes our living on fairness or integrity,” he said in an interview with Data Center Knowledge.

    Addressing the question of misuse of the rating system’s nomenclature by companies, Stansberry said, “I understand there are folks in the industry who misrepresent the tier certifications. We do enforce the tier policy and I think that’s one of the things, you’ll find, that we do pretty well.”

    The biggest step Uptime has taken to address one type of misuse was to stop certifying design documents for colocation providers in North America before they build the facilities. The practice of certifying design docs separately from finished facilities led to some companies certifying design docs and promoting the certification without ever certifying the actual buildings.

    Uptime continues to certify design docs for colocation data centers outside North America but those certifications now expire after two years.

    Original Tier Rating Authors

    Switch has been collaborating with some of the original authors of Uptime’s tier system on developing Tier 5, including Uptime’s former CTO, Vince Renaud, and Hank Seader, its former managing principal. They will also be involved in the future standards body, called Data Center Standards Foundation, the company said.

    In a statement, Seader said the Uptime rating system was designed for enterprise data centers, and that options available to the industry have since expanded, which means the system has to adjust. He said he expected the system to evolve over time, but that has not happened. “The innovation has stagnated when it comes to evolving the facilities standard,” Seader said.

    Small Portion of Switch’s Footprint Certified

    While Switch has been promoting heavily its existing Tier IV Gold certifications (Uptime’s highest-level reliability rating), the portion of its total footprint that’s actually certified is relatively small. Only the opening sectors of two of its SuperNAP facilities (Las Vegas 8 and Las Vegas 9) have been certified.

    The two data centers are modular, Kramer said, so the design of the initial sectors is replicated as the company adds capacity in the buildings.

    These buildings are massive, together totaling 900,000 square feet, according to Kramer. Switch says on its website that its overall data center space in Las Vegas measures 2.4 million square feet and can provide up to 315MW of power. The company is getting ready to launch yet another data center in the market (Las Vegas 10) this month, Kramer said.

    It also recently launched data centers outside of Reno, Nevada, and in Grand Rapids, Michigan; it entered into joint ventures to build data centers in Italy and Thailand and announced plans to build data centers in the Atlanta market.

    Design is King

    Switch’s overall message is that its data center design – virtually all of it attributed to the company’s founder and CEO, Rob Roy – is more reliable than the design requirements described by Uptime’s Tier IV, the highest reliability rating. The elements making it more reliable according to the company include things like the ability for the data center to “run forever without water,” detection and protection from outside air pollutants, energy storage system redundancy, availability of multiple network carriers, individual rack security, and many more.

    Data center design and focus on physical security have played a big role in Switch’s differentiation story, and the long list of differences between Tier 5 and Uptime’s Tier IV requirements highlights many of the key elements in Roy’s design and approach to security.

    http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/a...nter-standard/

  2. #2
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    Switch Announces New Tier 5 Platinum Data Center Standard

    .




    Tier 5 Data Center Differentiation






    POWER SYSTEMS

    TIER 4 TIER 5
    Not Required Both A & B power stays online during 90% of site maintenance
    Not Required Stored energy system configured in an N+1
    Not Required The stored energy system has a permanently installed monitor
    Not Required Critical distribution path equipped with features to provide circuit monitoring from UPS to power panel branch circuits.
    Not Required Multiple stations at three separate, fully functional, locations control and monitor facility for standby generation power
    Not Required Multiple stations within the electrical backbone for switchgear control and monitoring at three separate locations, each station being fully functional
    Fault tolerant standby power generation Fault tolerant standby power generation
    Fault tolerant critical power path Fault tolerant critical power path
    Fault tolerant station standby power path and switchgear Fault tolerant standby power path and switchgear
    Fault tolerant UPS Fault tolerant UPS
    Fault tolerant power paths from power sources to UPS input and mechanical loads Fault tolerant power paths from power sources to UPS input and mechanical loads
    Fault tolerant power sources for ancillary building systems Fault tolerant power sources for ancillary building systems
    12 hour fault tolerant standby power 100 hour fault tolerant standby power
    Dual, diverse power path Dual, diverse power path
    Tie circuit breaker separation ensures maintaining one does not expose personnel to energized parts on the other Tie circuit breaker separation ensures maintaining one does not expose personnel to energized parts on the other
    Distribution circuit breaker separation prevents personnel exposure to energized parts during maintenance Distribution circuit breaker separation prevents personnel exposure to energized parts during maintenance
    Each compartment contains no more than the number of redundant capacity components Each compartment contains no more than the number of redundant capacity components
    Capacity at ASHRAE N=20 dry bulb, maximum wet bulb and altitude Capacity at ASHRAE N=20 dry bulb, maximum wet bulb and altitude
    Standby power has a continuous or unlimited runtime rating Standby power has a continuous or unlimited runtime rating
    UPS has sufficient stored energy capacity to sustain continuous availability until alternative energy source supports site operations UPS has sufficient stored energy capacity to sustain continuous availability until alternative energy source supports site operations
    UPS and switchgear is compartmentalized UPS and switchgear is compartmentalized
    Distribution circuit breaker separation prevents personnel exposure to energized parts during maintenance Distribution circuit breaker separation prevents personnel exposure to energized parts during maintenance



    COOLING SYSTEMS

    TIER 4 TIER 5
    Not Required Data center can run forever without water
    Not Required Outside air pollutant detection and protective response capable
    Continuous cooling solution Continuous cooling solution
    Physically diverse critical distribution pathways to the data floor Fault tolerant critical equipment and critical distribution paths for each system
    12 hours of fault tolerant on-site and redundant makeup water capacity 12 hours of fault tolerant on-site and redundant makeup water capacity
    Meets ASHRAE high and low temperature requirements Meets ASHRAE high and low temperature requirements
    Capacity at ASHRAE N=20 dry bulb and maximum wet bulb Capacity at ASHRAE N=20 dry bulb and extreme maximum wet bulb
    Each compartment contains no more than the number of redundant capacity components Each compartment contains no more than the number of redundant capacity components
    If chilled water technology is used, the chiller capacity is calculated at ASHRAE maximum wet bulb temperature If chilled water technology is used, the chiller capacity is calculated at ASHRAE maximum wet bulb temperature
    Automatic leak detection and automatic leak mitigation for all piping and CRAHs Automatic leak detection and automatic leak mitigation for all piping and CRAHs

    (continua)

  3. #3
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    CARRIER SERVICES

    TIER 4 TIER 5
    Not Required 10 on-net carriers available to all customers
    Not Required 6 facility entry vaults from at least two pathways
    Not Required D/DoS mitigation services made available to customers



    PHYSICAL SECURITY

    TIER 4 TIER 5
    Not Required Each server rack is securable
    Not Required Access to critical asset systems and networks such as HVAC/Power/Network/Security are securable
    Not Required Monitored, motion activated, video surveillance of service spaces and entrances at 15 images per second and retained for at least 90 days
    Not Required Each compartmentalized cage/room on the data center floor is independently securable
    Not Required The facility within the premises has photo ID badged entry access control which records access times/dates/user for 180 days
    Not Required The facility exterior walls are windowless and made of concrete or a similarly non-flammable, non-penetrable walls
    Not Required Exterior doors are reinforced (e.g. steel stiffened) in a steel frame which is fully grout filled and if unmanned without visible hinges
    Not Required The premises has at least a minimum 7' with 18" perimeter fence with a 3 strand barbed wire topper, or similar piking, at 45 degree angle away from the premises that is not minimized by vehicle or pedestrian access
    Not Required The facility has man trap access control at all entrances
    Not Required Access control authenticates each badge holder by PIN/biometric/Two Person Integrity
    Not Required Security operations employs the most stringent physical security enforcement tools allowable by law
    Not Required No flammable material is permitted on the data floor
    Not Required Auditing standards required for the logical data housed are met
    Not Required Access Control Program regulates access to operational zones
    Not Required The premises can maintain shelter in place security operations for 100 hours
    Not Required The security team conducts at least semi-annual security threat assessments in accordance with the facility's established quantitative and qualitative threat assessment methods.
    Not Required No high-risk neighboring facilities (e.g. highly flammable, explosive, HAZMAT, or nuclear risks)


    WATER PROTECTION

    TIER 4 TIER 5
    Not Required Independently repairable/replaceable dual roof system
    Not Required Located outside a 100-year flood plain
    Not Required All cooling water outside the building shell (i.e. no water permitted on or above data center floor)
    Not Required Representation and warranty letter signed by officer of the company guaranteeing service levels


    POWER SUSTAINABILITY AND EFFICIENCY

    TIER 4 TIER 5
    Not Required 100% renewably powered
    Not Required Powered by local, new, renewable projects
    Not Required Seasoned sector 12 month PUE trailing average of less than 1.3






    http://www.switch.com/Tier-5/

  4. #4
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    Switch Offers the World’s Only Tier 5 Platinum Data Centers

    Switch data center designs, facilities and operations far surpass the highest data center benchmarks. As such, Switch offers the world’s only Tier 5 Platinum data centers.

    In 2014, Switch became the first and only carrier-neutral multi-tenant/colocation facility to be certified Tier IV Gold by the Uptime Institute. In 2016, Switch became the only entity to do so, twice. For each facility, Switch obtained certification in both Design and Facility categories. Switch was also awarded Gold certifications for Operational Excelllence. Switch went through this exercise, each time, to further reinforce Switch’s technology leadership and add transparency to its offerings.

    Switch’s CEO and Founder, Rob Roy has been designing, building and operating data centers since 2000. Rob Roy has over 260 patent and patent pending claims that capture his vision and inventions. Although not critical to its market position, Switch pursued the Uptime Institute certification in an effort to provide clarity to those less familiar with data center technology nuances. Switch also wanted to ensure no one was misled by would-be competitors misrepresenting the quality or reliability of their facilities.

    Switch’s data center and telecommunication technology and services have been praised as Tier “Elite” – above and beyond any current tier metric, including those offered by the Uptime Institute. Switch continues the pursuit of building the world’s best data centers. In doing so, Switch has raised the bar beyond current industry standards with its own Tier 5 Platinum data center standard.

    Tier 4 vs. Tier 5.

    When Switch obtained the Tier 4 Gold certification, such achievements were noteworthy. Moreover, the original intent of the Uptime Institute standards, and its foundational authors, was integral. However, now that Switch has fully participated in the Uptime Institute process, Switch views the Uptime Institute rating system as insufficient. The current standards do not evaluate todays’ increasingly dynamic data center ecosystem needs. While beneficial in some respects, the Uptime Institute Tier 4 standard overlooks critical components necessary for any data center, as well as world class elements intrinsic in Switch Technology.

    The Uptime Institute Tier 4 standard does not contemplate internet connectivity or carrier services, physical security and regional risks, or the sustainability and energy efficiency of a facility. Moreover, the standard is trapped in an outdated vision of what is necessary to support the Internet of Everything. A detailed comparison between the Uptime Institute Tier 4 standard and Switch’s Tier 5 standard is available here.

    The Value of Independence.

    In addition to being an outdated standard that omits elements critical to any data center ecosystem, the Uptime Institute Tier 4 standards are difficult to find. Rather, the standards are only readily available to those who hire the Uptime Institute. Whether this is due to a change in Uptime’s business plan, or the result of new ownership is unknown.

    However, the consequence has been clear. The standards themselves have been misunderstood and subject to abuse. Moreover, in Switch’s opinion, the Uptime Institute standards have grown more focused on gathering clients rather than protecting data center consumers; more focused on income than the data center industry.

    Accordingly, Switch announces a new standard in data center excellence: Tier 5 Platinum.

    Continued Excellence: Data Center Standards Foundation.

    In addition to announcing the Tier 5 Platinum standard, Switch is partnering with some of the original authors of the Uptime Institute to create a new, independent, non-profit standards body for the data center industry. Known as the Data Center Standards Foundation, or “DCSF”, the foundation will independently protect the industry, the world, and the users. DCSF will enable data center users, owners, and operators to self-assess the rating of their data centers, clearly represent and warrant that rating, and have an independent third-party audit verify that assessment.

    http://www.switch.com/Tier-5/

  5. #5
    WHT-BR Top Member
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    IMO a análise da Switch é precisa. A imprensa pode explorar o uso (fraudulento) para conquistar alguns poucos incautos mas o problema real IMO é a exigência de certificações para barrar competidores. A dificuldade da fundação da Switch será obter aceitação da nova certificação nas pré-qualificações mas por ser independente deverá ganhar adesão dos escritórios de consultoria que prestam assessoria em concorrências, diluindo o poder da 451/Uptime.
    Última edição por 5ms; 08-06-2017 às 16:41.

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