It's vital for any organisation to partner with a data center provider that can ensure they receive a fast, efficient and stable service. There are a number of ways you can ensure this, but one of the key ways is by partnering with a data center provider with the right certifications.
Here are some of the vital certifications your data center provider needs to have.
Companies that are serious about redundancy will have Uptime Institute certification. The Uptime Institute is a neutral organisation that's "focused on improving the performance, efficiency and reliability of business-critical infrastructure through innovation, collaboration and independent certifications." These goals are achievable through the Uptime Institute’s globally recognised Tier Standards & Certifications. The tiers that are used by the institute are:
Tier I: Basic Capacity - This tier provides support for your IT infrastructure beyond what is offered in a basic office environment. This includes:
- Dedicated space for IT infrastructure;
- UPS to protect against power fluctuations;
- Cooling that runs outside of business hours;
- A power generator to ensure uptime in the event of extended outages.
Tier II: Redundant Capacity Components - This tier provides additional vital power and cooling solutions that prevent downtime from occuring. These solutions include UPS modules, chillers and generators.
Tier III: Concurrently Maintainable - This tier ensures that a data center will remain up even when equipment maintenance and replacement has to take place. Redundancy allows for each component to be shut down and maintained without it affecting your IT services.
Tier IV: Fault Tolerance - This tier expands upon Tier III by providing additional fault tolerance. Fault tolerance ensures that if hardware failure or other issues occur, IT services will continue uninterrupted.
It is important to note that each of these tiers is not considered better than the others, but are designed so that you can correctly match it to the needs of your business or organization and avoid excessive spending.
Each Tier can be "applied" to 3 different categories:
- Design documents;
- Constructed facility;
- Operational sustainability.
The European Standard EN 50600
This standard, otherwise known as the Design of “Data Centre Facilities and Infrastructures” standard, was developed by the independent, non-profit European organisation CENELEC. It was necessary to introduce a commercially neutral standard that is applicable globally. This standard is used to ensure that data center facilities and infrastructure in Europe are of a certain minimum quality. The different areas that this covers include:
- EN 50600-2-1 Building construction
- EN 50600-2-2 Power distribution
- EN 50600-2-3 Environmental control
- EN 50600-2-4 Telecommunications cabling infrastructure
- EN 50600-2-5 Security systems
- EN 50600-2-6 Management and operational information
ISO27001, also known as ISO/IEC 27001, is used to ensure security management standards through an Information Security Management System (ISMS). An ISMS is an internationally recognised system that is concerned with information risk and managing security.
The security management best practices and tight security controls in ISO27001 are based upon the ISO27002 certification, which is also a part of the ISO27000 family. The different criteria that make up ISO27002 and that are used as guidelines for ISO27001 are:
- Risk assessment
- Security policy
- Organisation of information security
- Asset management
- Human resources security
- Physical and environmental security
- Communications and operations management
- Access control
- Information systems acquisition, development and maintenance
- Information security incident management
- Business continuity management
A data center that successfully passes an audit will receive the ISO27001 certification.
ISO9001 is part of the ISO9000 group of standards dealing with quality management. It ensures product and service quality meets customer requirements, and that it is continually developed and improved upon.
In order to acquire the ISO9001 certification, you must meet specific requirements defined by the following Quality Management Principles:
QMP 1 – Customer focus
QMP 2 – Leadership
QMP 3 – Engagement of people
QMP 4 – Process approach
QMP 5 – Improvement
QMP 6 – Evidence-based decision making
QMP 7 – Relationship management
For more information on each of these principles, be sure to take a look at the ISO Quality Management Principles.
This certification addresses health and safety risks in the workplace. Acquiring this certificate will ensure that organisations:
- Identify and control health and safety risks;
- Decrease accident risk;
- Ensure legal compliance;
- Improve overall organisation performance.
The Industrial Security Oversight Certification (ISOC) ensures that companies implement the following areas:
- Basic industrial security;
- Security reviews and inspections;
- Security systems and requirements.
A number of Competency Preparatory Tools (CPTs) are available here, which can help you prepare by assessing your experience, knowledge and areas of expertise. Example questions are also provided.
These are a few of the certifications that your data center provider should have. If you need more information on data center providers and what you should look out for, be sure to contact Datacenters-in-Europe for more information.