Wong Ka Vin of 1-Net
"Does having a Tier III Certification of Facility Design Documents and Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility for data centre matter?" This is a question that has been frequently raised, after we announced that our upcoming 1-Net North data centre will be awarded with these certifications during our meetings with our potential customers.
Issued by Uptime Institute, the Tier III Certification of Facility Design Documents and Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility essentially recognise data centres for having the infrastructure that allows for greater redundancy and higher uptime. But let us go into details on the certifications later.
With Singapore ranked number two in the IDC Asia Pacific Data Center Index for setting up new and outsourced data centres, the data centre landscape is booming, with the customer spoilt for choice to house their invaluable data.This is where certification becomes a major differentiating factor for providers. A certification is not only a selection checklist for prospective customers to choose their data centres, it is also act like an insurance policy for enterprises which require higher assurance for their data.
While customers value availability as their primary selection criteria, many of them lack sophisticated means to help make their choice. In fact, results from Uptime Institute's Data Center Industry Survey 2014 indicate that 57 percent of the interviewed enterprise customers do not have a formal process for defining third party data center requirements. The purpose of Uptime Institute's certification is to create and facilitate end-user knowledge on reliability and availability in data centre facilities.
But back to the point about Tier III Certification of Facility Design Documents and Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility. What is it all about? A data centre with these certifications has multiple power and cooling distribution paths to the server equipment. The equipment is served by one distribution path, but in the event that the path fails, another takes over as a failover. There are also specific procedures in place that allow for maintenance/updates to be done in the data centre, without causing downtime. Each tier also adheres to different uptime levels - for Tier III, the expected uptime level is 99.982 percent.
As the outsourced data centre market in Singapore is considered as mature, customers are becoming increasingly sophisticated and expect more when they choose their data centres. However, we have observed that there have been amisconception of what Tier III Certification of Facility Design Documents and Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility are about. To worsen the misconception, somedata centers even claim to be "Tier IV ready" or "Tier 3.5" etc., which are invalid according to Uptime Institute's certification model.
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