Written by T5 Data Centers, and Matt Stansberry, Vice President, North America Uptime Institute
It is estimated that there are over 900,000 data centers in North America ranging from server closets to multi-megawatt facilities, according to 451 Research. Uptime Institute’s 8th Annual Data Center Survey finds that human error continues to be the main cause of a majority of all data center incidents. In fact, negligent operational practices are 500X more likely to negatively impact a data center than any other cause of outages, errors and the resulting downtime.
In today’s competitive market, it is more important than ever to ensure that business-critical data centers are being operated reliably and efficiently to support the necessary 7×24 uptime performance and to minimize the risk of errors and failures that can directly impact your business.
So what does this all mean? The key to managing these issues is balancing ever-changing data center dynamics, making smart decisions around equipment, systems, practices and procedures as well as capacity, personnel and weather conditions. Essentially, no matter which engineering design, system technologies or infrastructures are in place at a facility, the most significant contribution to unplanned downtime and errors is operations.
With this in mind, T5 set out to validate the critical facilities management and operations practices of existing data centers across the T5 portfolio, reviewing not only day-to-day operating activities but also upstream planning and decision making. T5 determined that the Uptime Institute M&O Stamp of Approval was the best assessment for the organization. The M&O Stamp of Approval includes a thorough review of policy documents and procedures, interviews with personnel, and an on-site assessment from an Uptime Institute expert.
The M&O Stamp of Approval provides a holistic view of organizational capabilities, ensuring that the organization has the ability to capitalize on each area for improvement. It’s a comprehensive approach to bring added value to the organization, customers and investors. The reality is that a single outage can cause damage to equipment, worker injuries, lost revenue, also with additional penalties for failure to maintain contractual Service Level Agreements.
The M&O Stamp of Approval can help reduce the number and severity of incidents, which can have a meaningful impact on both CapEx and OpEx costs, including the cost to insure structures. Because of this insurance companies now recognize that the M&O Stamp of Approval and Uptime institute’s Tier Standards and Certifications may qualify an organization for more competitive insurance policy terms and pricing.
A data center that is awarded with Uptime Institute’s M&O Stamp of Approval has achieved the criteria for 7 X 24 uptime. That criteria includes: staffing & organization, training & professional development assessment, a preventative maintenance program & processes, operating conditions & housekeeping, planning management, and coordination practices & resources. These are the practices that differentiate data centers.
T5 has received five of M&O Stamps of Approval, including some of the highest scores in the industry. What our customers care about is application availability. They care about how operations and procedures are handled when there is a critical incident. And they care about our team of individuals who provide the “White Glove” experience with every Facilities Team interaction. What is essential is adherence to strict policies. No “winging it.” No “cowboys.” With the help of Uptime Institute’s M&O Stamp of approval we’ve been able to reach new levels of consistency and performance, improving our culture and operational approach along the way.