What is a Data Centre?
Digitalization is leading to a massive generation of data in the world of IT. This rapid increase requires large-scale facilities and modern technologies for effective data centre infrastructure management and security. Data centres (DCs) are buildings that provide physical security, space, power and cooling for IT operations. Data centres centralize a business’s IT operations or equipment, as well as store, share and manage data.
Businesses depend on the consistency and trustworthiness of data centres to ensure that their IT operations function safely and continuously. As a result, security and reliability are a top priority for data centres to ensure they are always meeting and exceeding the service that both internal and external customer depend on.
Why are data centre certification and quality control important?
According to Cisco Global Cloud Index, data center storage utilization is estimated as 1.3 ZB (zettabyte) in 2021 for data stored and 1.2 ZB per month for data in motion; the amount of annual global data center traffic is to reach 20.6 ZB per year by 2021.
Looking to the future, the data centre industry will not only grow, but become increasingly important for six reasons:
- Today, 75% of business workloads remain within enterprise data centres. By 2025, it’s expected that 50% of business workloads will still be there.
- Applications of AI are entering the mainstream more and more meaning data centres will need to have the capacity to react accordingly.
- Under the US CLOUD Act, when ordered, all cloud service providers in the USA will have to provide American authorities with the data that is stored on their servers regardless of where it’s housed. Many US providers control much of the cloud market in Europe, giving the US the right to access large amounts of the region’s information of its people and companies. This means that other parts of the world will need their own reliable and secure data centre infrastructure.
- Market consolidation of acquisitions and mergers between existing European customers and Hyperscalers is opening up new opportunities worldwide.
- Edge computing will complement traditional data centre business.
- Finally, Quantum Computing will open up entirely new opportunities and possibilities as well as new challenges for traditional data centre business in the future.
TÜV SÜD Supports Data Centre Analysis and Quality Control
TÜV SÜD cares for secure availability, supporting our customers with solutions that increase the quality and availability of their DCs. As your trusted data centre partner, we become your eyes and ears on site. We are also fully aware that time is critical, meaning we follow your time schedule as a reliable, fast-reacting third-party service provider – worldwide.
By conducting an assessment of your data centre infrastructure with TÜV SÜD, you gain various solutions and benefits:
- Decades of experience in engineering and projects related to data centres, e.g. for TIER classification or data security concepts for control centres as well as a global network of TÜV SÜD experts in the data centre community.
- In-depth understanding, know-how and expertise of all relevant engineering solutions in data centres as well as risk analysis and assessments regarding IT service continuity gives you competitive advantages and confidence in the management of your IT infrastructure.
- Expert guidance and hands-on solutions through a tailored, focused approach based on the individual requirements and special features of your specific data centre as well as ongoing data centre support through post-certification auditing.
- As a neutral and independent Third Party we perform quality control during construction, from Factory Acceptance Tests (FAT) to Integrated System Testing (IST). We confirm compliance with the contractual arrangements between landlord and tenant regarding engineering, technical solutions and testing. We support you to make your project successful.
- The public profile and reputation of the TÜV SÜD brand, providing assurance that reports success.
TÜV SÜD’s Data Centre Infrastructure Services
Our services were developed to tightly follow the market demands combined with your needs to turn facts and assumptions into reality. Through this, we offer two robust data centre infrastructure services: EN 50600 data centre certification and Testing & Commissioning.
EN 50600 Data Centre Certification
EN 50600 represents the state-of-the-art and most advanced standard worldwide for analyzing the complete infrastructure of data processing systems – whether they are large hyperscale data centres or small one-room containers. It is considered the ‘true quality’ standard of data centres. While it is currently offered on a European basis, the EN 50600 is already available as ISO/IEC TS 22237 and will also be offered as an international standard: ISO 22237.
The EN 50600 is different to other standards in that it does not specify every detail, allowing space for discussions regarding the most logical solution. It provides a case-by-case data centre assessment based on the business’s risk, which determines the degree of security and availability that’s needed.
The key contents of the standard are:
- A risk and requirements analysis, which is designed to define and ensure appropriate design and planning.
- Four technical infrastructure availability classes including power distribution, environmental control and telecommunication cabling.
- Four protection classes for physical security and space utilization.
- Management and operation, which includes a definition of measurable KPIs and requirements for operational management and energy efficiency.
From preparation and pre-audits up to certification, TÜV SÜD supports the implementation of EN 50600. We have a global network of experts for all issues related to EN 50600, from building design concepts to quality assurance. We are also part of the EN standardization committee.
Testing and Commissioning (T&C)
Testing and Commissioning (T&C) is a diligent process of planning and performing all necessary quality controls that encompass the entire complex infrastructures of data centres with their multiple and complex interfaces and interdependencies.
The T&C is performed by a third-party Commissioning Agent (CxA) besides the tenant or landlord. The Commissioning Agent starts with a T&C plan – a crosscheck of all relevant contractual agreements and specifications – and will cover all project phases from design, to during construction until Ready for Service, including a Design Review, which is often referred to as Level 0.
Testing and Commissioning (T&C) and is conducted using a 5-level approach:
During this first stages of the Testing and Commissioning process, weekly calls and monthly reporting are obligatory, with additional bi-weekly reports added towards the final stages of the project. The successful completion of the commissioning process is marked with a Commissioning Compliance Letter.
In addition to the services described above, TÜV SÜD also offers:
- Design reviews, RAM analysis, energy efficiency certification, root cause analysis and evaluation of equipment failures
- Assessments according to ANSI/TIA 942:2010, Annex G
- Certification of Edge Computing solutions following EN 50600
- Data Centre Certification for SMEs with their own on-premise DCs according to TÜV SÜD Data Centre standard based on EN 50600.