My favorite definition of Internet is from Jim Cowie: “The Internet is a robust virtual infrastructure comprised of tens of thousands of communicating enterprises, each seeking to maximize profit according to local rules and business conditions.” And the Data Centers function as the factories-cum-warehouses of Internet.
Thousands of servers and routers being stacked across the vast space emit enormous heat in the air. That’s why highly sophisticated air cooling systems are installed to maintain proper temperature and Internet. Any glitch in the power supply system results disastrous consequences. Data Center Dynamics cites a recent occurrence:
A data center in the Silicon Valley owned by Japanese conglomerate Fujitsu has recently suffered a power outage, bringing a number of cloud services offline. Fujitsu’s massive data center in Sunnyvale, California offers 32,000 square meters of raised floor space and up to 5.5MW of power. The campus recently finished a “multi-million dollar” upgrade and features five emergency diesel generators and eight UPS systems. But even all this extra hardware couldn’t save it from what Fujitsu described as a “major transformer station failure”.
The issue was caused by a failure of the power transmission equipment, but it’s not clear why the power loss wasn’t immediately compensated for by redundant systems. According to research by power distribution specialist Eaton, California suffered more power outages than any other US state in 2014. The company calculated that power outages cost the US economy $150 billion in damages annually.
A Data Center’s reliability is being certified by Uptime Institute. It has recently changed the tier-rating system of Data Centers.
Two months ago (July 1st, 2015), the Uptime Institute implemented a change that rumbled through the data center industry. The “industry standard” certifications were to be revamped. In that process, the Tier Certification of Design Documents (TCDD) was stripped of any stand-alone value for commercial data centers in North America.
In the amended process, a TCCD letter is issued upon resolving any issues that surfaced in the design package. The Uptime Institute announcement stated, “The foil and website listing for TCDD will be withheld until completion of Tier Certification of Constructed Facility (TCCF).”
Governments in our part of the world are generously spending public money to build Data Centers as symbols of national pride. They would better be aware of the certification process of their political pleasure. Here is the full report.