Uptime Institute recognises that not all datacenters are unique snowflakes with Tier-ready prefab certification

As Brad Pitt’s character Tyler Durden says in the cult-movie Fight Club: ““You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake.”

Uptime Institute TIER-ReadyUptime Institute, which I worked closely with at 451 Research, has recognised that the same sentiment increasingly applies to the datacenter industry.

Uptime is working with datacenter technology suppliers to apply its Tier-certification scheme to prefabricated modular (PFM) datacenter designs. PFM is a rather vague catch-all term for chunks of datacenter M&E equipment – or entire sites in the case of containers – which is usually manufactured and integrated off-site speeding up deployment times whilst also hopefully improving quality to boot.

PFM designs still make up a small percentage of overall datacenter capacity but there is growing interest in some of the same developing markets where Uptime is also enjoying strong growth for its Tier-certification services. The move is a recognition that the direction of travel in the industry will be towards standardisation and industrialisation and away from highly-bespoke datacenters where every site was a beautiful unique snowflake.

Uptime is working hard to evolve and develop its services to keep up with the frenetic pace of change in the datacenter industry and this latest announcement is part of that process.  Uptime also recently announced that it is launching its own research service to provide its members with insight and advice on all facets of datacenter design.

451 Research report: Vertiv aligns data-driven datacenter services with its software plans

Another in the series on the datacenter services plans of large technology suppliers. This time the focus is on Vertiv and how it has evolved its services strategy since the spin off from Emerson Network Power. It has plans to follow Eaton and Schneider Electric into cloud-based datacenter infrastructure management (DCIM) tools which 451 refers to as Datacenter Management as a Service (DMaaS). However, the company says it has had very sophisticated remote monitoring and management tools for more than ten years. (For 451 subscribers)

Greenpeace: Power companies are the biggest impediment to a low-carbon Internet

Just published on 451 Research (subscribers only)

Environmental group Greenpeace recently released its latest take on the ecological impact of large datacenter operators. In Clicking Clean: A Guide to Building the Green Internet, the organization asserts that while there continue to be some laggards among the pack of large datacenter operators, many have taken decisive steps to improve their environmental stewardship. 

In a clear switch of emphasis, Greenpeace reserves the bulk of its criticism for what it describes as a group of monopolistic utilities. The group says these utilities are still not investing sufficiently in renewable energy generation, or creating the kinds of tariffs to incentivize datacenters to use more renewables. Greenpeace devotes less attention to the fact that the relationship between datacenters and utilities is shifting, in some cases dramatically, with implications for renewable energy generation and use. (We examined some of these changes in a recent report).

Green Mountain shows ‘Fjord thinking’ with low-carbon, efficient and resilient facilities

Just published on 451 Research (for subscribers only)

Colocation datacenter operator Green Mountain Data Centre has two facilities in Norway. Its first facility, DC1, close to Stavanger, Norway, received a Tier III Tier Certification of Constructed Facility from Uptime Institute (a division of The 451 Group) in Q2 2015. The site has been operational since 2013, and its customers include Norway’s largest financial services company. The facility is notable for being built inside a former NATO munitions store. Other innovations include the use of seawater cooling and hypoxic fire suppression.

Early Adopter Snapshot

Many new datacenter builds attempt to accommodate the often competing ambitions of energy efficiency and resiliency. The balance for colocation facilities is even harder to achieve, with customers often demanding high levels of resiliency while mandating PUEs and operational costs commensurate with extreme energy efficiency. Green Mountain appears to have managed what few others have, thanks to the site’s history as a NATO munitions store and the availability of cheap, reliable and low-carbon hydropower. The addition of seawater cooling helps to further reinforce the facility’s green credentials.