Data centers are the backbone of the modern digital economy and play the key role in ensuring the economic growth of many states. The importance of data centers goes beyond the pure existence of some physical servers in a building, but they ensure the critical operations of many applications and companies. Governmental institutions and most companies will not be able to operate or produce if a downtime in their data centers occurs. Many crucial applications are allocated in the data centers such as access to websites, customer databases and information, air and train traffic control, banking operations, financial trading and in some cases almost the entire knowledge of a company necessary to enable workers to do their job. Based on how critical the infrastructure is one might imagine that a downtime of a data center can cause a huge economic damage, therefore the need becomes apparent that they have to implement effective measures in order to reduce this risk to a minimum.
The Costs and Causes of Downtime
The cost of a downtime for a data center can cost thousands of dollars per minute, depending on the users; where in some cases total damages exceeding one million dollars were recorded. Of course, the costs and risks of a downtime may differ from company to company; while a financial trading company might lose millions of dollars with a downtime, a small startup company properly will experience a less significant impact through a downtime. However, one should take into consideration that a company with downtime is not only experiencing financial damage, but also reputational damage for their brand. Considering the high costs associated with a potential downtime, it is reasonable to undertake measures to minimize this risk either in the design phase of a new data center or while refurbishing server rooms.
Many factors would be able to cause outages in data centers ranging from human errors, cyber-attacks, to failures in the mission critical infrastructure, lacking the right equipment for ensuring the availability, heat related failures or even the outbreak of a fire and many other reasons. Among all those reasons, the physical infrastructure is very critical because it effects the data centers in most cases. Taking into consideration all risks there are a few measures and standards that will help to reduce these risks for data center operators or users of data centers.
Because of the importance of the physical infrastructure it is reasonable to focus on it in the first step prior to looking at the organizational and management processes, where the common recognized standards such as the ISO 27001 (information security management) or the ISO 9001 (quality management) are used.
Minimizing Downtime with the EN50600/ ISO 22237 Certification for Data Centers
For data centers to be a solid, physical secure and high available infrastructure the EN 50600 / ISO 22237 was introduced into the market. It is the first respective international standard, which has been directly developed for data centers. The EN 50600/ ISO 22237 addresses the mission critical infrastructure by defining requirements for physical security and availability. These requirements are in the fields of environment, construction, fire detection and extinguishing systems, security systems and organization, cabling, power supply, ventilation and air conditioning systems, organization and documentation.
If the measures are implemented correctly and meet the well-tailored set of requirements the operators as well as customers of co-location companies can rely on the operation of their services in terms of availability and physical aspects. The awareness of the EN 50600/ ISO 22237 has been growing over the years, with many companies informing themselves or certifying according to it. The standard enables them to reduce downtime, minimize the costs and reputational harm associated with it, reducing customer audits, increase trustworthiness and reliability of their services and being able to offer more value.
Being certified to the EN 50600 is more than a piece of a paper, sites which have been certified according to the EN 50600 have implemented and invested in many measures to fulfill the criteria of the standard, in order to optimize the physical security and availability. It does not only create trust into the own infrastructure but also attracts many new customers to an attractive outsourcing opportunity.
With the EN 50600 / ISO 22237 and corresponding criteria catalogues TSI.EN50600 & TSI.STANDARD developed by TÜViT there are tools available, which allow operators, experts and tenders to assess or certify their installations and to specify in detail their requirements towards their desired IT-Infrastructure. The co-locators and enterprise operators may make use of the standards and catalogues, wherever high availability and security is required and the need of an evaluation and transparency is given. TÜViT has been involved in over 500 certification projects and is therefore an experienced and competent partner of choice for such projects.
A certification to the EN 50600 / ISO 22237 is not only a way of providing trustworthiness towards the customers, but they enable operators to differentiate themselves on the market by getting a confirmation from a third party that they run a state of art data center. In the end, the investment of being certified according to the EN 50600 will prove to be worth, when the costs of downtime in the long run will exceed the investment of aligning to the standard.
TÜV Informationstechnik GmbH (TÜViT) is a worldwide-recognized evaluation and certification service-provider for data centers, colocation- and cloud-infrastructures, with more than 500 data center certifications issued globally since 2002.
With vast experience TÜViT is an unbiased and competent partner in the assessment and certification of data centers in terms of their availability aspects and energy efficiency in context of the EN 50600/ ISO 22237 , the TSI.STANDARD (Trusted Site Infrastructure) and ISO 50001. TÜViT provides neutral assessments and supports in every important phase of the data center life cycle, such as concept, design, construction, commissioning and operation.
Its portfolio also includes topics like cyber security, software and hardware evaluation, IoT/Industry 4.0, data protection, ISMS, Smart Energy, mobile security, automotive security, eID and identity verification services. TÜViT, founded in 1995 and headquartered in Essen, Germany, is a member of the TÜV NORD GROUP, one of the world’s largest technology service providers with over 10,000 employees and business activities in 70 countries worldwide.
To learn more about TÜViT’s services and certifications in the data center sector visit this page.