DCA launches first independent datacentre certification scheme

An independent multidisciplinary datacentre certification programme has been launched by industry body Data Centre Alliance

An independent multidisciplinary datacentre certification programme has been launched by industry body the Data Centre Alliance (DCA). The certification, billed as “datacentre MOT”, will help customers determine the quality and resilience of a facility.

The world’s first datacentre certification scheme has been developed by DCA members, which include datacentre operators, customers, suppliers, academics and professional individuals.

It is the first certification to be based on customer business goals, rather than on pure, and often economically unrealistic, technical requirements, according to the DCA.

“People buying datacentre services had no surefire or simple way to judge the true quality and resilience of a datacentre, unless they themselves were highly technical and could perform detailed and often expensive audits,” said DCA’s executive director, Simon Campbell-Whyte.

“Equally, there was no truly independently audited certification which they could undertake to gain independent third-party attestation of the quality, operational integrity, energy efficiency and resilience of their offering,” he said.

The DCA members have harmonised the many available guidelines and standards to design the independently auditable certification platform, against which any datacentre, anywhere in the world, can be tested and certified.

While some existing certification covered just the datacentre design phase, there was no comprehensive certification scheme that covered datacentre operations on a daily basis.

Although the DCA has devised the certification programme and will be the certifying authority, it will not be undertaking the audits itself. Instead, a range of DCA-approved auditing companies will undertake this work, providing choice for the customer and drastically reducing the cost of certification to datacentre operators. 

The programme will follow a similar process to proven standards such as ISO certifications.

The DCA advises that, to keep their certification status, datacentres should re-audit every two years.

The new certification covers all aspects of the datacentre – power resilience, connectivity and cabling resilience, environmental control resilience, operations and maintenance processes and professionalism, physical site access, and energy-efficiency strategy.

“Finally, customers and datacentres will be able to have certainty in what they are offering or buying because, like the energy rating on a refrigerator, it will have been independently assessed by a third party,” said Campbell-Whyte.

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