Tier Certification

Tier Certification Operational Sustainability

Operational Effectiveness For Tier Certified Data Centers

Uptime Institute's Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability (TCOS) provides Tier Certified data center owners, operators, and managers with an assessment of the prioritized behaviors and risks intrinsic to data center operations and serves as an essential guide for effective and efficient operations. It helps to assure that a well designed and constructed data center facility is also being operated in a manner which will result in the production levels expected.

Owners and operators that earn the Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability have demonstrated their ability to plan for non-stop production to continue throughout all normal operating conditions defined by their Tier Certification itself. The data center operational sustainability certification is an assessment of data utilization, software infrastructure, operating systems, redundancy, and other facility components to identify potential sources of unplanned downtime. 

Uptime Institute conducts data center operational compliance audits and shares insights on best practices to help organizations like yours realize more reliability for all parties involved.

Bronze, Silver and Gold

Additionally, TCOS recognizes production sites that have invested the time and energy to exceed the minimum- those enhancements which have been made above the basic requirement. Not surprisingly, since TCOS relies heavily on the human element, in the form of policies and procedures, it is a points based assessment. At minimum, when a data center group meets the basic requirements to keep their site operational across the defined ranges, they are awarded a Bronze TCOS. Those sites that have anticipated a wider range of conditions or production possibilities and which have planned to accommodate those situations when they occur can achieve either Silver or Gold based on how much above the minimum they score.

Operational Effectiveness for Sites which are not Tier-Certified

Have a production data center that is not Tier Certified? A similar operational assessment is available for any existing data center which has not earned any form of Tier Certification. It is referred to as our Management and Operations Stamp of Approval and full information can be found here.

Leading Companies Choose Tier Standard: Operational Sustainability

Turkish İşbank pursued the Tier IV operational sustainability certification for its 38,500 square meter data center in Istanbul to achieve higher standards.
Data center operator NEXTDC saw Tier Certification as an opportunity to confirm the exceptional resilience of their critical infrastructure.

Contact Uptime Institute

Contact Us

Have questions or need help? Fill out the form and we will follow up with you right away.

Protecting Your Data Center Assets from the #1 Cause of Unplanned Downtime

Human error is responsible for a majority of all data center incidents. In fact, bad operational practices are 5x more likely to negatively impact a data center than any other cause.  The Tier Certification of Data Center Operational Sustainability is a holistic assessment of staffing and organization practices, maintenance and operations activities, and management and planning - aligned with business objectives of risk reduction, reduced downtime and operational efficiency.

Establish Consistency Across Your Portfolio

Driving consistency and operational excellence across a portfolio of data centers is exponentially more difficult than managing just one. Technical and organizational complexity multiplies as you move to multiple sites, regions, and countries where codes, cultures and climates differ.  

Reduce Incidents of Human Error

A recent Uptime Institute analysis showed human error to blame for more than 70% of all data center outages. TCOS helps you create better process and drive collaboration to establish better communication across levels and departments, resulting in more robust procedures and consistent behaviors.

Drive Continuous Improvement

Operational excellence is in large part about maintaining discipline and consistency over time and successfully adapting to changes in the environment. In a TCOS facility, teams align their practices to make them scalable across the organization, create discipline, and a culture of continuous improvement.

Why Your Company Needs A Tier Certified Operations Program

The Tier Certification of Data Center Operational Sustainability Program helps data center owners and operators introduce consistency, reduce risk, and build a culture of continuous improvement in their critical facilities, whether they operate a single facility or manage a global portfolio.

Conducting a data center operational audit also supports a culture of responsibility throughout an organization's hierarchy. A disruptive incident may be more than one individual or team's oversight — it could be a practice unbeknownst to the company that is impeding success. An external review also adds more credibility to efforts to ensure data center operational compliance for your investors. By performing a data center operation audit and securing relevant certifications, you demonstrate to your shareholders and stakeholders that facility resources are utilized to maximum potential.

Validating a Sustainable Data Center Operations Program

The Operational Sustainability criteria pinpoint those elements that impact long-term data center availability in three key categories: Management & Operations, Building Characteristics, and Site Location. All three elements impact the performance potential of the Tier topology of the installed infrastructure.

While it’s true that many data center incidents can be attributed directly to human error it could have been mitigated prior to impact. These incidents, unfortunately, reflects the upstream management decisions regarding staffing levels, training, maintenance, the number and details of processes and procedures, and the overall rigor of the operation. Every aspect of the site infrastructure and management practices must be properly aligned to sustain operations.

Achieving Data Center Operational Excellence

The Tier Classification System is the recognized global standard for data center reliability and performance. Achieving Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability verifies that practices and procedures are in place to avoid preventable errors, maintain IT functionality, and support effective site operation.

The TCOS Certification process ensures operations are in alignment with your organization's business objectives, availability expectations, and mission imperatives. Because business needs change over time, all Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability awards expire and operators are encouraged to re-certify these sites based upon current business conditions. This will not impact Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability issued or contracted prior to that date.
Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability is the third phase of Tier Certification. Tier Certification of Design Documents is the first phase, ensuring the facility design aligns with Tier Standards. Tier Certification of Constructed Facility is the second phase, verifying the constructed facility meets the Tier Standard requirements defined by the original design. Earning Tier Certification of Design Documents, followed by Tier Certification of Constructed Facility is a prerequisite to achieving the Tier Certification Operational Sustainability rating.

Key Behaviors of the Operational Sustainability Certification

Laying the blame of human error on front-line operators ignores the influence of upstream decisions, resource allocation, and organizational culture. That’s why Tier Certification of Data Center Operational Sustainability takes a holistic view that covers multiple criteria in five categories.

Achieve Your Data Center Business Goals

Uptime Institute's TCOS Program allows clients to reduce risk related to human errors which account for the majority of downtime incidents, while also achieving business goals around higher resource utilization, increased efficiency and, overall operational sustainability

Why Select Uptime Institute for a Data Center Operational Audit?

Uptime Institute is an industry leader in analyzing the potential for unforeseen downtime throughout data center design, construction, and operation. Tier Compliance standards have been recognized worldwide as the premier paradigm for measuring data center performance. Through on-site assessments and consulting from Uptime Institute, your business can make informed decisions on how to best deliver data to your end users long into the future.

Learn more about our data center operation audits by contacting our team today.