The Uptime Institute recently released an update to its white paper defining the Tier levels for data centers. If you are interested in looking at it, it can be found here. This update from the Institute is a welcomed release indeed.
In our recent experience with Clients planning, renovating, and building data centers, the earlier release of this document (over one year ago) grew to be a reference of ‚Äúrequirements,‚Äù ‚Äú standards,‚Äù ‚Äú best practices,‚Äù and ‚Äúmandates‚Äù for leaders charged with charting the IT facility strategy and selling/supporting the ROI basis for that strategy. The reason I put the terms above in quotes is that a fair amount of abstraction and indirect dot-connecting is done which sometimes uses the Institute‚Äôs performance guidelines in vain.
Now with that said, I‚Äôm not suggesting that the new release of the document will prevent further abstractions of the Institute‚Äôs guidelines. In fact, the bulk of the new release is very much a rearrangement of the Institute‚Äôs earlier text. The rearrangements and new additions however, represent a clarification and stronger position statement of the features required to achieve a given Tier rating, and a stronger articulation of the rationale behind creating the Tiers in the first place. This is important, as it should help to avoid some of the temptations by the reader to abstract, as mentioned above… including the temptation to define facilities in terms of “Tier 2.5,” “strong Tier 3,” and so on.
One of my favorite changes in this new release is the move away from specifying power density in terms of watts-per-square foot. Instead, this release of the Institute‚Äôs document takes the approach of kilowatts-per-cabinet. This is much more relevant to the way we‚Äôre planning data center space today, and reflective of the needs of higher density data processing equipment (i.e., blades), and of popular dual/quad processor demands.