Find out how UL’s new data center certification program can reduce the risk of an outage due to a cloud services provider failure

by Brianna Crandall — May 28, 2018 — Mass adoption of cloud computing has created a significant new risk: the potential to affect large numbers of companies and individuals in the event of a failure of a cloud services provider’s data center, infrastructure or network. To combat this risk and to certify the reliability of data centers, global independent safety science and standards company Underwriters Laboratories (UL) approached global engineering design firm ESD to collaborate on the development of an international UL Data Center Certification Program.

ESD is widely regarded as a thought leader by influencers in the data center engineering, colocation and hyper-scale data center industries, and the company’s expertise enables the engineering services portion of the UL Data Center Certification Program.

The UL Data Center Certification Program helps mitigate risk for data center owners and operators by providing a set of criteria to increase end-user transparency, provider accountability, and proper data center documentation. The program addresses the continued reliability and safety of data centers by evaluating key components of critical infrastructure.

The integration of multiple disciplines creates a comprehensive service for data center owners and operators, who will benefit from the combined expertise of professionals in the technology, engineering, fire and life safety, security, commissioning, and eco-energy areas of focus.  Other benefits could include: reduced insurance premiums, reduced construction costs, tax exempt status on personal property and equipment tax and a high-level of marketing brand.

Paul Schlattman, senior vice president, ESD Consulting, explained:

The potential impact of a widespread outage from a major provider grows daily. To mitigate this risk, cloud providers need to address the most common causes of outages, which include human errors, software issues, network downtime, and hardware failure, which can result in corresponding failure of high availability architecture and, of course, data centers.

Chris Hasbrook, vice president and general manager for UL’s Building Materials and Life Safety Technologies division, added:

This certification program built around the UL 3223 Standard is particularly relevant for leading providers of large scale colocation and hyperscale capacity, due to their large potential risk. It will serve as an important benchmark for enterprise and government organizations looking to outsource in the safest and most reliable facilities.

For more information about the UL Data Center Certification Program or to purchase the UL 3223 Standard, Outline of Investigation for Data Center Certification, visit the UL website.