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Uptime Institute 8th Annual Data Center Survey Shows Need for Change with Rise of Complex Digital Infrastructure

Despite progress with efficiency gains, the rate of outages remains high as operators struggle with change and complexity

Seattle, WA – August 7, 2018 - Uptime Institute today announced the findings of its eighth annual Data Center Survey, which examines key trends and developments shaping today’s IT infrastructure industry. The results reveal how operators are grappling with new challenges, including the business case and cost of hybrid IT approaches, and provides an overview of the major trends shaping IT infrastructure delivery and strategy globally, ranging from climate-change preparedness and edge computing approaches to outages, energy efficiency, rack density, and staffing trends.

Annually, Uptime Institute conducts the most comprehensive global survey about the Data Center industry. This year the survey was conducted between February and May, 2018, and includes responses from nearly 900 data center operators and IT practitioners affiliated with enterprise and service provider facilities in more than 50 countries worldwide.

“The rapid growth in the implementation of cloud and hybrid IT approaches has ushered in a period of great change creating technology, organizational and management complexity,” said Andy Lawrence, Executive Director of Research at Uptime Institute. “And these new challenges are many times unlike anything previously seen in the industry at this magnitude. It’s a perfect storm.”

As the results revealed, data center operators have, by and large, succeeded in lowering energy waste–the average PUE, the industry's most common infrastructure efficiency metric, was reported at a record average of approximately 1.58 (although year/year improvements are decreasing). In alarming contrast, the survey results also revealed that both the rate of outage occurrences and the severity of each outage has increased from those reported just a year ago.

“Today, operators are grappling with new challenges, including increased complexity and high interdependency of systems and data centers,” continued Andy Lawrence. “Looking ahead, many are expecting to deploy significant new hybrid and edge computing capacity, which will support new services, but will add an additional layer of complexity in doing so.”

  • Many survey respondents struggle to assess the business case and effectiveness of their hybrid IT architectures (defined as any mix of on-premises data center capacity and off-premises resources such as colocation, cloud, hosting and XaaS). Only about half are confident they understand the true costs and risk/performance tradeoffs of their chosen approach.
  • While nearly two-thirds of respondents (61%) said having workloads spread across on-site, colocation, and cloud deployments has made their overall IT more resilient, this was not supported by the evidence: The number of respondents that experienced an IT downtime incident or severe service degradation in the past year (31%) increased over 2017's survey (by about 25%). And in the past three years, almost half (48%) of our 2018 survey respondents had an outage in their own site or service provider.
  • More than 80% of respondents said their outage(s) were preventable – leading causes of downtimes consisted of human error, power outages, network failure, configuration errors and third-party provider outages.

The survey data also showed that crucial to the growth of the distributed digital infrastructure is the implementation of highly distributed and/or edge computing, enabling more efficient operations through automation, real time data analysis and artificial intelligence (and machine-learning) control associated with remotely-managed facilities. More than 40% of respondents stated they expect their organization will require edge computing capabilities, which was defined as “requirements that will necessitate processing data closer to the source of its generation/use”.

“Edge computing is exciting because of the improved performance and scale it can offer to next generation technologies like artificial intelligence, the internet of things and even autonomous driving applications. We expect to see substantial growth in the edge over the next few years,” added Andy Lawrence, “Edge has the ability to keep building upon each set of application improvements and the advances of previous versions, which will cause rapid improvement in capability development and implementation.”

Additionally, join us on August 22nd at 8:00 AM Pacific time for a webinar discussion of survey results at https://uptimeinstitute.com/webinars/webinar-2018-data-center-survey-results.

About Uptime Institute
Uptime Institute is the IT industry’s most trusted and adopted global standard for the proper design, build and operation of data centers – the backbone of the digital economy. For over 20 years, Uptime Institute has been providing customers with the assurance that their digital infrastructure can perform at a level that is consistent with their business needs, across a wide array of operating conditions. With its data center Tier Standard & Certifications, Management & Operations reviews, Efficient IT Stamp of Approval, and accredited educational curriculum for data center professionals, Uptime Institute helps organizations optimize critical IT assets while managing costs, resources and efficiency. Uptime Institute has become the de facto standard for data center reliability, sustainability and efficiency. Today, thousands of companies rely on Uptime Institute to enable their digital-centric business success.

Uptime Institute has office locations throughout the world, including those in North and South America, Europe, U.A.E., Russia, and Asia.

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Uptime Institute Network Expands Global Member Services to Better Drive Digital Infrastructure Performance

Uptime Institute Network members perform 2X better than data center industry with half as much downtime due to real-time knowledge sharing tools and continuous focus on operational excellence

May 9, 2018 - Uptime Institute today announced the expansion of the company’s peer-based Network community, dedicated to driving the performance and reliability of digital infrastructure and data center platforms. The new and improved enhancements start with Inside Track, the online knowledge-transfer service for member companies to communicate with world-class data center operations and engineering experts throughout the globe to share opinions, insights and experiences, solve problems, offer advice and proactively prevent failures.

“Uptime Institute Network membership gives us the ability to sit down with the actual designers and decision makers of some of the industry’s most recognized data centers,” said David Hayes, head of corporate real estate critical systems, JP Morgan Chase. “We have found membership extremely helpful in ensuring we stay on top of trends and occurrences in the data center industry.”

Uptime Institute Network new and/or improved features include:

  • Face-to-face Network conferences held twice per year regionally with member presentations, Uptime Institute expert content and select guest speakers.
  • Inside Track, picks up where Network community face to face meetings end, allowing discussions to continue, polls to be taken, and topical research reports to be shared.
  • Private on-site data center tours at some of the most innovative, respected sites worldwide, including direct discussion with key designers and operators about their realized results.
  • Access to the industry’s largest repository of incident reports, identifying root causes and helping establish performance expectations when deploying new equipment or new processes.
  • Up to four hours per year of business or engineering consulting to address specific real-world challenges or infrastructure optimizations under consideration.
  • Real-time access to polls and survey information, along with topical research reports on subjects including Edge computing, hybrid infrastructure and energy conservation.
  • Personalized service utilizing an Uptime Institute Network liaison to assure members can easily connect and find information.

“Our member companies experience less unplanned downtime, as participants gain a level of experience, insight and core knowledge that becomes a part of everything they do,” said Lee Kirby, president of Uptime Institute. “By actively facilitating the communication and experiential knowledge transfer amongst our members, these companies, their staff and the industry at large delivers IT business services more successfully.”

For more information about joining the Uptime Institute Network community, see www.uptimeinstitute.com/network

About Uptime Institute
Uptime Institute is the IT industry’s most trusted and adopted global standard for the proper design, build and operation of data centers – the backbone of the digital economy. For over 20 years, Uptime Institute has been providing customers with the assurance that their digital infrastructure can perform at a level that is consistent with their business needs, across a wide array of operating conditions. With its data center Tier Standard & Certifications, Management & Operations reviews, Efficient IT Stamp of Approval, and accredited educational curriculum for data center professionals, Uptime Institute helps organizations optimize critical IT assets while managing costs, resources and efficiency. Uptime Institute has become the de facto standard for data center reliability, sustainability and efficiency. Today, thousands of companies rely on Uptime Institute to enable their digital-centric business success.

Uptime Institute has office locations throughout the world, including those in North and South America, Europe, U.A.E., Russia, and Asia.

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Uptime Institute and DatacenterDynamics Sign Global Partnership Agreement

The leader in data center design, operations and efficiency formally partners with the leading event producer to deliver the industry’s premier event program worldwide

November 6, 2017, London - Uptime Institute and DatacenterDynamics (DCD) today announced a definitive worldwide agreement to collaborate on the content and production of DCD’s highly regarded series of infrastructure events in 2018. This agreement brings together the industry’s two main powerhouses, pairing Uptime Institute’s deep understanding and data center experience with DCD’s long-standing reputation as a premier global event producer and media company. The partnership will extend to more than two dozen data center infrastructure events worldwide.

With this new agreement, Uptime Institute will assume the role of Global Content Provider for DCD events conducted throughout 2018. Uptime Institute and its newly announced Uptime Institute Research Group will provide original content and expert speakers for each DCD event, beginning in mid-February 2018 in Bangkok and running through its last scheduled event being held at the end of the year in Istanbul.

“We are pleased to take our collaboration with DCD to a new level, as our Global Event Partner,” said Lee Kirby, President of Uptime Institute. “The combination of DatacenterDynamics and Uptime Institute brings together tremendous intellectual assets and production capabilities. It is a perfect complementary relationship between the industry’s two strongest providers. But the real beneficiary of this partnership is the data center owner and operator community who will immediately see a single source of Uptime Institute’s deep experience now available to them and their peers in major markets worldwide.”

The agreement spans all DCD events worldwide for the 2018 calendar year. Uptime Institute will work with DCD on compelling and experiential content delivered as keynotes, panels and conference sessions, and will also create additional in-depth pre-conference tracks and workshops at select events. Owners and operators will no longer have to choose between industry events to access the knowledge needed to run their business efficiently. Instead, unified events will provide the highest level of industry knowledge all in one place, which will in turn reduce the amount of time they need to stay current on trends and observations needed to run their own digital infrastructures.

“For more than a dozen years, we have enjoyed a productive informal relationship with Uptime Institute.” said George Rockett, CEO & Founder of DatacenterDynamics. “By joining forces more strategically, we will benefit data center operators and technology vendors by producing events that are even more informed, with better content and networking opportunities. This tight collaboration will yield the industry’s must-attend events in all major markets around the world.”

For more information about upcoming events by Uptime Institute and DCD, visit: https://uptimeinstitute.com/events/uptime-institute-datacenterdynamics-global-partnership-2018

Industry Quotes:

  • “Both Uptime Institute, from a content leadership standpoint, and DCD, as one of the premier event producers, have provided valuable business advantages for data center owners and operators for many years,” said Chris Crosby, CEO and founder of Compass Datacenters. “This is a logical pairing of two of the data center industry’s primary information sources. The value added by this combination to 2018 events should enhance the experience of attendees.”
  • “The Uptime Institute and DCD partnership is an enormous benefit to end users,” said Landan Hagert, Director, Data Center Facilities, United Health Group. “Together, these organizations are creating the one-stop shop for data center knowledge and it’s exciting to see these two industry leaders join together for the benefit of the industry.”

About DatacenterDynamics
Since 2002, DatacenterDynamics has been an integral part of the mission critical IT infrastructure sector. Delivering a world leading series of events across six continents and a powerful global digital media portfolio, DCD’s platform is devoted to data center scale infrastructure that supports IT transformation in Cloud, IoT, Smart Cities and across the Zettabyte economy. DCD connects the market-makers, informing, influencing and instigating change and development throughout this exciting sector.

About Uptime Institute
Uptime Institute is the IT industry’s most trusted and adopted global standard for the proper design, build and operation of data centers – the backbone of the digital economy. For over 20 years, Uptime Institute has been providing customers with the assurance that their digital infrastructure can perform at a level that is consistent with their business needs, across a wide array of operating conditions. With its data center Tier Standard & Certifications, Management & Operations reviews, Efficient IT Stamp of Approval, and accredited educational curriculum for data center professionals, Uptime Institute helps organizations optimize critical IT assets while managing costs, resources and efficiency. Uptime Institute has become the de facto standard for data center reliability, sustainability and efficiency. Today, thousands of companies rely on Uptime Institute to enable their digital-centric business success.

Uptime Institute has office locations throughout the world, including those in North and South America, Europe, U.A.E., Russia, and Asia.

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Uptime Institute Rolls Out New Hybrid Resiliency Assessment for Hybrid Infrastructures

New service evaluates business risks and expected performance for IT services spanning traditional data centers, colocation facilities and cloud environments

February 13, 2018 - Uptime Institute today unveiled its new Hybrid Resiliency Assessment service, which is designed to reduce the risks associated with business service delivery when the underlying infrastructure spans multiple data centers, co-location sites and the cloud. The new offering provides an independent evaluation of an organization’s hybrid infrastructure and its ability to deliver specific IT services over the expected range of operating conditions.

Today, many organizations have created complex infrastructures comprised of multiple data centers, colocation facilities and the cloud. These same organizations have distributed their core IT business services across hybrid structures, greatly reducing their control and visibility in the process. Uptime Institute’s new offering provides an independent review of each hybrid structure’s ability to offer specific types of business services, delivering insights on the overall level of resiliency and risk associated with those services, and empowering IT executives and practitioners to take corrective action as needed.

“CIOs are chartered to deliver the business services needed regardless of the technical platform choices their teams have made,” said Chris Brown, CTO at Uptime Institute. “Delivering business services that span hybrid infrastructures without the same level of governance and risk assessment seen in traditional infrastructure creates a series of hidden vulnerabilities and puts them at a risk. Our new Hybrid Resiliency Assessment service provides a clear view of the expected performance of various business services over a wide range of normal operating conditions – regardless of the underlying systems involved.”

Uptime Institute’s new Hybrid Resiliency Assessment is designed to provide IT executives and staff with necessary governance at the service level, regardless of the type of underlying platform(s) involved. This enables direct alignment between business requirements and the hybrid infrastructure. The service applies a proven methodology for evaluating infrastructures, studying the interactions between the various related sub-systems. Delivered on-site by Uptime Institute experts, the assessment focuses on five key categories:

  • Organization: Organizational structure to align resilience capabilities to business priorities.
  • Application: Mapping dependencies and investment priorities to business needs.
  • Platform: Evaluating platform performance, driving visibility and control of IT services.
  • Network: Assessing network architecture, redundancy and performance testing processes.
  • Data Center: Matching infrastructure redundancy and operational rigor to workload priority.

Uptime Institute’s consultants analyze each business service across all five areas and assess the data when all components are combined as a single system, to validate the effectiveness of the company’s overall IT service delivery strategy. Clients receive an in-depth resiliency report that outlines the expected performance of specific business services, includes details on their effectiveness as it relates to the five key assessment areas and lists vulnerabilities along with practical recommendations for improvement.

The Hybrid Resiliency Assessment also includes a one-year subscription to Uptime Institute’s online Inside Track community to enable the ongoing improvement of clients’ hybrid platforms. This subscription allows client organizations to continue interacting with resiliency experts after the initial assessment, and to communicate with and learn from other companies who are also successfully optimizing their IT services in hybrid environments.

Uptime Institute is currently offering the Hybrid Resiliency Assessment throughout the world.

About Uptime Institute
Uptime Institute is the IT industry’s most trusted and adopted global standard for the proper design, build and operation of data centers – the backbone of the digital economy. For over 20 years, Uptime Institute has been providing customers with the assurance that their digital infrastructure can perform at a level that is consistent with their business needs, across a wide array of operating conditions. With its data center Tier Standard & Certifications, Management & Operations reviews, Efficient IT Stamp of Approval, and accredited educational curriculum for data center professionals, Uptime Institute helps organizations optimize critical IT assets while managing costs, resources and efficiency. Uptime Institute has become the de facto standard for data center reliability, sustainability and efficiency. Today, thousands of companies rely on Uptime Institute to enable their digital-centric business success.

Uptime Institute has office locations throughout the world, including those in North and South America, Europe, U.A.E., Russia, and Asia.

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Uptime Institute Announces TIER-Ready Program for Prefabricated and Modular Data Centers

Tier certification assures resilient business service delivery from the core to the edge

September 19, 2017, Seattle, WA Uptime Institute today announced the introduction of its “TIER-Ready” design review program, intended to enable customers who are pushing computing to the edge with modular data centers to enjoy the same level of reliability and resiliency that they have in their larger data centers. Modular data centers that carry TIER-Ready status will demonstrate the same high level of performance once installed and certified at their intended deployment site.

The TIER-Ready program enables manufacturers to work with Uptime Institute to validate the specific designs of their pre-built solutions. Customers of these TIER-Ready solutions will enjoy reduced time and cost for a Tier Certified data center. TIER-Ready solutions are available now from a wide variety of manufacturers, including Schneider Electric, Compass Data Centers and Huawei, with many other manufacturers already in the process for design review.

The Uptime Institute Tier Standard is the industry de facto standard for data center reliability and resiliency, and assures customers that TIER certified data centers will perform in a definable and predictable fashion under a wide-range of operating conditions, including complete utility power failure. The TIER-Ready program enables the same strategic results at the prefabricated and modular level.

“Prefabricated and modular data centers have been on a growth trajectory for the past several years as organizations strive to bring business services closer to their constituents. As distributed technologies such as IoT and edge-computing become commonplace, these services must be delivered without incurring the traditional risk associated with remote infrastructures,” said Lee Kirby, President, Uptime Institute. “The TIER-Ready program simplifies and speeds the certification process, while reducing costs for both the manufacturer and the end-user.”

TIER-Ready Supplier Testimonials:

Compass Datacenters: “The TIER-Ready award makes sense for Compass Datacenters as it helps to assure the resiliency and mission critical suitability for each 1.2MW block that we provide to our customers, with important third-party validation through Uptime Institute,” said Chris Crosby, CEO of Compass.

Schneider Electric: “We are pleased to see the Uptime Institute announce their TIER-Ready program, allowing an industry standard certification for modular deployments,” said Kevin Brown, Chief Technology Officer and SVP Innovation, Schneider Electric. “Modular data center solutions for remote and distributed infrastructure are an essential component of delivering modern applications and, in many cases, are deployed in unique operating conditions. This program provides customers with a streamlined process to benchmark and validate the resiliency of their architecture.”

Huawei: “We have been partnering with Uptime Institute for many years to enable our customers to have Tier-Certified data centers that simply do not fail, under a wide range of operating conditions,” said Bob He, General Manager, Datacenter Facility Business, Huawei. “The TIER-Ready program allows us to extend this benefit to customers of our prefabricated and modular products. By working with Uptime Institute to review our modular solutions, our customers can be more efficiently certified for their data centers and distribute their computing, without risk or the need to give up any expected performance and resiliency because they can be more efficiently certified for that location.”

For more information, visit https://uptimeinstitute.com/TIER-Ready

About Uptime Institute
Uptime Institute is the IT industry’s most trusted and adopted global standard for the proper design, build and operation of data centers – the backbone of the digital economy. For over 20 years, Uptime Institute has been providing customers with the assurance that their digital infrastructure can perform at a level that is consistent with their business needs, across a wide array of operating conditions. With its data center Tier Standard & Certifications, Management & Operations reviews, Efficient IT Stamp of Approval, and accredited educational curriculum for data center professionals, Uptime Institute helps organizations optimize critical IT assets while managing costs, resources and efficiency. Uptime Institute has become the de facto standard for data center reliability, sustainability and efficiency. Today, thousands of companies rely on Uptime Institute to enable their digital-centric business success.

Uptime Institute has office locations throughout the world, including those in North and South America, Europe, U.A.E., Russia, and Asia.

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