Client Story: DATAPREV
Bruno Manhães de Souza
Superintendent of Operations
DATAPREV is a State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) which provides Information Technology Solutions to leverage the social policies of the Government of Brazil. Headquartered in Brasilia, the enterprise operates with software development units located in five States (Ceará, Paraiba, Rio Grande do Norte, Rio de Janeiro, and Santa Catarina) and three Data Centers, located in Brasilia (DCDF), Rio de Janeiro (DCRJ) and São Paulo (DCSP). All are designed to provide security and high availability services.
The DATAPREV enterprise completed an IT environment modernization in 2014 with investments of $75 million USD in three years, improving security, energy capacity and availability of critical mission environments.
At the end of 2017, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo Data Centers were awarded the Uptime Institute Tier III Gold Certification of Operational Sustainability. Additionally, the Brasília Data Center obtained the same high level of operational sustainability with an award in 2019. With the completion of these awards, DATAPREV became the first Brazilian SOE to complete the entire certification cycle.
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 operated in a manner which will result in the production levels expected.
In earning the Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability award, DATAPREV demonstrated the ability to plan for non-stop production to continue throughout all normal operating conditions defined by their Tier Certification itself. The award requires consistency in operational practices and the discipline needed to drive continuous improvement.
TCOS recognizes production sites that have invested the time and energy to exceed the minimum- making enhancements above the basic requirements. TCOS relies heavily on the human element, in the form of policies and procedures, and 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 the highest level of Gold based on how much above the minimum they score.
The modernization of the DATAPREV Data Centers began in 2011 with the renovation of the Brasilia Data Center, finished in 2012. Later, renovations were concluded in the data centers of São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro in 2013 and 2014.
By 2016, the Facilities team were fully trained to manage and operate the whole environmental infrastructure comprised of a team of 50 employees working within a 24x7 schedule with strong technical skills responsible for managing contracts with third party customers. The team continues to achieve its objectives and good results.
The Facilities team was created to provide dedicated and qualified treatment for the Data Center Infrastructure Management to guarantee the availability of the digital services offered by the enterprise. The main goal is to coordinate and operate technical services of engineering and maintenance of the critical mission environments to guarantee the data centers’ operational availability.
To reduce operational costs and qualify the professionals needed to operate the new high-performance environment, DATAPREV invested in training. The most experienced team members were identified and trained to handle a complex group of activities like equipment and systems maintenance and physical capacity management. DATAPREV also continues to invest in professional certification for employees, such as the Uptime Institute Accredited Educational Courses, so the company can count on both trained and specialized professionals.
Data Center long-term availability is not guaranteed just by the topology of physical infrastructure, as the maintenance and operation performance impacts the ability of the data center(s) to accomplish its objectives. The availability of the data center becomes a balance between infrastructure topology and team performance. Facilities team members performing maintenance and operations work to help Data Center owners maximize their infrastructure investment. Due to the complexity of the updated data centers, it is important to maintain a team of qualified and trained professionals in maintenance and operations, striving to guarantee availability with operational sustainability.
DATAPREV is the first government enterprise in Brazil to achieve Tier III Gold Certification of Operational Sustainability. By 2019, DATAPREV completed the Tier Certification for all its data centers, showing that not only its physical infrastructure is compliant with the high availability requirements, but the team also adopts best practices learned by the Uptime Institute Certification processes.
In 2018, DATAPREV became the first SOE in Brazil to achieve the CEEDA certification, which adopts the best practices of energy efficiency and confirms that management and operations of the data centers are aligned with the operation sustainability strategy.
In November 2020, DATAPREV renewed the Tier III Gold Certification of Operational Sustainability in a remote process due to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19. It is important to note that the process of renewing a certification brings with it an expectation of improvement that depends not just on the compliance with Uptime Institute recommendations but also in how the enterprise keeps continuous improvement policies of maintenance and operations aligned to company strategic planning.
This comes to light as the data centers scores are analyzed in comparison to previous audits, proving that there is a strong management focus on continuous improvement. This verifies again that DATAPREV operates its data centers with a high-level efficiency, improving and implementing new processes and procedures which reduce the risk of human errors.
By aligning investments in infrastructure and forming a high-level team, DATAPREV has become one of the only companies in the world to earn both certifications (TIER III Gold and CEEDA), showing that the physical infrastructure, maintenance and operations team’s formation and efficient management are essentials to guarantee the high availability of its data centers. These results have positioned DATAPREV as a leader in the national and international market committed to sustainable development and known for its high availability of critical environments, essential for the quality of digital services offered to Brazilian citizens.
With the advent of the COVID-19 world pandemic, keeping the flawless operations of the critical environments going in a time of restrictive social contact was an additional challenge. However, it can be attested that the entire journey that DATAPREV has taken to modernize its Data Centers and train its teams have been shown to be elemental to safe operations and to ensure that all essential services delivered to citizens are kept at the same level of excellence.
DATAPREV – TIER Certifications by Site
• Tier III Gold Certifications of Operational Sustainability