Client Story: DC BLOX

Mark Masi - DC BLOX
"When we were concerned about going through a testing regimen equivalent to data center MEP commissioning in a live data center, the Uptime Institute team was extremely accommodating in working through the testing scripts with us in order to minimize the amount of disruption and risk to our customers and alleviated our reservations."

Mark Masi
DC BLOX Chief Operating Officer



DC BLOX headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, designs, builds, and operates interconnected data centers in underserved and growing markets in the Southeastern United States. In these markets, colocation in NFL cities or insourced data centers have historically been the predominant source for high reliability data center services. DC BLOX delivers an alternative that allows customers to utilize a data center local to their states and communities without having to build their own. DC BLOX markets have modern, efficient, scalable, and reliable connected data centers right where customers live and do business. Infrastructure needs of businesses in smaller growing markets are no less than companies in major markets, but often have lacked reliable and flexible local infrastructure to meet their goals. The DC BLOX strategy has been warmly welcomed in the communities it serves.

DC BLOX is different than competing alternatives in multiple ways:

  • DC BLOX is a pure play data center owner operator. The daily focus is on refining designs, improving efficiency, and solving customer infrastructure challenges.
  • DC BLOX has built and operates a high-speed, high-capacity, low latency, carrier grade network and an ecosystem of communications partners that help interconnect all of elements of customers’ increasingly distributed IT infrastructure.
  • DC BLOX has created a modular design that enables fast (22 weeks), cost-effective incremental builds that delivers the same valued data center features found in NFL cities in a smaller form factor.

Examples of companies and organizations that rely on DC BLOX for cost-effective, and highly available data center and connectivity solutions include financial institutions, healthcare providers and research institutions, state and local governments, manufacturing, content providers, University systems and managed service organizations.

Data center providers in NFL cities have consumption models for forecasting demand. Underserved, yet growing markets do not generally have historical demand data, so DC BLOX needed to create a concurrently maintainable design that was both scalable and capital efficient. One size fits all does not work. The design is distributed redundant with block sizes from 500kW to 1MW with full deployment from 1.5MW to 3MW of critical IT load per data hall. Each data hall is essentially independent with security, SCADA and utility feeds being the only shared features. This permits a mixing of densities between halls and scalability for growth. For smaller markets, a 500kW block size can be deployed initially and scaled up. Larger markets can start at 1MW per hall. The design itself does not change, just the capacities of the MEP. Fundamentally, DC BLOX can provide customers with a modern, efficient data center that matches current needs and grow to meet the future demand of each market.

Unique to the markets served by DC BLOX is the security profile. DC BLOX builds to a standard of Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) with layered security. Should a customer require the ability to up-scope to collateral clearance or higher, the organization is ready with an executed construction security and management plan and have pre-stubbed for guard shack, bag check and x-ray.


Uptime Institute’s Tier III TCCF Certification is an important part of the DC BLOX differentiation strategy. While it is common for other data centers to be based in the DC BLOX markets, most are not Tier III designed or certified. The Tier III Certification establishes the baseline of capability by which competing alternatives must be measured.

Uptime Institute’s TIER III TCCF Certification was selected as a practical way of establishing brand credibility, as DC BLOX is a relatively new brand. DC BLOX also found that many customers and prospects require Tier III Certification and the reliability it represents as a prerequisite in the RFP’s DC BLOX has been invited to respond to.

DC BLOX - Exterior

Uptime Institute Remote Tier Certification Capabilities:

DC BLOX and Uptime Institute performed the Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility in an active data center under pandemic guidelines. Uptime Institute’s willingness to adjust methods while still accomplishing the mission during difficult circumstances was highly appreciated by DC BLOX.

At the beginning of the pandemic, Uptime Institute introduced new remote service delivery options of its globally recognized Tier Certifications as well as Accredited Educational curriculum, Data Center Risk Assessment, Management & Operations Stamp of Approval and Facilities Management and Operations services. These new service delivery options can now be utilized by clients to reduce the risks associated with IT service delivery based on infrastructure design, construction, efficiency, and operations.

The methodologies and protocols for each of Uptime Institute’s performance portfolio of services has been updated to define significant portions of the required work to be remotely-enabled if desired. The new approaches allow infrastructure projects to continue forward by accommodating any project constraints, working style or health and safety guideline.

The DC BLOX remote certification went very well. DC BLOX was promised a full and thorough assessment and Uptime Institute credibly applied creative and intensive techniques and trial runs to eliminate any surprises and ensure a complete and accurate appraisal. Uptime Institute engineers remotely leveraged video and DC BLOX’s SCADA system to view and assess all scripted tests in real time for a successful award of the Tier III Constructed Facility Certification.

DC BLOX - Interior
“It was a pleasure working with Uptime Institute from the beginning of the project to the final certification thanks to their professionalism and ability to listen and quickly react to our needs and concerns.”
Jeff Williams - DC BLOXJeff Williams
DC BLOX Vice President of Data Center Operations