Memorandum of Understanding


1 September 2008

UPDATED: 17 November 2009, 30 June 2010, 11 November 2013
Terms of use of Uptime Institute (Institute) Tier Program Intellectual Property known as:
  • Data Center Site Infrastructure Tier Standard: Topology
  • Accredited Tier Designer Technical Paper Series (inclusive)
  • Data Center Site Infrastructure Tier Standard: Operational Sustainability
  • Natural Disaster Risk Location Map
The purpose of this memorandum of understanding (MOU) is to provide terms of use of the Institute's copyrighted Tier Program intellectual property, including the publications listed above. The Institute provides this MOU to encourage appropriate access to the Tier Program reference materials. 

Over the past five years, the Institute has reviewed dozens of ‘self-certified' designs and constructed environments for Tier compliance as outlined in the Institute's Tier Standard: Topology. Very few of these designs and facilities meet the desired Tier criteria upon initial assessment. (In some cases, the objective was missed by two full Tiers.) The magnitude and frequency of such false rating claims, which result from self-assessment and misrepresentations, degrade the value to the industry of the Institute's Tiers, especially those designs and constructed environments awarded Institute Certification. 

As a result, the Institute seeks a) to ensure that Tiers and Operational Sustainability remain a useful benchmarking system to the industry and b) to protect the value its customers receive from formal Institute assessments and Certification by taking appropriate action to protect the intellectual property inherent in its Tier Program materials from misappropriation and infringement.

The Institute is the sole provider of Tiers and Operational Sustainability consultation and Certification. Only the designs and facilities listed on the Institute's Web site are Uptime Institute Tier Certified. All others proclaiming a specific Tier level are ‘self-certified' and should be viewed with extreme caution. 

As an integral part of the expanding Tier Program, the Institute will continue to communicate terms of use and provide additional tools for all perspectives of the data center community. In 2009, the Tier Program announced Accredited Tier Designer, which is an educational curriculum and professional designation for licensed Professional Engineers (PEs or international equivalent). A partner curriculum and professional designation, Accredited Tier Specialist—for data center owners, operators, architects, project managers, and consultants—will be offered beginning in Q4 2010. Additionally, the Institute has launched a Tier Enforcement Initiative to address directly a) infringement on the Tiers Program's copyrighted materials and b) misrepresentations of a specific site's Tier functionality. The Tier Enforcement Initiative is initiated in direct response to requests for Institute action by Network members and Tier Certification clients. 

The Institute's publications are protected by international copyright law. The Institute requires written requests whenever the Institute’s literature or portions of the Institute’s literature are copied for other than personal use. The Institute copyright extends to all media—paper, electronic, and video content—and includes use in other publications, internal company distribution, company websites, and handouts for seminars and courses. In addition, the Institute requires formal permission for the re-publication of its Tier Program materials. Please request formal permission per (The Institute prefers use of a url link or attached document to avoid confusion and ensure access to the correct materials.) 

By clicking the 'I agree' option, I will be able to download the Uptime Institute's Tier Program materials in their entirety. I acknowledge this 1 September 1 2008 MOU (updated 17 November 2009, 30 June 2010, 11 November 2013). I understand that the aforementioned documentation is copyrighted by the Uptime Institute. I agree that only the Institute is allowed to use this content and criteria to perform Tier and Operational Sustainability assessments, reviews, and Certifications and that only the sites listed on the Institute's Web site can claim to be Tier or Operational Sustainability Certified. I understand that this acceptance does not entitle me to alter or quote from any documentation without explicit approval from the Institute.