Tier Certification

Tier Certification Operational Sustainability

For Tier Certified Data Centers

Uptime Institute's Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability (TCOS) provides Tier Certified data center owners, operators, and managers with the prioritized behaviors and risks intrinsic to data center operations and serves as an essential guide for effective and efficient operations.

Have a production data center that is not Tier Certified? A similar operational validation is available for non-Tier Certified data centers with our Management and Operations Assessment and Stamp of Approval.

Leading Companies Choose Tier Standard: Operational Sustainability

Turkish İşbank pursued the Tier IV operational sustainability certification for its 38,500 square meter data center in Istanbul to achieve higher standards.
Data center operator NEXTDC saw Tier Certification as an opportunity to confirm the exceptional resilience of their critical infrastructure.

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Protecting Your Data Center Assets from the #1 Cause of Unplanned Downtime

Human error is responsible for a majority of all data center incidents. In fact, bad operational practices are 500x more likely to negatively impact a data center than any other cause.  The Tier Certification of Data Center Operational Sustainability is a holistic assessment of staffing and organization practices, maintenance and operations activities, and management and planning - aligned with business objectives of risk reduction, reduced downtime and operational efficiency.

Establish Consistency Across Your Portfolio

Driving consistency and operational excellence across a portfolio of data centers is exponentially more difficult than managing just one. Technical and organizational complexity multiplies as you move to multiple sites, regions, and countries where codes, cultures and climates differ.  

Reduce Incidents of Human Error

A recent Uptime Institute analysis showed human error to blame for more than 70% of all data center outages. TCOS helps you create better process and drive collaboration to establish better communication across levels and departments, resulting in more robust procedures and consistent behaviors.

Drive Continuous Improvement

Operational excellence is in large part about maintaining discipline and consistency over time and successfully adapting to changes in the environment. In a TCOS facility, teams align their practices to make them scalable across the organization, create discipline, and a culture of continuous improvement.

Why Your Company Needs A Tier Certified Operations Program

The Tier Certification of Data Center Operational Sustainability Program helps data center owners and operators introduce consistency, reduce risk, and build a culture of continuous improvement in their critical facilities, whether they operate a single facility or manage a global portfolio.

Validating a Sustainable Data Center Operations Program

The Operational Sustainability criteria pinpoint those elements that impact long-term data center availability in three key categories: Management & Operations, Building Characteristics, and Site Location. All three elements impact the performance potential of the Tier topology of the installed infrastructure.

While it’s true that many data center incidents can be attributed directly to human error it could have been mitigated prior to impact. These incidents, unfortunately, reflects the upstream management decisions regarding staffing levels, training, maintenance, the number and details of processes and procedures, and the overall rigor of the operation. Every aspect of the site infrastructure and management practices must be properly aligned to sustain operations.

Achieving Data Center Operational Excellence

The Tier Classification System is the recognized global standard for data center reliability and performance. Achieving Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability verifies that practices and procedures are in place to avoid preventable errors, maintain IT functionality, and support effective site operation.

The Certification process ensures operations are in alignment with your organization's business objectives, availability expectations, and mission imperatives. Because business needs change over time, all Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability awards expire and operators are encouraged to re-certify these sites based upon current business conditions. This will not impact Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability issued or contracted prior to that date.
Tier Certification of Operational Sustainability is the third phase of Tier Certification.  Tier Certification of Design Documents is the first phase, ensuring the facility design aligns with Tier Standards.  Tier Certification of Constructed Facility is the second phase, verifying the constructed facility meets the Tier Standard requirements defined by the original design. Earning Tier Certification of Design Documents, followed by Tier Certification of Constructed Facility is a prerequisite to achieving the Tier Certification Operational Sustainability rating.

Key Behaviors of the Operational Sustainability Certification

Laying the blame of human error on front-line operators ignores the influence of upstream decisions, resource allocation, and organizational culture. That’s why Tier Certification of Data Center Operational Sustainability takes a holistic view that covers multiple criteria in five categories.

Over 80 Facilities Worldwide Have Been Awarded the TCOS

More than 80 data centers globally have been awarded the Tier Certification of Data Center Operational Sustainability, recognizing their excellence in managing and operating critical facilities. Uptime Institute's TCOS Program allows clients to reduce risk related to human errors which account for the majority of downtime incidents, while also achieving business goals around higher resource utilization, increased efficiency and, overall operational sustainability.