February 10th  2021 - News

Aurora Data Center Achieves Tier IV Certification

In April 2019, Aqua Ray began the certification process for its Aurora data center. To do so, we contacted the Uptime Institute, creator of the Tier standard and world reference for the certification of reliability of data center facilities.

In April 2019, Aqua Ray began the certification process for its Aurora data center. To do so, we contacted the Uptime Institute, creator of the Tier standard and world reference for the certification of reliability of data center facilities.

An ambition on a large scale

By aiming at the Tier IV certification of the Uptime Institute, Aqua Ray realizes the challenge of rising to the level of the large groups of the sector, without having the same financial and human means. To carry out the construction work of our data center with the ambition to meet the requirements of the Uptime Institute was not an easy task. However, this certification now places us in the category of highly reliable host, setting us apart from our competitors in Paris and the suburbs.

By aiming at the Tier IV certification of the Uptime Institute, Aqua Ray realizes the challenge of rising to the level of the large groups of the sector, without having the same financial and human means. To carry out the construction work of our data center with the ambition to meet the requirements of the Uptime Institute was not an easy task. However, this certification now places us in the category of highly reliable host, setting us apart from our competitors in Paris and the suburbs.

From training to design

As a first step, the Uptime Institute offers training sessions for data center designers in order to determine the level of Tier to which a company is entitled. It was on this occasion that Guillaume de Lafond, Technical Director at Aqua Ray, was certified ATD (Accredited Tier Designer) following a training session in June 2019. This enabled us to determine the targeted level of excellence, i.e. Tier IV certification, to design the work of our data center according to the specifications issued by the Uptime Institute.

As a first step, the Uptime Institute offers training sessions for data center designers in order to determine the level of Tier to which a company is entitled. It was on this occasion that Guillaume de Lafond, Technical Director at Aqua Ray, was certified ATD (Accredited Tier Designer) following a training session in June 2019. This enabled us to determine the targeted level of excellence, i.e. Tier IV certification, to design the work of our data center according to the specifications issued by the Uptime Institute.

Obtaining certification step by step

The TCDD (Tier Certification of Design Documents) review process began in January 2020, at the same time as construction of the Aurora data center began. Several telephone and electronic exchanges were made with the Uptime Institute teams in order to provide them with the detailed plans and the complete technical operating file in May 2020.

The TCDD (Tier Certification of Design Documents) review process began in January 2020, at the same time as construction of the Aurora data center began. Several telephone and electronic exchanges were made with the Uptime Institute teams in order to provide them with the detailed plans and the complete technical operating file in May 2020.

It was in July 2020 that an engineer from the Uptime Institute responded to this first dossier by raising 31 technical problem points. At the end of the summer, as the construction of the data center was nearing completion, the file was reworked in order to provide reasoned answers to each of the points raised. The objections could deal with different subjects, for example :

It was in July 2020 that an engineer from the Uptime Institute responded to this first dossier by raising 31 technical problem points. At the end of the summer, as the construction of the data center was nearing completion, the file was reworked in order to provide reasoned answers to each of the points raised. The objections could deal with different subjects, for example :

  • How can we make sure that an A/C unit would determine that it is faulty if the self-test is dependent on its motherboard?
  • What physical means are used to ensure that a ram car would be unable to destroy 2 electric generators during the same attack?
  • Details on the physical models used to calculate outdoor heat gains in operating rooms by ventilation systems.

The engineers of the Uptime Institute then once again revised the dossier and the arguments, in line with the pace of the health crisis, to finally provide a new response in December 2021, this time with 5 specific points that were still problematic out of the 31.

The engineers of the Uptime Institute then once again revised the dossier and the arguments, in line with the pace of the health crisis, to finally provide a new response in December 2021, this time with 5 specific points that were still problematic out of the 31.

This was followed by rapid and direct exchanges between the parties to make the latest improvements, clarifications and remove remaining uncertainties. The favorable outcome of the file was announced at the end of January 2021 with the obtaining of the Tier IV certification which was initially aimed at. In the end, approximately 45 man-days were devoted to the Tier IV file for Aqua Ray, to the drafting of the technical report and to the exchanges that followed.

This was followed by rapid and direct exchanges between the parties to make the latest improvements, clarifications and remove remaining uncertainties. The favorable outcome of the file was announced at the end of January 2021 with the obtaining of the Tier IV certification which was initially aimed at. In the end, approximately 45 man-days were devoted to the Tier IV file for Aqua Ray, to the drafting of the technical report and to the exchanges that followed.

The highest level of certification in terms of reliability for a data center

By obtaining Tier IV certification, the Aurora IVY1 data center therefore offers the highest level of guarantee with an reported availability rate of 99.995%, or 0.8 hours of downtime per year (on average). The data center is therefore fault-tolerant, thanks to the redundancy of each piece of equipment (power, air conditioning and network). This means that it has multiple power sources and can withstand the unplanned shutdown of any one component. In fact, if a power failure occurs, the room temperature is maintained thanks to continuous cooling. The Uptime Institute's Tier standard is recognized worldwide as the most reliable and widely adopted standard in the IT industry for the design, construction and operation of data centers. For more than 20 years, the Uptime Institute has been providing customers with the assurance that their digital infrastructure can operate at a level that meets their business needs. The Uptime Institute standard has become the benchmark for reliability, durability and efficiency in data centers.

By obtaining Tier IV certification, the Aurora IVY1 data center therefore offers the highest level of guarantee with an reported availability rate of 99.995%, or 0.8 hours of downtime per year (on average). The data center is therefore fault-tolerant, thanks to the redundancy of each piece of equipment (power, air conditioning and network). This means that it has multiple power sources and can withstand the unplanned shutdown of any one component. In fact, if a power failure occurs, the room temperature is maintained thanks to continuous cooling. The Uptime Institute's Tier standard is recognized worldwide as the most reliable and widely adopted standard in the IT industry for the design, construction and operation of data centers. For more than 20 years, the Uptime Institute has been providing customers with the assurance that their digital infrastructure can operate at a level that meets their business needs. The Uptime Institute standard has become the benchmark for reliability, durability and efficiency in data centers.

We do not wish to stop there. We plan to acquire ISO 27001 and HDS certifications to meet the needs of our customers and confirm our desire to maximize the security of their data. Indeed, the ISO 27001 standard is the world reference in terms of management systems for data security. As for HDS certification, it enables us to meet the personal data hosting needs of all healthcare institutions.

We do not wish to stop there. We plan to acquire ISO 27001 and HDS certifications to meet the needs of our customers and confirm our desire to maximize the security of their data. Indeed, the ISO 27001 standard is the world reference in terms of management systems for data security. As for HDS certification, it enables us to meet the personal data hosting needs of all healthcare institutions.

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