Interview with Scott Roots from Uptime Institute
One of the most interesting presences in DataCenter Forum event organized in Bucharest 11th of May was Uptime Institute, worldwide authority for the creation and administration of the Tier Standards & Certifications for DC design, construction, and operational sustainability. For the first time in Romania, Scott Roots – Business Development Director Uptime Institute EMEA sustained a conference dedicated to “Digitization & the changing shape of data center”, and a workshop named “Data Center Management & Operations Best Practice“. After the conference, Scott had the kindness to answer few some questions from cloud☁mania
“For the past several years, Uptime Institute’s annual survey reveals that these owners operated datacenter Private Cloud resources consistently account for more than two-thirds of all computing, with the Public cloud being used for the remainder.”
Scott Roots, Business Development Director Uptime Institute EMEA
cloud☁mania: Uptime Institute is recognized worldwide for the creation and administration of the Tier Standards & Certifications for Datacenter Design, Construction, and Operational Sustainability. The Tier Standards were designed for physical Datacenters providing classical collocation and dedicated hosting services. The DC transformation to virtual servers, Cloud servers and mobility induced a series of changes in the traditional DC evaluation metrics. How is prepared Uptime Institute – from standards attributes perspective – for these transformation changes and the certification needs for next generation of DC?
Scott Roots: Certainly, the cloud and hybrid business models are increasing in popularity year over year, and this will only increase the number of physical datacenters. We may see a trend shift toward resiliency at the datacenter physical level, for example, two Tier II facilities rather than a single Tier IV. The use of software and networks for redundancy is an interesting one and it is something Uptime Institute is currently watching.
cloud☁mania: Today many people consider Cloud & Big Data will kill traditional DC industry. But also other people think the new technologies should have a positive impact because whatever the cloud models are, it all runs in a DC somewhere… How is UI’s positioning relating this DC challenges? Will Cloud & Big Data/ Analytics/ IoT/ Mobile kill the DC industry?
Scott Roots: In the age of the Cloud, on premise and co-location datacenters are even more important to organizations as the vast majority all of this owners operated datacenters are being re-tooled and retrofitted to form the basis of Private Clouds. Private Clouds are simply owner-operated datacenters or colocation resources that have been deployed in a resilient fashion, enable elastic capacity, have accountability built-in, and offer a wide range of self-service capabilities. Working together, a mix of Public and Private Clouds will form the basis of all IT services for years to come. For the past several years, Uptime Institute’s annual survey reveals that these owners operated datacenter “Private Cloud” resources consistently account for more than two-thirds of all computing, with the Public cloud being used for the remainder. Yes, the use of Public Cloud is growing, but at a much slower rate than previously reported. All of these owner-operated datacenter resources must be re-examined for their predictable performance. Uptime Institute’s Tier Topology Standard is the means to certify your Private Cloud.
cloud☁mania: Another important trend today, with a direct impact in DC industry evolution is edge computing. Many analysts consider edge computing will disrupt very soon the disruptive effect made by Cloud computing. Pushing power processing units from DC to Mobile DC or Roomservers more close to the data source will generate a fast transformation in DC traditional industry. How is seeing UI this evolution and which are the main recommendations you make for DC services providers?
Scott Roots: We are already seeing this to some degree, and beginning to see more clients looking at edge facilities. The use of Modular or Container solutions will aid in the increased adoption as it assists in a fast and affordable deployment of a new datacenter.
cloud☁mania: Uptime Institute is recognized today for +1000 Certification in 85 countries. Looking in UI official site search tool, just one DC from Romania seems to be officially certified with Tyer IV for design: Transfond. Why just one DC from Romania? Why is so difficult for DC from an emerging market to qualify for a certification?
Scott Roots: This is a good question, many datacenter owners in Romania may claim to be Tier X, but currently, only Transfond has been awarded Tier IV Design Certification. I believe a lot of the reason is education, people assume that by making a N+1 solution they are Tier III and they don’t need us to confirm that, which is incorrect. They also may assume we are expensive, which is also incorrect – the typical cost of Certification will be well under 5% of total investment and we have released our Micro Tier pricing model specifically for smaller datacenters (Sub 300kW IT load). This is the same high-quality Certification but designed to be commercially more viable for smaller datacenters.
cloud☁mania: Which is the former communist country with the biggest number of certified DC?
Scott Roots: All certified facilities can be viewed on our website at this link; https://uptimeinstitute.com/TierCertification/
cloud☁mania: Many peoples make different hierarchies for DC, trying to establish which DC is biggest in a certain area. Which are the criteria we can consider in a DC classification? The surface in sqm? The processing density? Total storage capacity? Which other?
Scott Roots: Uptime Institute works on White space and Critical IT load as our metric for measurement. We then classify facilities by the Tier level for resiliency.
cloud☁mania: Which are your recommendations for Romanian DC industry related to the next investments, in order to become compliant with best Tyer certification level?
Scott Roots: If building a new facility, I strongly recommend Tier Certification. For example, we recently saved a client over $700,000 in build costs as their design team had built a highly complicated and over-engineered system. Due to the identification of the issue, the client was able to scale back their capital investment while still achieving their desired Tier level. For an existing facility (and after a new one is built), operations are key. The Uptime Institute Management & Operations Stamp of Approval is a low-cost analysis of how the datacenter is being run from the management level down, which is critical for the smooth operations of a facility. Most datacenter failures are blamed on human error, but with best practices, the vast majority can be avoided.
cloud☁mania: How do you appreciate, personally, the initiative of Tema Energy to organize the first edition of DataCenter Forum?
Scott Roots: To be invited to speak (and for almost half of the day!) was a huge honor for us, the event was fantastic, an excellent mix of vendors, some great technology on display, and overall a very well run event. I have already requested an invitation for 2018 and very much appreciate being invited to a country-wide event like this. We want to continue to grow our footprint in Romania, so it was great for to be recognized by Tema Energy for our global work in certifying over 1000 datacenters in 85 countries.
Scott Roots is the Business Development Director EMEA at Uptime Institute. He covers Benelux, Central, and Eastern Europe from the Uptime Institute London office. Roots have been in the IT industry for almost 20 years, with the last 12 focused on the datacenter industry. He is currently working on some very interesting projects such as a multi-Tier (III and IV in the same site) in Eastern Europe and with new technologies and ever-increasing density sites. Uptime Institute is always looking at new locations to help our clients achieve their business goals and to continue to increase our global presence.
Image Sources: Tema Energy – DataCenter Forum