Atman’s Warsaw data centers gain Europe’s first EPI-DCOS certification
Atman has been awarded Data Centre Operations Standard certificates by EPI. This is a global standard covering all aspects of the operational management of a data center, confirming its high level of reliability, continuity of operations, and security. Atman becomes the first company in Europe to obtain the EPI-DCOS certification.
DCOS (Data Centre Operations Standard) is the world’s only standard covering all disciplines of the maintenance and operation of data centers. It defines the procedures that should be implemented at data center sites to make operational processes as efficient and secure as possible and to prepare them for every eventuality. The goal of these actions is to create an environment ensuring the proactive improvement of quality of operations at the data center, the anticipation of potential nonstandard events and development of procedures to prevent them, and the use of a system of constant learning and drawing of conclusions from current experiences.
The standardization and certification of data center operations is another step which, going hand in hand with high infrastructure quality, maximizes the availability of the center’s services.
Not only technology counts
The standard was created by practitioners, and is convergent with the requirements of ISO and ANSI/TIA standards. Participating in its development, alongside experts from consulting firm EPI, were more than 50 experts from banks in Asia, the United States and Europe and from technology companies like Equinix, Microsoft, Dell, Ericsson and Tata Communications. This led to the world’s first document defining best practices and guidelines for all aspects of the management of data processing centers. On this basis certification audits were then designed, serving to confirm whether the procedures implemented at a given data center are properly formulated and documented, effectively applied and constantly improved. Certification has been carried out since 2016 by the Singapore-based consulting firm EPI.
“In the world of the data center, like in aviation, procedures as well as technology play an essential role. For this reason we decided to go through the process of implementation and finally certification under the international EPI-DCOS standard. This contains practical guidelines enabling precise evaluation and verification of the quality of the operation and maintenance of a data center, the procedures in force, and consequently the security and quality of the services provided. While, for example, the Uptime Institute Tier and ANSI/TIA-942 certificates focus on analysis of the design and technical infrastructure of a data center, they do not address the very important human and process aspects, which perhaps play an even more important role in value delivery,” explains Adam Dzielnicki, Data Center Product Manager at Atman.
An audit with the highest possible rating
The EPI-DCOS standard distinguishes and describes 11 disciplines of data center management, leaving it to the operator to decide which of them to submit for audit. For its certification, Atman chose what it assessed as four key disciplines having a direct impact on practice:
- Service Level Management
- Data Centre Operations
- Facilities Management
- Monitoring / Reporting / Control
After carrying out the audit, EPI determined that Atman Data Centers Warsaw-1 and Warsaw-2 comply with the requirements of the standard in each of the four audited disciplines, and awarded DCOS-4 certificates to both locations. This is the highest rating obtainable in this case—DCOS-5 can be awarded only when the certification includes all 11 DCOS disciplines, including those which are already largely regulated by law or by ISO standards, or are non-critical.
The obtaining by Atman of the DCOS-4 certificates provides a guarantee not only that the operator’s procedures are well-defined, but also that their application is documented, and their quality and adequacy are constantly monitored. All this ensures the very high availability of the services provided at Atman’s data centers.
“We spent two years preparing for the audit—we didn’t want to rush. We feel that the preparatory stage itself, during which we consulted BCA Group, EPI’s partner in Eastern Europe, brought us many benefits. We compared the processes and procedures that we had developed previously with the guidelines of the DCOS standard. Following careful analysis by the team working on the certification, we modified some of the procedures and developed some new processes. We also expanded the requirements for documentation of the use of procedures by employees. The changes made enabled us to increase efficiency and security, understood as the continuity of operations of the data center and its services, and consequently the provision to our clients of uninterrupted access to their data,” says Arkadiusz Krześlak, Data Center Maintenance Manager at Atman.
Prevention is best
According to the latest report from the Uptime Institute, in 75% of cases faults in IT systems result from errors made by employees during operation or maintenance. The Institute reports that 10% of faults cost organizations more than one million dollars, while in 28% of cases the losses exceeded $100,000. The EPI-DCOS standard means that the number of situations of this type can be substantially reduced. Properly developed and implemented maintenance procedures guide data center employees step by step through specified operations, leaving no room for error.