Effective Data Center Management Drives Uptime and Availability


Sir Winston Churchill once stated that “to improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often.” Any successful enterprise has to continually look for ways to improve and realize that change is inevitable. For example, cell phone providers often have to embrace new technology and find ways to implement it into new products to meet changing consumer needs. Similarly, clothing retailers must introduce new and popular styles on a regular basis to sell to fashion mavens looking for the newest trend.

The data center industry is no different. We’re always exploring ways to improve the technology and services we provide to meet our customers’ needs. Even though we always strive to have the best products and processes in place, emerging technologies and shifts in the business world compel us to examine new and innovative ways to ensure we offer the highest level of service possible. 

At Cyxtera Technologies, we believe it’s essential to employ a method to thoroughly evaluate how well our data center operations teams follow our established rules and processes, and we try to obtain input on any ways we can improve our data center services. That’s why we’ve worked with Uptime Institute to obtain their Management & Operations (M&O) Stamp of Approval. This provides us the guidance and framework to drive best practices for the effective management and operations of a data center.

Although we didn’t encounter any major gaps or issues with our data centers during the M&O process, we found that a few of our policies needed to be tweaked. Overall, it allowed us to ensure operational areas such as training and records maintenance were consistent across all our data centers. From a global management perspective, this consistency makes it more efficient to assess what is working or needs to be updated and analyze metrics in a standard view across locations.

Achieving this certification for operational sustainability has proven to be not only a competitive advantage for Cyxtera. It has also been a financial benefit for our colocation customers. We have 50+ M&O Stamp-approved data centers, far more than any of our competitors.

We often are asked by prospective customers about M&O approval because they know it’s about the people, not the physical building. They know the primary reason for data center outages is human error, and the M&O certification from Uptime Institute is a third-party validation that the procedures, processes and behaviors in our data centers are best in class. This approval ensures customers that we do everything humanly possible to minimize human error and thereby minimize any issues with uptime.  

Along with letting our customers know we’re highly committed to continued operational excellence, achieving the M&O Stamp of Approval has highlighted our consistent quality across the organization, from leadership to area directors to engineers. If we have improvements that can be made, those changes are implemented throughout our data center portfolio. Our engineering team will consult with each data center operations team to educate them on any changes and support them as they changes are put into practice. The whole team operates together on every level to provide the highest level of quality possible to our customers.

In my next blog in this three-part series, I’ll discuss the staffing and organization component of the M&O Stamp of Approval and what it means for data center customers. To learn more about our data center services, please visit Cyxtera.com.