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EN 50600-3-1 The first and only non-proprietary Data Centre Operational Management Standard. What does it say?

EN 50600-3-1 is part of the European EN 50600 series of data centre standards and has now also been published as an ISO (International Organization for Standardization) Technical Specification, the first stage to it becoming an International Standard.

Until now data centre standards have hardly touched the surface in relation to operations management of data centres. Most focus on infrastructure design and indeed the EN 50600-2 series does just that.

The EN 50600-3 series, however, has been specifically targeted at best practices for data centre management and the first document to be published is the EN 50600-3-1 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Management and operational information.

It begins by describing the operational information and parameters which should be handed over to operations at handover on completion of a new build and also outlines what is required to accept a new data centre into service. These are critical aspects of any data centre project and how well these are managed often determine whether the facility is able to deliver the services it was designed for.

Both these items are related directly to the main infrastructures of the data centre and include guidance related to the building, power, environmental systems, telecommunications and security. Importantly energy efficiency and monitoring are also included.

From the beginning the document declares…

“The primary focus of this standard is the operational processes necessary to deliver the expected level of resilience, availability, risk management, risk mitigation, capacity planning, security and energy efficiency.”

The document does just that by describing in turn each of the processes which should be included in data centres operational management. They include

  • Operations management
  • Incident management
  • Change management
  • Asset and configuration management
  • Capacity management
  • Availability management
  • Security management
  • Resource management
  • Energy management
  • Product lifecycle management
  • Cost management
  • Data centre strategy
  • Service level management
  • Customer management

Many of these processes are interrelated and the standard attempts to highlight where this is likely to occur.

A useful feature of the standard is that it highlights some of the KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) which can be used to monitor how successful each the processes are in meeting their objectives.

So the EN 50600-3-1 document is a step in the right direction. It provides the framework of processes that go toward making a good operational management system. There are some elements of the standard which many believe require improvement but it is the first version of the document and it is hoped that future editions will be developed which enhance is usability.

In the meantime, if want to know more about data centre operations management then Capitoline’s DCOM Data Centre Operations Management Course fills in the missing gaps from the EN 50600-3-1 standard. Capitoline’s DCOM provides a more holistic view of data centre operational management by discussing each of the processes in detail along with the KPIs which support them.

The DCOM course describes the process of commissioning and acceptance, the operational parameters the management team need to understand and explains the reasons for different processes giving examples of the key things to consider when implementing them.

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