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A new ISO Data Centre Standard is on its way

For many years we have been relying on Telecommunications Cabling Standards to guide us in data centre design. Some of these such as EN 50173-5 Information technology – Generic cabling systems – Part 5: Data centres make no mention of power and cooling systems and others such as TIA942 Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers discuss power and cooling infrastructure but mainly in the appendices which are “Informative Only” and not actually part of the requirements of the standard.

Of course we have for some years had the option of following the commercially promoted documents such as The Uptime Institute’s Tier Standard: Topology but, whilst popular with those organisations with a large bank balance, even this document does not help us with telecommunications connectivity guidance preferring to focus only on power and cooling.

It was refreshing then when the EN 50600 Series of data centre standards was published. Providing a comprehensive coverage for best practice for data centres from design standards including Power, Cooling, Telecommunications and Security (including security against Fire) to Operations and Management standards and even recommendations for energy use reduction and sustainability.

The EN 50600 Series of standards are developed by CENELEC the European Committee for Electrotechnical Standardization. You might assume that because this is a European standard its application is confined to European data centres. However, the principles of design and management of data centres are the same wherever you are. Also, the European standards are less prescriptive than other national standards as they need to work for all of the many different European nations. This means that the key elements of these standards can be applied globally.

It is no doubt because of this that the ISO International Standards Organisation has published many of the EN 50600 series documents as Technical Specifications. This is the first step in the development of a full ISO Data Centre Standard.

Currently the following ISO Technical Specifications have been published;

  • ISO/IEC TS 22237-1:2018 Information technology — Data centre facilities and infrastructures — Part 1: General concepts
  • ISO/IEC TS 22237-2:2018 Information technology — Data centre facilities and infrastructures — Part 2: Building construction
  • ISO/IEC TS 22237-3:2018 Information technology — Data centre facilities and infrastructures — Part 3: Power distribution
  • ISO/IEC TS 22237-4:2018 Information technology — Data centre facilities and infrastructures — Part 4: Environmental control
  • ISO/IEC TS 22237-5:2018 Information technology — Data centre facilities and infrastructures — Part 5: Telecommunications cabling infrastructure
  • ISO/IEC TS 22237-6:2018 Information technology — Data centre facilities and infrastructures — Part 6: Security systems
  • ISO/IEC TS 22237-7:2018 Information technology — Data centre facilities and infrastructures — Part 7: Management and operational information

Note that the ISO/IEC TS 22237 documents are, at the time of writing, a direct copy of EN50600 documents of the same title but will be developed by ISO in the future.

It remains to be seen whether other EN 50600 documents will be adopted by ISO. The EN 50600 is a growing series of Data Centre Standards which is being continually updated and improved.

We will see more and more data centres move toward adopting the ISO and European standards for design and operations.

You may also find this White Paper of interest;

Data Centre Certification – Who can certify? Which Data Centre Standard?

At the time of writing the EN 50600 documents include;

Overview

  • EN 50600-1 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. General concepts.

Design

  • EN 50600-2-1 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Building construction.
  • EN 50600-2-2 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Power distribution.
  • EN 50600-2-3 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Environmental control.
  • EN 50600-2-4 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Telecommunications cabling infrastructure.
  • EN 50600-2-5 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Security systems.

Operations and Management

  • EN 50600-3-1 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Management and operational information.

Key Performance Indicators

  • EN 50600-4-1 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Overview of and general requirements for key performance indicators.
  • EN 50600-4-2 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Part 4-2. Power Usage Effectiveness.
  • EN 50600-4-3 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Part 4-3. Renewable Energy Factor.

Technical Reports

  • CLC/TR 50600-99-1 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Recommended practices for energy management.
  • CLC/TR 50600-99-2 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Recommended practices for environmental sustainability.
  • CLC/TR 50600-99-3 Information technology. Data centre facilities and infrastructures. Guidance to the application of EN 50600 series.

Also in development is a Data Centre Maturity Model relating to maturity in relation to energy management and sustainability.

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