By Claire Sangster, WA Sales Manager
When we first set off on our journey in 2010 to be Australia’s leading Data Centre as-a-Service provider, we knew that providing our customers with 100% uptime was non-negotiable. We made it our brand promise guarantee, and with our brand and customer critical infrastructure at stake, it’s something we don’t take lightly.
The Uptime Institute Tier IV certifications for Operational Sustainability and completely fault tolerant data centre design are the pinnacle of global data centre standards. We task ourselves with delivering only the highest quality data centres that are globally recognised and endorsed, in order to meet the growing demands of our customers as the complexities of their environments continue to intensify.
Our partnership with the Uptime Institute is testament to our continued investment in delivering a footprint of data centres that are certified to stand up to these world-class standards. It is only when you achieve that crucial endorsement, that you can hand-on-heart look your customer in the eye and guarantee your data centre will withstand any potential failures and maintain 100% uptime. Any individual equipment failures or interruptions are planned for so that full IT operations can be maintained under all perceivable circumstances. This in turn gives our customers the assurance of that they can deliver on the promises they make to their customers. This is possibly the most important conversation I have with our WA customers every day.
Outsourcing your most critical infrastructure to a third-party data centre is an enormous decision, and if done right, it’s the difference between thriving and only just surviving. When we partner with our customers, our intent is very simple, to empower them to truly realise and embrace the benefits of cloud and emerging technology, and to help them achieve longevity of their transformation strategy. We work with the market to define a strategy that will not only support them now but help them futureproof their critical infrastructure and maximise their full growth potential over the many years to come.
One thing that excites me the most at NEXTDC is our commitment to and obsession with innovation. Every member of our team continuously strives to push the boundaries, set new performance benchmarks and function within a corporate culture of continual improvement– it’s something that is embedded deep in our organisational DNA. It is a passion that we all share. A big part of our dedication to elite performance is driven by our core objective to provide NEXTDC customers and partners with the most resilient and fault-tolerant data centre facilities in the market.
We are building a bullet-proof platform which will support the digital economy for many years to come. It is the nature of our business, the demands of our customers, and their customers alike, which obligates us to never stand still. We must continue pushing the boundaries of innovation, ensuring that we not only stay relevant in our market, but also that our customers do too.
As the business landscape evolves, downtime represents lost productivity, revenue and/or customer satisfaction. It is no longer affordable and represents competitive disadvantage. We’re operating in a time where 99% uptime just doesn’t cut it. Healthy WA businesses need the support and backing of nothing short of a 100% uptime and no-break guarantee.
With the shift away from traditional ‘on premise’ ICT infrastructure gathering pace, organisations are experimenting with new applications and systems to drive business value from new technologies. At the core of this digital transformation, the need for better management of vastly increased volumes of data is intensifying. Meanwhile, organisations are becoming increasingly reliant on analytics to drive business decisions. With the continued advancements of artificial intelligence, IoT, and machine learning, this growth trajectory will continue to grow.
One hour of downtime costs organisations an average of around $300,000 upfront, this doesn’t take into account any downstream losses or negative impact to your brand. Any business downtime is not something to be taken lightly, it means a whole heap of lost productivity, revenue erosion and hefty costs to recover. Not to mention the long-term effect of brand and reputation after leaving customers disappointed. There’s a saying I heard recently that resonated with me, “trust comes into town on a tortoise, but leaves on a galloping horse’, and that is absolutely true in today’s digital era. So what level of importance does business place on 100% uptime? And how do you build a resilient digital platform that will support business growth and delight your customers?
The term Tier IV is new to Australian organisations in regard to their data centre infrastructure, with the main reason being because it’s never been seen here before. The global benchmark and the standard recognised as the best in the world is set by Uptime Institute which consists of some of the cleverest and technically sophisticated minds in the world when it comes to the dynamics of how a data centre is not only designed and architected, but how it’s constructed. The general data centre standard in Australia prior to 2017 was Uptime’s Tier III standard – the standard upon which our first-generation data centres were built.
The landscape has changed considerably over the last nine years as the complexities of environments continue to create more challenges for customer. Competition is fierce and customer expectations around what they want and how they want it have become incredibly sophisticated – However, under these fierce competitive forces, IT department are being put under more pressure to deliver on the expectations of customers. When planning for our second generation of data centres as our existing Melbourne and Brisbane data centres neared capacity, we knew we had to do something drastic that would change the game in Australia and help our customers overcome a new era of challenges.
With innovation always playing on the minds of our Design and Engineering team, this posed a new opportunity and challenge for us to build the country’s first Tier IV data centres. Housing your critical infrastructure in a Tier IV facility offers many advantages. First and foremost, the insulation against the risks and financial overheads associated with downtime is achieved. Tier IV certification delivers the highest level of redundancy and fault tolerance to your business – something most businesses just cannot achieve on their own. What this means is guaranteed uptime of your most critical infrastructure and uninterrupted availability of your data.
In order to thrive in a world that is ‘always on’ and delight our customers with the immediacy they have come to expect, this is a non-negotiable insurance policy we recommend every one of our customers protect themselves with.
What does Tier IV mean?
The main feature of a Tier IV certified data centre is optimised fault tolerance. Without extreme levels of fault tolerance, you forego the resiliency your business needs. If you want to delight your customers and dominate your industry, the simple fact is business needs to be available 100% of the time. The effects of even a 1% outage can be disastrous on a business of any size and is therefore something we work very hard at ensuring our customers never have to face. Delivering a Tier IV data centre simply means building multiple, independent, physically isolated systems in order to provide redundant capacity and diverse distribution paths to simultaneously serve the critical environment. Tier IV also provides continuous cooling, as well as fire segregation and leak containment between all N+1 paths and critical equipment. Achieving this status means delivering far superior resilience compared to that offered by other data centre providers.
We can stand confidently behind our brand promise of 100% uptime for our clients as individual equipment failures or distribution path interruptions caused by unexpected or planned events will not impact IT operations, and that’s a proven fact. With every business being unique, we don’t believe a one-size-fits all approach will do the job. We believe in offering our customers the flexibility their business needs, in order for them to achieve the agility they need in order to continue to transform and optimise themselves digitally. With the business landscape changing so drastically, we build every one of our data centres with flexibility, cost efficiency and operational excellence as front-of-mind.
We take pride in every one of our facilities and we stand by the value they provide our customers. As a professional and member of the WA community, I take pride in being able to look my customers in the eye and advise them, hand-on-heart, that our data centre solutions will help them to achieve their long-term business goals.
Integrity and ethical morals are something I value, and something all of us at NEXTDC share equally. It is something we as a business won’t negotiate on. As a data centre leader, we will continue to push the boundaries, we will continue to invest into the WA economy to bring new growth opportunities to the region and we are committed to never standing still as we firmly believe that complacency suffocates businesses and their people. We will continue to search for new and innovative solutions to help power, secure and connect our customers, always backed by our promise of 100% uptime.
If you're interested in learning what 100% uptime can do for your business, speak to a specialist.