09 April 2019

When it comes to protecting our customers critical infrastructure – we put our money where our mouth is

By Brett Ridley - Head of Central Operations

At NEXTDC, we take our job seriously. When our customers brand and reputation is on the line, we will always go the extra mile. The digital age heralds’ significant technology and business opportunities, but with that comes unprecedented competition and rising customer expectations and the critical need for something businesses wouldn’t have dreamed of 10 years ago - immediacy!

Our brand promise is to deliver our customers and partners with the power, security and connectivity that their business demands, all backed by our 100% no break guarantee. Meaning added peace of mind that the critical infrastructure which supports your business and your customers, is always running in shipshape condition.

It’s no easy feat achieving the stamp of approval for data centre resiliency from the globally recognised independent data centre standards body, Uptime Institute. To achieve Tier IV status, the experts at Uptime Institute spend two weeks putting our facilities to the test, carrying out hundreds of tests, trying everything they can to break something. It’s only once we have passed this stringent process with a 100% pass rate that we achieve the coveted Tier IV constructed status. Ultimately, Tier IV means we can handle a failure on any piece of infrastructure such as a diesel generator, or across the fire suppression or cooling system, all whilst maintaining 100% operational uptime for your business.

Once we achieve UTI certification, our job is far from over. In fact, our journey is just beginning. The hard work continues every single day in our data centres as our award-winning facility teams ensure we continue adhering to the stringent UTI standards in order to deliver on our brand promise guarantee of 100% uptime. How do we do that? We put our own critical infrastructure through its paces to ensure it will stand up when we need it the most.

An example is our annual Dark Site Test. Unplanned and unannounced, dark site testing involves turning off the grid connected electrical supply that powers each facility and vigilantly monitoring our internal electrical infrastructure to ensure that 100% uptime is maintained at all times. While all this is unfolding, at this time we concurrently run water site testing, which means isolating our mains water supply and running solely off reserve emergency water storage tanks.

These intensive tests run for more than 6 hours to ensure we accurately simulate how our infrastructure will perform during the most adverse conditions, all while continuing to deliver on our brand promise. Our facility team take these processes seriously, running rigorous tests like these under National Change Management planning is what differentiates NEXTDC’s data centres, instilling confidence within our customers that the critical infrastructure that supports their digital platform will withstand any major incident. It’s imperative we put our infrastructure under the microscope, so we can confidently stand behind our brand promise and deliver the exceptional levels of resiliency our customers and partners require.

These full system shut downs are elaborate and require discipline and precision to carry out, however they’re performed in conjunction with ensuring the facility is kept running optimally and customer requests continue to be managed seamlessly. Despite our facilities running in full island mode with all major utility supplies completely isolated, you would never know the difference.

At the end of the day, if your data centre is not independently tested, certified and continuously monitored, then it’s highly unlikely it will be able to support your continuous business operations during a disaster.

This is one promise we take great pride in. We are privileged to stand beside our customers and support their business 100% of the time. If your business is demanding connectivity and resilency, talk to a specialist.