Scottish company DataVita has become the first colocation provider in the UK to complete the Tier III certification cycle with the Uptime Institute.

The Fortis data center in Glasgow – set to become one of the largest in the country – has been certified as Tier III for both Design Documents and Constructed Facility to make sure that the actual physical building is in compliance with the guidelines, and all mission-critical equipment is concurrently maintainable.

DataVita is planning to obtain the optional Operational Sustainability certificate next year.

The news comes as the Uptime Institute is attempting to stamp out Tier certification abuse, something that happens when organizations submit their blueprints, but never subject the actual data center to scrutiny.

“Self-certification by co-location data centers to a tier standard is prevalent in the industry and causes unnecessary confusion for customers,” said Danny Quinn, Managing Director of DataVita.

“There is added confusion of certifying the Design only of the data center and continuing to claim compliance to the standard once it has been constructed. DataVita’s commitment to quality and transparency ensures customers can make an informed decision based on fact.”

Avoiding confusion

DataVita Tier III certificate
DataVita Tier III certificate – Uptime Institute

DataVita was established in January 2014 to operate the Fortis data center, which it calls Scotland’s largest purpose-built colocation facility. The site is located off the M8 highway, between Glasgow and Edinburgh. It will host 2,000 racks once complete, all powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

Tier III certification consists of two stages: the first checks whether the design of the facility meets the defined availability requirements of the selected Tier. The second is more important: it includes live testing of the mechanical and electrical performance of the facility under real-world conditions, simulating events such as a complete power outage.

DataVita certified its design documents with the Uptime Institute in 2015, and has now obtained Constructed Facility certification for the first stage of the project. The other two data centers in the UK to achieve this level of certification belong to Fujitsu Services and Cable & Wireless, and are not open to the public.

“We applaud DataVita for having the foresight to work closely with Uptime Institute through both the design and construction phases of their facility,” said Phil Collerton, Managing Director for EMEA at the Uptime Institute.

“Their commitment to the certification of their data center operation provides DataVita with both a strong differentiation in the Scottish market and offers customers added confidence knowing that their infrastructure, systems and processes have been vetted by an independent and qualified third party.”

The Fortis data center is expected to welcome its first customers in the beginning of October.