LCL’S NEW DATA CENTRE AWARDED TIER III CERTIFICATION
PRESS RELEASE: Data centre specialist LCL has five data centres in Belgium: Aalst (LCL Brussels-West), Antwerp (LCL Antwerp), Diegem (LCL Brussels-East), Huizingen (LCL Brussels-South) and Gembloux (LCL Wallonia One). Owing to LCL’s ambitious plans, the company is constantly adding data centre space. A second data centre in Aalst is currently being brought into operation, and there is still room for further expansion in Aalst.
“LCL sets the bar for data centres in Belgium,” said Abdellah Mahlous, LCL's Operations Manager. “That was one of the commitments we made when we set out our strategy. Everyone in our team has worked extremely hard, and they have also had to comply with additional safety requirements due to the pandemic. Performing the necessary tests for obtaining Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility from Uptime Institute required the presence of 20 members of our team all at the same time. This also involved setting up cameras. This was only possible because we have the right people in house. When it comes to our data centres, we focus single-mindedly on providing high quality services, which is why we have the biggest team in the sector. Finishing our new data centre – complete with Tier Certification – is another feather in the cap for this highly dedicated team. It was a joint achievement, and everyone here feels proud and happy about that, as they should. Everything is now ready for the first customers!”
First Belgian data centre to obtain double certification from Uptime Institute
Uptime Institute follows a two-step design and construction approach so that it can form the best possible picture of how a data centre is constructed. In 2019, the design of the data centre in Aalst was Tier III Certified by Uptime Institute. This involved checking the entire design, including all necessary calculations, to ensure conformity with Uptime Institute's Tier III criteria. The actual construction of the data centre was certified at a later date.
For this second certification, Uptime Institute checked whether the design had been followed in full during the construction of the data centre. Tests were performed by LCL, under the supervision of Uptime Institute, to prove that the data centre does in fact have the power and capacity levels indicated in the design plans. In connection with this, load banks were installed to simulate power consumption and heat sources that are comparable with server racks. This enabled us to check that the cooling system could cope with the heat produced by the data centre. The biggest challenge, however, was proving that this load could always be kept live in all the failure scenarios defined by Uptime Institute.
After a great many tests, the data centre in Aalst obtained Uptime Institute's Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility. LCL is the first Belgian company to be awarded this double certification by Uptime Institute. Tier III classification refers to an infrastructure that is ‘concurrently maintainable’, which means that all maintenance can be carried out while the data centre operates as normal.
“Uptime Institute is at the forefront when it comes to data centre certification,” said Laurens van Reijen, LCL's Managing Director. “It uses stricter criteria than other organisations and is the creator of the Tier Standard. Moreover, Uptime Institute has the most experience in sectors where redundancy is particularly important, such as finance and insurance. We are pleased to have completed the Tier Certification of Constructed Facility award, given that about 80% of the European data centres certified by Uptime Institute have only obtained certification for the design. This means that customers at LCL Data Centers can be certain that our data centre has been constructed as designed. The fact that we have obtained both certifications makes us particularly proud.”
“Tier Certification shows a higher level of commitment and quality for their data centre, as well as the way they do business,” said Ali Moinuddin, Managing Director Europe, Uptime Institute. “We were pleased to work with LCL on the Tier Certification of Design and Tier Certification of Constructed Facility awards. The Tier Certification illustrates that the data centre has been verified as reaching real-world challenges and adhering to the requirements of the organisation. With organisation-specific, component-level and performance-based evaluations and an extremely thorough, unbiased site check, few programs can match the calibre of assessment offered by Uptime Institute.”
Investment worth €15.5 million
LCL set aside € 15.5 million for the construction of LCL Brussels-West. That sum also includes the purchase of the adjacent land with a view to future expansion. LCL Brussels-West now has two data centres with a combined area of approximately 1950 m², which is almost three times greater than the amount of data centre space it used to have.
Certification as part of company vision for LCL
LCL has always attached great value to certification. Besides Tier III certification from Uptime Institute, many other certificates and reports demonstrate the quality and distinctiveness of LCL’s data centres. For instance, the data centre in Aalst also conforms with standards ISO 45001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001, ISO 9001, ISAE 3000 and ISAE 3402 type II. These certificates and reports relate to our efforts in the areas of health and safety, environmental legislation, information security, reliability and quality, operational risk management, and financial business processes, respectively. These certifications show that LCL does everything possible to manage risks.
“LCL stands for continuity, stability and trust,” said Laurens van Reijen. “Obtaining the necessary certificates proves our quality, which forms the basis for these core values. We have made the choice to provide high quality services, and so it is unsurprising that we are one of the top three data centres in Belgium. Providing quality means huge efforts and significant investments on our part – 15.5 million euros in this specific case. That is how we make a difference.”
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