EPI Releases the New and Improved Data Center Operations Standard 2021 (DCOS® 2021)

The ONLY maturity-based standard covering all 11 disciplines for data centers of any type, size and criticality

Singapore, 1 October 2021 – Many data center operators and customers using data center services, have come to realize that without adequate processes and maintenance programs, the data centers are at risk of not meeting the expected availability levels which could seriously impact their investments and business. Research has supported this thought with evidence that most data centers go down due to operational issues.

The problem can be traced to a gap in the data center industry where it is missing a complete, practical and easy-to-use benchmark specifically written for data center operations. Typically, the industry uses generic standards such as ITIL, ISO-9000, ISO-20000, ISO-27001, among others. While these are good generic benchmarks for their respective scopes, they are not a good fit for the complex data center operations environment which has 11 critical disciplines. A mix-and-match of ISO standards which are generic and not integrated with each other as well as lacking the full scope of a data center puts data center operators and their users at risk.

DCOS® addresses the full scope of the data center operations which consists of 11 disciplines – Service Level Management, Organization, Safety, Security, Project, Facilities, Data Center Operations, Environmental Sustainability, Monitoring/Reporting/Control, Organizational Resilience, and Governance, Risk and Compliance. It is complete, practical, easy-to-use and auditable. The DCOS® 2021 has been improved and updated to address the current state and needs of the industry. 

DCOS® provides a structured approach to benchmark the operations maturity at 5 easy-to-understand levels;

  • DCOS-1 – has no or little documentation, monitoring, training and processes
  • DCOS-2 – has processes available but are often undocumented, high reliance on personnel
  • DCOS-3 – has standardized and documented processes and procedures
  • DCOS-4 – has processes which are measured and controlled with continuous improvement programs
  • DCOS-5 – has fully integrated processes with continuous improvement programs

These benchmarks allow operators to identify which level they are currently at and plan for progressive improvement. 

At the same time, they also serve data centers customers as benchmarks to select data center providers that best suit their business requirements, where critical applications are best served by data center providers with the highest DCOS® level. 

While the DCOS® is extensive, it is also flexible.  Data center operators have the choice of disciplines they want to start with based on their priorities and business requirements. 

According to Edward van Leent, Chairman & CEO of the EPI Group of Companies, “I’m very excited with the release of DCOS® 2021.  DCOS® is developed following the stringent ISO/ANSI standards development process. The DCOS® 2021 standard committee was a multinational committee demonstrating a true global presence. It had 61 members from 26 countries covering 6 continents. The members are hands-on data center professionals from 44 organizations representing a broad range of industries including, but not limited to, commercial data centers, financial institutions, IT, aviation, governments, telecommunications providers, system integrators, etc.  The committee meetings were invigorating and engaging. It is an honor to collaborate with them. Many excellent points were brought up, debated, and voted on, before the final publication. The DCOS® 2021 is a vendor-neutral, open global standard applicable to any type of data center.”


Van Leent continues, “Data centers which undertakes the DCOS® certification are demonstrating good governance and great transparency to all stakeholders. Personally, I would recommend data centers, whether enterprise or colo/cloud providers, to benchmark their operations instead of running ‘blind’.  Find out where you currently stand so you can reduce risks by delegating resources to focus on areas where you will get the most positive impact and return. One should do this progressively to make the data center safer, more reliable, and efficient.

“As for data center customers, it will be prudent to ask your data center providers for a DCOS® certification to validate their operations maturity level and protect yourself. The DCOS® criteria is publicly available so you can reference it for full transparency.”

For more information on the DCOS®, visit www.epi-ap.com/dcos.

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