Uptime Tier to ANSI/TIA-942 Upgrade

It is common knowledge that the Uptime Institute Tier Topology guideline only address the electrical and mechanical infrastructure of a data centre. Although these parts of the data centre infrastructure are critical, data centre owners/operators/end-users have come to learn that the Uptime Institute’s Tier guidelines are missing some fundamental elements for today’s business critical environments. More and more customers are challenging their Uptime Institute Tier certified data centre operators on why they have only gotten their power and cooling infrastructure reviewed and left out other key elements such as physical security, network infrastructure, fire safety, architecture etc. 

Furthermore, Uptime Institute’s Tier guideline is not an official accredited standard and neither does it have an official accreditation scheme whereby audits conducted are having oversight from an accreditation body. Uptime conduct the Uptime Tier Topology assessment themselves and print their own certificates. This is an evident conflict of interest and bias which is prohibited by standard organisations such as ISO. Accredited standards under ISO have a clear definition to avoid conflict of interest by separating the SDO (Standards Development Organisation) from the AB (Accreditation Body) and the auditor/CB/CAB (Certification Body/Conformity Assessment Body).

ANSI/TIA-942 is the world’s first and only official data centre standard having an official accreditation scheme whereby TIA is the SDO and scheme owner, Certac is the AB overseeing the CB/CAB’s, like EPI. The accreditation scheme ensures quality control, transparency, fairness, competitiveness, freedom of choice and consistency which protects the interests of the customers.

TIA-942 is a complete data centre standard which addresses site location, architectural aspects, physical security, fire safety, telecommunications, electrical and mechanical to name a few.  The advantages of TIA-942 Conformity Certification far outweighs those of Uptime Institute Tier Topology Certification. 

4 key reasons why you should consider upgrading from Uptime to ANSI/TIA-942:

  1. Broader Scope
    The Uptime Institute Tier Topology only covers Electrical and Mechanical systems, whereas the TIA-942 covers the full data centre facilities (Electrical, Mechanical, Telecommunication, Architectural, Site Location, Fire Safety, Physical Security etc), which is critical for today’s mission critical data centres.
  2. True Standard
    Uptime Institute Tier Topology is a guideline issued by a commercial organisation, whereas TIA-942 is a true Standard issued by an SDO (Standard Development Organisation) accredited by ANSI and applicable globally.  This provides great transparency which is important for any data centre owner/operator/end-user. 
  3. True Accredited Certification
    Uptime Institute Tier certification is self-certification by the Uptime Institute, where Uptime Institute is the only company performing the audits and the auditing process is self-defined instead of abiding by ISO regulations. There is no external accreditation, no external auditing, and the certificates are self-printed without impartial validation and oversight by an AB. ANSI/TIA-942 has strict separation of duties and oversight by an AB as defined within their accredited certification scheme and customers have a choice of accredited auditing organizations which ensures quality control.
  4. Lower Cost
    Uptime Institute assessments are performed by Uptime Institute consultants only and known to be very high-cost whereas TIA-942 assessments are performed by qualified auditors at very completive rates.

ANSI/TIA-942 CAB (Conformity Assessment Body)

EPI is the world's first and so far the only ANSI/TIA-942 CAB authorised under the official TIA-942 Accreditation Scheme to provide data center conformity audit services to the ANSI/TIA-942 standard.  EPI is also incorporated as a CB (Certification Body).

3 types of upgrade packages. 

  • Uptime Institute Design Documents Certificate to ANSI/TIA-942 Design Certi­ficate
  • Uptime Institute Design Documents Certificate to ANSI/TIA-942 Facilities Certifi­cate
  • Uptime Institute Constructed Facilities Certificate to ANSI/TIA-942 Facilities Certifi­cate

Pricing varies depending on the size and target rating level of a data centre but are often at a fraction of the cost compared to Uptime Institute’s Tier Topology certification.


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