At a glance
Target Group and Focus
The Datacenter Star Audit is suitable for all companies, which operate a dedicated server room with minimal requirements for air conditioning, power supply, and network connections. The audits focus on the data center’s security and on the availability and redundancies of the facility’s infrastructure (facility management).
Advantages and Benefits for data center operators
Advantages and Benefits for data center customers
DCSA Audit Process
Foto: noris network AG
The Datacenter Star Audit (DCSA) offers a prompt audit process that is also financially manageable. The audit can be all wrapped up in 3-4 weeks (according to experience), from the date the contract documents are sent until the certification is received.
Sending the Contract Documents
The data center operator receives, in addition to the audit contract, the questionnaire (RfI), instructions for the questionnaire (guide for customers), license guidelines as well as the guidelines for the logo usage.
Answering the Questionnaire
The questionnaire used for the audit consists of 220 questions pertaining to the categories relevant to the facilities, staff, technology, and procedures. To facilitate the process, the data center operator will receive a guide for customers that explains the questions in detail and lists possible answers. Of course, the auditors are available for questions during the entire audit process.
Questionnaire Evaluation by the Auditors
After the data center operator fills out the questionnaire (RfI = Request for Information), the auditors examine the plausibility of the answers.
On-Site Consultation with the Auditors
- Questionnaire is discussed
- Maps are discussed
- Certificates are verified
- Documentation is assessed
Data Center Inspection
- Questionnaire is examined
- Maps are verified
- Facilities are examined
- Procedures are traced back
- The data center’s proximity is assessed
DCSA Evaluation System
The results taken from the verified questionnaire and the on-site inspection are used for the DCSA assessment. In considering a point system, a specified and objective classification will be carried out according to a point system. Each category and subcategory will be weighted accordingly by using a particular code. According to the assessed performance level (%), the results can be matched to one of the five performance degrees (DC Stars).
Awarding Certificate and Insignia
After the successful certification, the data center operator receives a DCSA certificate and insignia. During the validity period of the audit (24 months), the digital logo assets made available may be used for marketing purposes in the context of the licensing policies.
The evaluation of a data center is carried out via a large questionnaire (RfI = Request for Information) for the four categories facilities, staff, technology and procedures as well being based on a comprehensive inspection by the eco authorised auditors (eAA).
- Access control and security
- Protected zones and fire control
- Raised floors
- Position in the building
- Facility feedings
- Structure of the building
- Cleanliness of the data center
Technology (Power Security, Air Conditioning, and Network Infrastructure)
- Transformer / Main distribution for medium and low voltage
- Power supplier
- AC and DC power supply
- Emergency power supply, emergency shutdown, lightning protection
- Air conditioning and air filtration
- Temperature and humidity
- ITIL conformity
- Continuity management
- Existing certifications
- Access procedure
- Data security
- Staff size
- Multilingual staff
- Accessibility and availability
- Quality management
Documentation of the Audit Results
Foto: noris network AG
In addition to the visible documentation of the audit results in the form of certificates and insignias, the assessed data centers receive a detailed internal audit report and a performance documentation for their clients. Moreover, the DCSA offers a series of interesting added values.
Fig: Certificate, perspex insignia and detailed assessment report
- Certificate with date and number
- Insignia for the entrance area of the data center facility
- Digital logo assets for marketing purposes
- Detailed report about the audit results identifying strengths and weaknesses (SWOT)
- Detailed performance documentation for the data center customer (e.g. for tenders)
- Concrete recommendations on how to improve the audit results (GAP analysis)
DCSA – The Quality Standard for your Data Center
In the last few years, different certifications and classification systems have been developed and implemented by the IT sector. They all target different goals. In addition to the concentration on the infrastructure, the security certifications developed for data centers focus mainly on the use and products of the data centers. While other certifications use an all-or-nothing philosophy, the Datacenter Star Audit differentiates the quality offered using stars. An eco-audit process does not take several years and does not require continuous investments until the certification can be achieved.
The auditors are committed to the Guide for Inspection (GfI), developed by eco, when evaluating the examined criteria. It determines how many points can be assigned to a given performance. According to the achieved points, a data center will be categorised into one of the five DC Star performance grades. If the minimal requirements are met, that is, if a performance grade of 1 is achieved, a single star is awarded. If higher performance grades are achieved, the data center could receive anything up to five stars.