Since 1894, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has been safety-testing a wide variety of products and materials, with a mission of making the world just a little bit safer. The founders surely could not have imagined the latest product they have certified - a purpose-built, modular data center unit. This week, IO announced its IO.Anywhere product portfolio has been awarded the data center industry's first-ever modular data center safety certification by UL.
As a comprehensive safety standard for modular data centers the new UL 2755 certifies that components work together as a system ready for deployment. This covers installation of servers in a modular data center and safety of the data center's power distribution, cooling systems and smoke/fire protection. The IO.Anywhere modular solution went through a rigorous UL examination process which included preliminary investigations, risk assessment, structural analysis, thermal testing, illumination testing and documentation review.
"In the world of cloud computing, modular data centers play a vital role as they signify a key and flexible data infrastructure element for the next generation," said Kevin Ravo, Business Development Director for global high-tech industry, UL. "Having an industry standard – such as UL 2755 – will provide IT organizations the confidence in the safety of the modular data centers they deploy as part of this next generation infrastructure. We salute IO for becoming the first company to achieve this certification."
IO and the shift towards factory-built data centers received a big vote of confidence recently, when Goldman Sachs declared it would deploy IO modular data centers in worldwide locations as well as in its own facilities. The success of modular data centers and this new UL certification enable the data center to be packaged as an all-inclusive product like other aspects of IT, that can be easily purchased and deployed.
"The UL modular data center certification needs to be a must-have requirement for all organizations looking to deploy modular infrastructure," said Andreas Zoll, Vice President Engineering and Product Management, IO. "The UL standard represents integrity and trust, and we are proud to have this prestigious organization certify that IO.Anywhere is the first product to meet our industry's safety standard."
UL is also setting up a Standards Technical Panel (STP) following the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) process for the publication of UL 2755 as an ANSI Standard. In the international arena, UL has initiated a proposal through the IEC Standards development process to include this in the relevant IEC standard.