Publications

A technological milestone for Chile and the region: SONDA’s Tier IV data center

13/06/2018
Juan Ernesto Landaeta
Gerente Corporativo de Servicios de Data Center y Cloud de SONDA

This SONDA data center will require an investment of US$ 130 million and will be located close to the company's data center in Quilicura (Santiago de Chile), which currently has Tier III certification with respect to its design, construction and operational sustainability.  

The new data center will be true milestone for Chile and the region and will be built by SONDA in Santiago de Chile. It will be the first one built by an IT services company in Latin America.

There are only four other Tier IV data centers in South America, two of them are private facilities built by Banco Santander in Brazil and BBVA in Mexico, and the other two were built by telecommunications companies.   

The new SONDA data center will be a technological milestone for Chile. It will be superior to the Tier III facility belonging to the Latin American integrator, which is already a benchmark, as it is one of only two data centers in Chile certified as complying with the Tier III Gold standard for its design, construction and operation. It will meet growing corporate demand for technology platforms with zero fault tolerance.

"Companies and organizations that operate on a 24x7x365 basis, such as banks, financial institutions, hospitals, clinics, retailers, public services and utilities companies, are susceptible to an interruption, as this could have a huge negative impact, cause serious damage to their brand image, and cause financial losses. They would definitely prefer to hire services from a Tier IV data center," said Juan Ernesto Landaeta, SONDA Corporate Data Center and Cloud Services Manager.

According to the Uptime Institute, a Tier IV data center requires every single component to be fault tolerant, regardless of whether the fault is planned, unplanned or caused by human error. Such a fault should never affect operational continuity in the computer room.

Unlike a Tier III, this superior classification requires new criteria to be met, such as critical elements to be compartmentalized, continuous cooling, capacity "N" after a fault and two simultaneously active electricity distribution networks.  

This new data center will give SONDA’s customers in Chile and the region access to the highest reliability performance in the world. It will require an investment of US$ 130 million over the next 5 to 10 years.

The facility is expected to cover 4,000m2, and the first 1,000m2 will be built this year, to become operational in January 2020 following an investment of US$ 40 million.

Currently, SONDA has requested the Uptime Institute to certify that its design complies with Tier IV standards, and this entity is world-renowned for creating and managing the Tier Standards.

The data center will also strengthen its enterprise cloud services and disaster recovery services (DRaaS) in every Latin American country that requires them.

DISPROVING THE MYTH THAT TIER IV FACILITIES IN CHILE ARE NOT FEASIBLE

Some people have argued that it is "impossible" to install a Tier IV data center in Chile. However, technology and the facts deny this myth.

The first argument used to suggest that building a Tier IV data center is not possible is the requirement for duplicated external electricity supplies. This requires two parallel and continual external electricity suppliers. But Chile has only one major electricity distributor who manages both the Northern and Central Grids. However, this myth is disproved by using independent COP generators that can operate 24/7.

In fact, Chile is not the only country with one single electricity distributor. Brazil is in the same situation, although it already has a private Tier IV data center, which has been certified by the same Uptime Institute.

Another argument is that Chile’s seismic nature prevents any facility from being 100% secure. However, this too is refuted by practice. The technology exists to build a Tier IV data center in any part of the world, mitigating the impact of telluric movements with seismic isolators designed especially for countries such as Japan and Chile.

Finally, the Uptime Institute will verify compliance with their requirements by performing confirmation tests, and will determine the quality of the Design and Construction based on these results and the corresponding impact on operations, in order to certify the facility.

This article was published in: "El Mercurio"