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Oversight, Risk Assessment & Training

Our Data Center Operations (DCO) team is responsible for conducting regular maintenance on all data center facilities and critical systems equipment operated by Switch. DCO’s mission is to deliver 100% uptime to our clients while ensuring the health and safety of our critical systems staff.

Safety Procedures

Through the development of its policies, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Method of Procedures (MOP), and detailed operational scripts, DCO Systems is committed to maintaining the critical systems assets that are integral to our business. All critical systems assets are maintained in accordance with manufactures’ recommended practices to ensure maximum availability to our clients, as well as strict adherence to safety protocols for all employees, clients, and third-party vendors.

Using a committee-based approach, DCO procedures are reviewed annually to ensure all maintenance practices are compliant with industry regulations and updated to reflect evolutions in manufacturing design. Critical systems maintenance is performed internally by trained and certified DCO Systems Technicians, and externally by factory authorized vendors. This enables us to maintain a system of checks and balances, and ensure that equipment is being maintained in accordance with recommended practices.

 
Key Critical Systems Maintained by DCO

  • Air Handler Units (AHU) – Maintain all systems to provide N+1 cooling availability to Switch clients and ensure the most efficient modes of cooling are available to run at the lowest possible PUE
  • Fluid Cooler Units (FCU) – Maintain all systems to provide additional cooling efficiencies to the AHUs, maintain water systems to reduce water usage and waste, and meet compliance regulations for safety (ASHREA 188 legionella requirements) and permitting requirements (Clark County)
  • Generators – Maintain all systems to provide 3 separate configurations of 2N+1 backup power generation availability to Switch clients, maintain compliance of fuel systems to include polishing (ISO 4406)
  • Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) – Maintain all systems to provide 3 separate configurations of 2N+1 backup battery power, maintain battery program through live monitoring to ensure backup battery power is readily available to support full design critical loads for 12 minutes and extend the life of batteries to reduce operational costs and waste
  • Power Distribution Units (PDU) and Remote Power Panels (RPP) – Maintain all power distribution systems to maximize power availability to Switch clients, and ensure maintenance practices are compliant with relevant industry standards (IEEE, NFPA, ASHREA)
  • Comfort Cooling (Office/Conference Spaces) – Maintain all cooling and power systems for office and conference room areas for customers, employees, and third-party vendors

Managerial Responsibility
DCO Systems management has a developed quality-control process for facility management; and our technicians are trained to review all critical systems work performed.

Before policies and procedures are published and/or amended, they must be reviewed by the SVP of Data Center Operations and other members of senior management. This is to ensure all maintenance practices remain within manufacturers recommended maintenance practices, and meet or exceed industry standards for safety and regulatory compliance.

Risk Assessment
A risk assessment is performed during the development/review of Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs); and is attached to the procedure for technicians to read, review and confirm the risk assessment before beginning work. This risk assessment includes a review of safety and operational hazards, as well as any history of events that may pose risk to client service delivery.

Employee Training
New employees go through an extensive 90-day on-boarding training program to include fundamental training on all critical facility assets, safety requirements, and any administration tools needed to perform daily work functions. After the 90-day on-boarding period, technicians enter into a tech-leveling program. This involves on-the-job training, advanced courses, and factory/manufacturer training sessions to fully certify technicians before performing required critical tasks. In addition, DCO Systems offers ongoing training opportunities to ensure that employees remain up-to-date with required recertifications and bring safety to the forefront. Hazards around critical assets are common, and DCO Systems has a dedicated representative to build safety awareness among employees, and ensure assets are being maintained in a manner that minimizes risk.

Emergency Response, Incident Investigation, and Corrective Action
Emergency response procedures, or emergency operating procedures (EOPs), are evaluated and tested regularly through controlled drills. Any incident involving a systems failure/fault or safety concern (including near miss), is followed up with a Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and an After Actions Report (AAR) investigation. The purpose of the RCA is to summarize the incident or event, identify the root cause, and document immediate actions taken to resolve the issue. The purpose of the AAR is to identify all possible actions or solutions to minimize/eliminate future incidents, and track all policy changes.

Product and Safety Performance Monitoring

  • Product performance: All critical assets are monitored in real-time through Building Management Systems (BMS) to ensure they are performing and delivering services in accordance with customer SLAs and Switch’s AUP. BMS is also responsible for monitoring Power Usage Efficiency (PUE) and Water Usage Efficiency (WUE) metrics. The maintenance of all critical assets is tracked within Switch’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system to ensure that assets are being maintained within the recommended maintenance occurrences established with the manufacturer and SOC compliance (SSAE16 audit).
  • Safety Performance: Safety training requirements are actively tracked through an LMS (Learning Management System) to ensure all technicians remain compliant to perform daily tasks. DCO Systems has a department safety committee organized to offer technicians an opportunity to address safety concerns and make suggestions on how to improve health and safety procedures in the work environment. Safety committee meeting attendance is voluntary and is led by the DCO Systems Safety Representative on a monthly basis. Safety items are owned by the safety representative and escalated through management as needed to develop strategies for improvements. A member of DCO Systems Management also participates in a quarterly safety meeting to review safety performance.

Performance Objectives and Targets

  • System + System (2N): Deliver 100% uptime for primary power source availability to the client, and minimize/eliminate downtime on redundant power source to ensure constant delivery of 2N power to the client.
  • Temperature control: ASHREA A1 – A4 recommended range – 64.4°F to 80.6°F. Allowable range – 59.0°F to 89.6°F

External Safety Audits and Public Reporting

Safety audits and reporting, including OSHA/NFPA, are managed by Switch’s Security Operations team. DCO Systems is in contract with environmental consultants to provide assistance in establishing permits and identifying reporting gaps for environmental audits. DCO Systems also works with water safety consultants to establish a water safety program in accordance with new 2018 ASHREA 188 standards surrounding legionella.

Regular Testing of Failover Equipment
Upon the installation of any new client equipment, DCO Systems recommends failover testing and provides support to each client to perform such tests. In addition, Switch’s SLA/AUP recommends all clients perform self-administered failover tests on their equipment bi-annually throughout their deployment period. At least once per year during the scheduled annual UPS maintenance, DCO Systems transfers each customers’ critical load to a backup generator. This is a controlled (i.e. “closed”) transfer, meaning that no loss of power will occur during the test.

Switch maintains a library of additional policies and procedures to ensure its services are Tier 5 Platinum compliant and meet Switch’s aggressive sustainability standards. Switch secures these policies on site, to avoid the security risks of espionage, terrorism, sabotage, and cyber attack, inherent in unauthorized duplication, proliferation, or exploitation of these policies. If you would like additional detail or an on-site tour of Switch’s facilities to inspect these policies, please contact the Investor Relations Team (investorrelations@switch.com) or the Switch Policy team (policy@switch.com).

 

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The World’s Leading Data Center Ecosystem Switch
Las Vegas Nevada 89118