To initiate the physical inspection of Yotta NM1, it was earlier planned that the inspectors from Uptime Institute will visit the facility in early 2021. But with the pandemic aggravating, we decided to create a hybrid testing system, wherein one local inspector each from Chennai, Tamil Nadu would visit the site and the others which are based out of Dubai and Malaysia would monitor virtually and coordinate with the local inspector.
However, this too could not materialise, as the Covid-19 situation worsened in Mumbai and we mutually decided to go for 100% remote testing. The entire process evolved from all the three inspectors visiting physically to a hybrid scenario, and finally, everything being done remotely. We received information from the Uptime Institute team highlighting the entire testing process.
There was a team of around 50 people on-site to conduct various tests as per their instructions and the list given by Uptime Institute inspectors. To achieve the TCCF certification, we had to demonstrate and pass 76 tests. The inspectors would pick up any random test to be demonstrated live.
The Uptime Institute provided the list of these tests. These tests are decided by Uptime and not Yotta; the tests are based on the design earlier evaluated by Uptime. The inspectors test whether the evaluated design will withstand or not; they try to cause failure in everything where failures could be possible, then observe the effect. During the process, the actions of the test, the cause, and the effect were monitored by them, both visually and through BMS.
The on-ground team was carrying 5-6 mobile cameras, as the inspectors wanted 3-4 live feed from the data center wherever the testing was done so that they can capture the event live. Apart from capturing all the actions being carried out to do the tests, these mobile cameras also recorded the state of the equipment, post the tests.
Parallelly, all the inspectors had access to the live Building Management System (BMS) feed to remotely monitor equipment functioning like UPS, Primary Air Handling Unit (PAHU), and the overall infrastructure. The monitors in the BMS room were made available through an IP connection, wherein they could maneuver various pages of the control room.
It was not mandatory for the inspectors to see whatever was shown to them in this remote setting. Like camera feed, they were not dependent on the on-ground team for the BMS access. Instead, they were watching feeds independently on-demand.
In case of any test being carried out, the actual action of the test and its result were shown over the camera. However, suppose the inspectors had to simultaneously look at other equipment like transformers or chillers, in that case, they could do so independently without the on-ground team being aware of it. The Yotta team couldn’t find out what they are monitoring at any given point in time.
Here, I must mention the invaluable contribution of N K Jain, Chief Technical Advisor, Yotta, whose guidance and advisory helped us better prepare for this entire remote testing process.
In the words of N K Jain, “As per the Uptime Institute requirement, the inspectors needed 3 live feeds and 1 BMS feed. However, we provided them 2 BMS feeds and 6 live feeds. After each test, they used to monitor the temperature in the server hall in real-time. To save time, we made trends of the temperature of server hall. It was a tedious and time-consuming task. Since they monitored the load in the data hall, we also created a special digital visual dashboard for them to monitor critical equipment in real-time, which saved a lot of time. All these aspects made the certification process unique, which has not been attempted by any data center operator in the world so far.”