LCL’s new data center in Aalst is first to obtain Tier III
Certification of Constructed Facility from Uptime Institute
Approximately €15.5 million invested in Aalst region, Belgium
Gembloux, Aalst, Antwerp, Diegem and Huizingen, 16 August 2021 – Data center operator LCL has obtained Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility from Uptime Institute for its new data center in Aalst, known as LCL Brussels-West. This new Tier Certification is in keeping with LCL’s focus on risk management and quality. LCL has invested some €15.5 million in its brand-new data center. Uptime Institute is a key global leader in data center certification, and LCL operates the only Belgian data center to achieve the double certification awards – for design and construction (Constructed Facility). Specifically, this gives customers the assurance that the data center was constructed in accordance with the design.
Data center specialist LCL has five data centers in Belgium: Aalst (LCL Brussels-West), Antwerp (LCL Antwerp), Diegem (LCL Brussels-East), Huizingen (LCL Brussels-South) and Gembloux (LCL Wallonia One). Owing to LCL’s ambitious plans, the company is constantly adding data center space. A second data center in Aalst is currently being brought into operation, and there is still room for further expansion in Aalst.
“LCL sets the bar for data centers in Belgium,” said Abdellah Mahlous, LCL’s Operations Manager. “That was one of the commitments we made when we set out our strategy. Everyone in our team has worked extremely hard, and they have also had to comply with additional safety requirements due to the pandemic. Performing the necessary tests for obtaining Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility from Uptime Institute required the presence of 20 members of our team all at the same time. This also involved setting up cameras. This was only possible because we have the right people in house. When it comes to our data centers, we focus single-mindedly on providing high quality services, which is why we have the biggest team in the sector. Finishing our new data center – complete with Tier Certification – is another feather in the cap for this highly dedicated team. It was a joint achievement, and everyone here feels proud and happy about that, as they should. Everything is now ready for the first customers!”
First Belgian data center to obtain double certification from Uptime Institute
Uptime Institute follows a two-step design and construction approach so that it can form the best possible picture of how a data center is constructed. In 2019, the design of the data center in Aalst was Tier III Certified by Uptime Institute. This involved checking the entire design, including all necessary calculations, to ensure conformity with Uptime Institute’s Tier III criteria. The actual construction of the data center was certified at a later date. For this second certification, Uptime Institute checked whether the design had been followed in full during the construction of the data center. Tests were performed by LCL, under the supervision of Uptime Institute, to prove that the data center does in fact have the power and capacity levels indicated in the design plans. In connection with this, load banks were installed to simulate power consumption and heat sources that are comparable with server racks. This enabled us to check that the cooling system could cope with the heat produced by the data center. The biggest challenge, however, was proving that this load could always be kept live in all the failure scenarios defined by Uptime Institute. After a great many tests, the data center in Aalst obtained Uptime Institute’s Tier III Certification of Constructed Facility. LCL is the first Belgian company to be awarded this double certification by Uptime Institute. Tier III classification refers to an infrastructure that is ‘concurrently maintainable’, which means that all maintenance can be carried out while the data center operates as normal.
“Uptime Institute is at the forefront when it comes to data center certification,” said Laurens van Reijen, LCL’s Managing Director. “It uses stricter criteria than other organizations and is the creator of the Tier Standard. Moreover, Uptime Institute has the most experience in sectors where redundancy is particularly important, such as finance and insurance. We are pleased to have completed the Tier Certification of Constructed Facility award, given that about 80% of the European data centers certified by Uptime Institute have only obtained certification for the design. This means that customers at LCL Data Centers can be certain that our data center has been constructed as designed. The fact that we have obtained both certifications makes us particularly proud.”
“Tier Certification shows a higher level of commitment and quality for their data center, as well as the way they do business,” said Ali Moinuddin, Managing Director Europe, Uptime Institute. “We were pleased to work with LCL on the Tier Certification of Design and Tier Certification of Constructed Facility awards. The Tier Certification illustrates that the data center has been verified as reaching real-world challenges and adhering to the requirements of the organization. With organization-specific, component-level and performance-based evaluations and an extremely thorough, unbiased site check, few programs can match the caliber of assessment offered by Uptime Institute.”
Investment worth €15.5 million
LCL set aside € 15.5 million for the construction of LCL Brussels-West. That sum also includes the purchase of the adjacent land with a view to future expansion. LCL Brussels-West now has two data centers with a combined area of approximately 1950 m², which is almost three times greater than the amount of data center space it used to have.
Certification as part of company vision for LCL
LCL has always attached great value to certification. Besides Tier III certification from Uptime Institute, many other certificates and reports demonstrate the quality and distinctiveness of LCL’s data centers. For instance, the data center in Aalst also conforms with standards ISO 45001, ISO 14001, ISO 27001, ISO 9001, ISAE 3000 and ISAE 3402 type II. These certificates and reports relate to our efforts in the areas of health and safety, environmental legislation, information security, reliability and quality, operational risk management, and financial business processes, respectively. These certifications show that LCL does everything possible to manage risks.
“LCL stands for continuity, stability and trust,” said Laurens van Reijen. “Obtaining the necessary certificates proves our quality, which forms the basis for these core values. We have made the choice to provide high quality services, and so it is unsurprising that we are one of the top three data centers in Belgium. Providing quality means huge efforts and significant investments on our part – 15.5 million euros in this specific case. That is how we make a difference.”
Image of LCL Brussels-West
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LCL offers years of experience and know-how in the field of data centers and co-location. The company has five independent data centers: Aalst (LCL Brussels-West), Antwerp (LCL Antwerp), Diegem (LCL Brussels-North), Gembloux (LCL Wallonia One) and Huizingen (LCL Brussels-South). Thanks to the efforts of its dynamic team – the largest on the Belgian data centers market – and reputable service provision, LCL has grown over the years into a company that offers its services to customers active in many different sectors.
Multinationals, small and medium-sized companies, governments, internet companies and telecom operators all call on the services of LCL. Customers have the choice of more than 40 providers and the LCL Cloud Exchange for optimal connectivity. The company is Tier III certified and complies with ISO 27001, ISO 45001 and ISO 9001 standards. LCL also resolutely embraces sustainability and is ISO 14001 certified. In addition, LCL holds ISAE 3000 and ISAE 3402 type II reports. More information: https://www.lcl.be/.