IDCA: Rich Banta’s Interview Regarding the International Data Center Authority (IDCA)

The International Data Center Authority (IDCA) recently interviewed me about what their organization and standards have to offer. Here’s the video:


IDCA is a forward-thinking, modern-day standards organization. IDCA, to Lifeline, is all about modernizing standards and carrying standards of uptime and resiliency all the way up the stack for a cloud service provider.

We’re a TIA 942 shop and we had no standards to apply to the upper layers of our service offering. [00:00:30] Our customers are almost demanding, and the market is demanding, that we somehow quantify the quality of our offering. We didn’t have a mechanism for doing that. IDCA gives us a very specific set of standards, measuring tools, and requirements to meet that other organizations haven’t begun to address.

Lifeline has a long and rich history of being a TIA-942 shop. We didn’t feel any of the prevailing standards, Uptime Institute, TIA-942, or VIXY gave [00:01:00] us enough visibility into the stack, or a vehicle to give customers visibility into our capabilities. Aside from IDCA, there are no standards in this segment of the industry. When comparing TIA-942 in the Infinity Paradigm, TIA-942 almost stops within the data center walls and doesn’t extend much further past there.

The Infinity Paradigm covers the entire application ecosystem: multiple locations, multiple telecommunications [00:01:30] links, how well you’ve done that. An example of differences between the two would be that TIA-942, as far as cabling redundancy, is a large set of dry, extremely technical, meaningless-to-an-outsider set of specifications on how it has to be done. IDCA is a comprehensive, logical depiction of what you’ve done, and what it provides you in terms of resilience, as it relates to [00:02:00] everything and delivering the application.

In Lifeline’s experience TIA-942 is a robust standard for telecommunications, electrical, architectural, and mechanical, but that is purely infrastructure-related. We found we needed something that covered our topology, our resilience, our connectivity, layers of connectivity, and everything all the way up to the application program itself.

What IDCA standards and methodologies [00:02:30] do for us is they make things less tangential. We don’t wind up with engineering tangents of HVAC, electrical, network, and server technology living in vacuums. It pulls everybody together to deliver the application. To Lifeline, the Infinity Paradigm is a mechanism to pull all technical disciplines together and measure them objectively. That’s the real difference.

In the past, our customers [00:03:00] were satisfied with us keeping the lights on and keeping their cabinets powered up. As a cloud service provider there is so much more to this than keeping the lights on and keeping that cabinet powered on. What is coming out of that cabinet matters and has to be evaluated, graded, using an objective standard. IDCA provides that. The IDCA standard will be a boon to the high-end cloud service provider community.

The service provider industry needs standards so customers can make [00:03:30] truly informed decisions about who they’re placing their trust in. We’re happy to get an early start on having IDCA come in and verify objectively that we are doing what we say we are. IDCA provides a comprehensive standard that customers can use, and evaluate who they want to trust with their most precious corporate access. The Infinity Paradigm covers everything from the applications we select to deliver services to how much [00:04:00] concrete we pour and where.

Lifeline intends to use the IDCA Infinity Paradigm as a complementary standard in addition to the foundation we built on TIA 942. TIA 942, 2017 is a good standard. It has good and useful specifications. IDCA is going to sit on top of that and really strengthen our CSP offerings.

I find this exciting, to be partnering with IDCA to improve our capabilities [00:04:30] and prove that we’ve done so. We are really looking forward to working with, and partnering, with IDCA. We’re going to bring them inside our facility and show them everything we have and how we do it, and that is not something we’re willing to do with many people at all. There’s a high level of trust in both directions in this relationship.

Once we’ve attained IDCA certification on even the first layer of our stack to be evaluated, we’re going to use it as a marketing tool. We’re going to brag about it to our customers, [00:05:00] put it in front of our competition, challenge them to try the same thing.

I’m Rich Banta. I’m a 30-year veteran of the industry and I am IDCA.

Rich Banta

Rich Banta

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Rich is responsible for Compliance and Certifications, Data Center Operations, Information Technology, and Client Concierge Services. Rich has an extensive background in server and network management, large scale wide-area networks, storage, business continuity, and monitoring. Rich is a former CTO of a major health care system. Rich is hands-on every day in the data centers. He also holds many certifications, including: CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor CRISC – Certified in Risk & Information Systems Management CDCE – Certified Data Center Expert CDCDP – Certified Data Center Design Professional