Friday 20 October 2017

The EU Code of conduct for Data Centres (Energy Efficiency) and BREXIT!

As a committee member on the EUCOC best practice committee and the principle reviewer of applications to be part of the scheme, I have since July 2016 been asked "what will happen with the EUCOC with regard to Brexit?".

The answer is very simple, for the present, nothing.

The EUCOC, whilst an EU-JRC scheme, was orginally created by DEFRA, the British Computer Society and the EU-Joint Research Centre and it is the intention to continue as such, until circumstances change.

The participation scheme will still be run from the EU-JRC in Ispra, Milan, Italy and the latest 2018 verision of the best practices and associated reporting form will be published shortly.

The last best practice committee took place in Ispra, Milan at the end of September between approximately 20 organsations.

As to the future, well, as some will know, the EUCOC is now included as a technical report in the emerging EN50600 series of Data Centre, Design, Build and Operations standards and this will continue, the full title is CLC/TR EN50600-99-1.
However, the information contained within this document and more importantly the content is delivered by the EUCOC best practices committee. There are no plans (as yet) to change this.

We can all speculate about what will happen after Brexit, but as the EUCOC is a voluntary scheme there is no compulsion to be be involved at all. That said, we do hear that many tenders include a requirement to be a participant in the EUCOC which is normally not marked but clearly there is an intention to use the EUCOC as a indicator of a committment to adopt energy efficiency best practices .

The EURECA project uses a number of standards and guidelines as potential inclusions in public sector tender documents and it is no surprise that the EUCOC is included, as well as ISO's 9001/14001/22301/27001 and 50001, being Quality, Environmental, Business Continuity, Information Security and Energy Management Systems respectively.

Clearly, if the UK ever actually leaves the EU, then procurement processes and procedures will undergo a significant amount of change within public sector organisations.
This would be a significant opportunity to tighten up on data centre procurement to include mandatory energy efficiency criteria in equipment and potentially operations.

If, and it is only an if, the UK does leave the EU then clearly there are a number of options, one is to continue with the EUCOC as is, and for endorser and participant organisations to update the EU-JRC on an annual basis as they do now.
Two, is that the UK rebrand the scheme to be the UKCOC, garner support for a local best practice committeee/community and for an adminstrative group to be created and things continue as before except that the management of participants/endorsers is run by a UK based organisation.
And thus, there is a question to answer, who is or could be that UK organisation?

I have my own thoughts on this, some may disagree, but one thing that is pressing is the planning of such an entity and a dialogue around the options.

The EUCOC has sought and been granted a slot at the forthcoming DCD Zettastructure event in London on the 7/8th November at Old Billingsgate Fish Market in the City of London, this event will cover the scheme, the reporting forms, the view from the field and a Q/A session. Its going to be a great opportunity to ask "What happens after BREXIT?"

I'll be there and will be talking about the EUCOC reporting form and will be on the panel, it could be a lively event so well worth taking time out for!

We have quite a busy November so next update will probably be just before Christmas.