Data Center Technical Standards

Version 1.0, November 1, 2013

The purpose of the Open-­IX Data Center Technical Standards document is to establish a recommended standard for Data Centers to support an IXP (as defined by the Open-­IX IXP Technical Standards). The standard also provides guidance for acceptable exceptions for pre-existing facilities.

Download Data Center Technical Standards PDF

Download Data Center Application PDF


Open Access

It is anticipated that the applicants for approval under this standard will include Building Owners, Meet Me Room Operators, and Data Center Providers. The party applying must have the right to bring any new network provider into the facility and must be willing to do so on a non-­discriminatory basis. An Open-­IX approved Data Center must also provide non-discriminatory access to any Open-­IX approved IXP for a minimum of 12 months after approval subject to available space, power, and cooling.



Base Building - Shall designate the fee simple ownership and/or control of the underlying real estate. This entity ultimately controls the right of network entry, but may grant broad and open rights of access to the MMR Operator or Data Center Provider as defined below.

MMR Operator - The entity that controls and operates one or multiple designated Meet Me Rooms (MMRs) in the building. The MMR operator provides the infrastructure and management to support inter-­connection of network providers with each other and cross-­connection either from network provider to building tenant or amongst building tenants. The MMR may include a variety of media types, including but not limited to: single and multi-­mode fiber as well as Cat 5 copper or similar legacy infrastructure.

Data Center Provider - The entity providing space, power, cooling, security, and related services to customers, including the IXP.

IXP - Internet Exchange Provider is the entity operating the Internet Exchange subject to the IXP requirements published under a separate standard.

Facilities-based Network Provider - The entity that controls and maintains a physical fiber path into a building. Multiple providers may lease or share this fiber.

Certification Directory

Find information about the Data Centers and IXPs that are currently certified.




Submit a complaint and monitor the status of complaint submissions and resolutions.


Physical Requirements

Utility Feeds Minimum two separate utility feeds from separate serving substations. One or two utility feeds from one substation. (Please see Generator Standard as defined below).
Utility Transformers

2N or N+1 with collector bus.

Water Sources Minimum 2 municipal or 1 municipal plus onsite. 1 municipal.
Network Access

At least two diverse points of underground fiber optic entry with continuity directly to the building or campus from the curb and gutter to the on-­site property conduit system serving the Data Center space housing the customers. Building must be operated in a carrier neutral manner and building owner must provide non-­discriminatory access to all providers seeking to enter.


No exceptions.
Meet Me Room (MMR)

MMR must be secure with access limited to MMR operator or Data Center provider. Any other parties’ access must be logged, escorted and auditable. Pricing must be offered to the OIX exchange and the participants of the exchange for all interconnection types on a fair, reasonable, open, and non-discriminatory basis. Open-IX requires transparency of pricing and MMR providers must publicly post pricing of standard elements on their web site, or provide an equivalent open method to all OIX exchange operators and participants.


No exceptions.
Interconnection Service Delivery All Interconnection services delivered in a MMR within no greater than 5 business days from order placement so long as adequate existing infrastructure is available. No exceptions.
Electrical Distribution A/B distribution from utility hand-off to equipment supporting Data Center. Single distribution.

Minimum of N+1 generating capacity for critical load, cooling, and life safety with on-site fuel storage for a minimum 24 hours at full load.

Fuel Storage and hold time may be reduced if physical limitations prevent storage, and a minimum of two supply contracts are in place. N generators may be used if the facility has dual feeds and a history of utility reliability.


UPS A&B UPS Systems with separate UPS rooms and distribution. Single UPS system if critical network gear is powered by an A/B DC plant.
Cooling N+1 Capacity on all cooling systems; water supply capable of at least 24 hours continued operation if water is required in cooling process. N Capacity with appropriate load reduction and/or curtailment procedures.
Floor Load 150lb psf floor loading in either raised floor or VCT tile environment. Appropriate load distribution to handle fully loaded 42+U racks of Switch/Routers. As low as 60 psf loading with appropriate equipment installation standards and monitoring.
Flood Zone Outside of the FEMA 100 year flood zone. Within FEMA 100 year flood zone with appropriate mitigation plan.
Seismic Zone Building must comply with current seismic requirements for zone in which it is located. Racks supporting IXP gear should be seismically isolated and supported. Older building that conformed to seismic requirements at the time that it was built and is "grandfathered in".
Tornado/Hurricane Zone

Building must comply with current wind requirements for mission critical structures. Inclusive in this requirement is acceptable wind shear loading on walls and roof structures. All facilities in these zones must have a staff and supply plan in the event a weather related storm could impact the facility.


Older building that conformed to wind requirements at the time that it was built and is "grandfathered in".
Adjacent Transportation Shall not be beneath a final approach path within 2 miles of a major airport. Exceptions for legacy or existing facilities.
Adjacent Hazards No high risk occupancies (Refinery, Chemical Plant, Hazardous Manufacturing Facility, etc.) within ¼ mile. No exceptions.
Fire Protection Pre-action or gas suppression in all equipment areas; Central alarm system linked to fire department; Firefighting procedures handbook. Other fire suppression conforming to code requirements with minimal risk to customer equipment if discharged.

At least dual factor authentication for entrance; network and central systems areas restricted access including anti tailgating devices and security cameras with at least 24 hours of data retention.


No exceptions.
Building Management System

Building shall have an automation system that monitors and provides alarming for the following:

  • Utility Power
  • UPS
  • Generator
  • Cooling Plant
  • Supply Air Temperature
  • Security Cameras
24x7 staffing with appropriate “watch” log.



Operational Requirements

Rules Facility must have a coordinated and properly communicated set of rules governing facility use,  access/security, construction, and shipping/receiving of materials.                                                                            No exceptions.
Licensing All facilities must comply with local, state and federal licensing and regulatory requirements as needed for the locale they are located in. No exceptions.
Commissioning All power and cooling systems must be commissioned during the start-up phase and commissioning documents must be maintained and available for inspection. Facilities with a five year successful track record, including no failures of back-up systems under load conditions.

Facilities must be able to demonstrate with logs that all power and cooling systems are maintained in accordance with manufacturers standard procedures or such alternate procedures as are fully documented. Generators must be tested at least once a month and power systems shall be tested under load at least once a year.


No exceptions.
Operating Procudures

Facility shall have well documented operating procedures defining role and responsibility of facility staff, regular processes, and emergency response.


No exceptions.
Hours of Operation 24/7 access with facility staff. Security staff only outside of business hours.
Change Management

Facility shall establish and maintain change management procedures, including defining what items will be communicated to facility users and the time frame and method of such communications.


No exceptions.
Workflow Management Facility shall have an automated ticketing system to manage workflow such as new installation, tenant requests, change management, break/fix, etc. No exceptions.
Disaster Plan All facilities must have an up to date disaster support plan to assure uptime of the facility. No exceptions.
Communicaiton All facilities must have adequate NOC and call center services to assure open communication with the customers housed within the facility. Legacy facilities without NOC or onsite call centers may utilize an alternate notification system, but that system must be clearly communicated to all parties.

Facility shall state what, if any compliance programs (SSAE 16 Type1/Type2;; PCI, etc). are in place. Adopted controls, compliance reports, deficiency reports, and other relevant documentation must be promptly provided to customers.


Compliance programs are not required.

Environmental Compliance

Facility shall maintain all required licenses for storage of fuel and other regulated chemicals. Facility shall have a licensed Environmental contractor on retainer. Facility shall have appropriate programs for recycling and disposal and shall comply with all Federal, State, and Local laws governing disposal.


No exceptions.
Energy Conseravation Facilities are encouraged to conserve energy and must present supporting evidence of such plans. No exceptions.

*with Open-IX Board approval


Service Levels

Service Levels for the following shall be clearly stated as part of the Application process and included in agreements with customers:

  • Generator
  • UPS
  • Cooling
  • Cross Connect Delivery
  • Electrical Circuit Delivery


Approval/Exceptions/Conditional Approval

Applicants shall submit a summary application noting compliance with requirements. Requested exceptions shall be clearly called out and noted as to whether they are within or outside of the range of acceptable exceptions noted herein.

Applicants must understand that this is primarily a self reporting standard and that it is incumbent upon the provider to be honest and forthcoming in their submissions. The Application will be provided to IXP Operators seeking approval for individual facilities and it is incumbent upon them to conduct their own due diligence and validate capabilities.

The board reserves the right to revoke any approvals based on factually incorrect submissions.

Research, Educational Institutions, and certain "good of the Internet" facilities may be granted blanket waivers based on the approval of the Board.



This document may be reviewed, revised, and expanded on a quarterly basis.


OPEN-IX OIX-2 Data Center Standards / HIPAA Crosswalk

In the world of Health Information Technology, compliance with the HIPAA regulations is in the forefront for both large and small healthcare organizations. HIPAA compliance means having technical, physical and administrative controls in place to protect the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of patient information.

Data Center operators who service the Healthcare industry must demonstrate compliance with components of HIPAA directly related to their scope of responsibility. This document identifies the Open-IX standards and how they cross over specific aspects of HIPAA they’re responsible for.

Customers of OIX-2 certified facilities can utilize this document to understand how the certified operator is addressing HIPAA regulations. In particular, it outlines what specific HIPAA requirements the operator may be responsible for via a Business Associate Agreement (BAA), Contract, or SLA, ensuring scope is appropriately limited. 

OIX2 Data Center HIPPA Crosswalk: Download