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What is Data Center Tiers and which should you choose?

By PritiSheti

The data center tier standards are a regulated technique that defines the availability of an IT facility. Most people don`t have clear picture about how exactly these Tier matters and how it works. For instance, an organization is looking for a dedicated hosting, but have no idea which level of protection they must invest on. The data center tier methodology is an easy approach to determine the redundancy and resiliency of a particular IT infrastructure. The system was initiated by the Uptime Institute and the method is useful in weighing the investment, return on investment (ROI) and data center performance.

The Tiers are rated between Tier I – Tier IV, with Tier IV being the most powerful. Data center Tiers narrows down the performance level of data centers spread globally by classifying them in Tiers. So users don`t have to compare individual features of each data center to find out which would best suit their requirements. Let`s discuss the what these data center tier levels mean to your business

Data Center Tiers

Tier I Data Center is simply a server room in any building that follows standard regulations on the setup of systems. The highly redundant and reliable is Tier IV which is designed to support organizations with mission-critical servers and systems; best suited for large-scale businesses. Here`s a detail description.

Tier I

Single path for power and cooling distribution

No Redundant components such as cooling, fire and security

Provides 99.671% availability (annual downtime per year is 28.8 hours)

Tier II 

Single path for power and cooling distribution

Redundant components

Provides 99.749% availability (annual downtime per year is 22 hours)

Tier III

Multiple active power and cooling distribution paths

Redundant components and concurrently maintainable

Provides 99.982% availability (annual downtime per year is 1.6 hours)

Tier IV

Meets or exceeds Tier III requirements

Sufficient redundancy

Fault-tolerant infrastructure

Provides 99.995% availability (annual downtime per year is only 26.28 minutes)

So does that mean you should go for Tier IV?

Tier IV data center exceeds all the expectations an organization looks upon in an IT facility, however, it all comes down to one thing which is how much downtime is tolerable to your website or applications. Tier III data centers excels compared to Tier I and Tier II, however it lacks the redundancy offered by Tier IV facilities. If your organizations deal with mission-critical data and your company can`t afford even an hour downtime, then you must definitely go for Tier IV data center services. It assures to keep your servers always up and running and because of high redundancy, you know that your servers will keep functioning even during a catastrophe. The facilities are designed to withstand natural calamities and have a number of security layers that allows only authorized access.


About the author
Online Marketing Head at Web Werks.

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