Tier Classes for Business Datacenters

data center

Virtually every business operation nowadays is controlled by IT. The term ‘datacenter’ refers to an organized computing environment. At a basic level, a datacenter will include a colocation facility, which houses the server, storage, and network hardware, power, security systems, network connectivity, and fire suppression.

A datacenter tier is a standardized IT methodology for the ranking of different datacenters based on their potential uptime (infrastructure performance). When working with Kansas City’s best IT consulting firms, there are different tiers you will choose from.

These tiers have different bandwidth types, data storage technologies, layers, server virtualization levels and the number of servers. The following information will help you pick the right datacenter tier for your organization.

Tier 1

This is the lowest and simplest datacenter tier. The minimum uptime offered in tier 1 datacenters is 99.671% with an annual downtime of 28–29 hours.

There is little to no redundancy in systems in these datacenters since there is a single path for cooling and power equipment. Tier 1 datacenters are the cheapest and an ideal choice for small business, which can do without the bells and whistles associated with upper tiers.

Tier 2

Datacenters in tier 2 have an uptime of 99.741% with downtimes of not more than 22 hours annually. They retain a single path model for their cooling and power just like in tier 1 but have some redundant parts.

These include backup generators and backup cooling systems among others. Though tier 2 datacenters are not fully redundant systems, they will offer more reliability that their tier 1 equivalents.

Tier 3

data canter

Datacenters under tier 3 have uptimes of 99.982% and downtimes of not less than 1.6 hours annually. The improved uptimes are associated with sophisticated infrastructure and redundancy, including multiple cooling and power distribution paths.

All your IT equipment will also have more than one power source with specific procedures to allow routine repairs and maintenance of your system without shutting down the whole system. In most cases, tier 3 datacenters also have power outage protection solutions.

Tier 4

Here, datacenters have a completely redundant infrastructure with all the features of tier 1, 2 and 3 centers. Tier 4 datacenters have uptimes of 99.995% and downtimes of not more than 0.5 hours yearly.

The infrastructure in these datacenters will ensure your systems function as normal when one or several pieces of equipment fail. You will also get not less than 96-hour outage protection.

Tier 5

This is a relatively new datacenter standard requirement. In tier 5, datacenters include all the features of other tiers plus a few extra ones.

The datacenters should, for example, run indefinitely without water, and include stored energy system monitors and securable server racks. Moreover, they should run on renewable power.

Uptime denotes how fast a datacenter will recover after a disaster, such as a data breach, natural calamity or power outage. The minimum uptime across all tiers is 99% with only a percentage fraction between them. Although these fractions might seem insignificant, they can make a significant difference in your organization’s profits in the long run.