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Defining Data Center Tiers


f you’ve researched data center options, you’ve likely encountered references to one of the four data center tiers. Here is everything you need to know about the four data center tiers and how they compare.

Data center tiers infographic detailing the various perks of each tier.

Data Center Tiers:

Tier 1

Offering the most basic capacity of the 4 data center tiers, Tier 1 is the lowest level in the Tier System. Known to be efficient for small businesses that don’t require constant uptime, this tier offers 99.67% site availability. That roughly translates to 28.8 annual hours of unplanned downtime. Tier 1 data centers typically offer no redundancy, and only one single path of cooling and power.


Tier 2

The next level of the 4 data center tiers, Tier 2 data systems are a better option for companies that require constant uptime during traditional business hours. It also works for organizations that don’t rely too heavily on the need for constant connection. Consequently, it can cause problems for businesses that provide real-time product delivery and other on-the-spot services. Annually, Tier 2 offers site availability of 99.75%, or about 22 hours of unplanned downtime. Much like Tier 1, Tier 2 offers only a single path of cooling and power. However, there is a possibility of some built-in redundancy.


Tier 3

If you manage a large business or have more critical workloads, Tier 3 may be a better fit for you. This tier offers less downtime during the year, making around-the-clock access more of a possibility. Tier 3 is also an excellent option if your business performs on the global market. The average site availability is around 99.98%, leaving you at risk of 1.6 hours of unplanned downtime each year. And along with the increase in availability and reliability, you’ll find less errors in a Tier 3 system. It is fault tolerant (N + 1) and offers multiple paths of power and cooling. As a result, it has the capacity to remain up and running during a power outage of up to 72 hours.


Tier 4

As you may have guessed, Tier 4 offers the best features and highest level of protection of the 4 data center tiers. It is a must for any company that can’t afford downtime. Offering availability 99.99% of the time, Tier 4 data centers are only down for an average of 26.3 minutes each year. Thus, significantly decreasing your business’s chances of losing money and customers during a shutdown. As well as less downtime, Tier 4 offers coverage during a power outage of up to 96 hours. Additionally, it is fully redundant (2n + 1), and offers two different, independent utility paths, making this constant uptime possible.

Are You Prepared?

Have you shored up your organization to help ensure zero downtime? Many businesses want or actually need the features of a Tier 4 data center. However, beginning plans are usually cost prohibitive or more than they can justify with “the business”.

With Logical Front’s eXtensile Hybrid Cloud solution, you have access to Tier 4 data center conditions. The best of the 4 data center tiers- at only a fraction of the cost. No need to co-locate, or build your own location, or even worry about IT environment management–engineering resources for environment management are included.

If you are looking to discuss data center options, or looking for ideas for your next digital transformation, a free assessment may be perfect for you. Our experienced solutions architects and engineers analyze your current storage, servers, network, apps, processes and people, then advise on strategies and solutions for ultimate efficiency and cost savings.  Contact us today to learn more.

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