Understanding Data Center Tiers


What is a data center Tier?

The Telecommunications Industry Association, in 2005, published the Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard for Data Centers (ANSI/TIA-942) and since then has been amended in 2008 and again in 2010, giving Data Centers 4 Tiers. Tier 1 being the most basic and Tier 4 being the most redundant, complex and expensive.

Here is a basic breakdown of the Tiers:

Tier 1 = Non-redundant capacity (single uplink & Servers)
Tier 2 = Tier 1 + Redundant site infrastructure
Tier 3 = Tier 1 + Tier 2 + Dual-powered equipment & multiple uplinks
Tier 4 =  Tier 1 + Tier 2 + Tier 3 + all components are fully fault-tolerant including uplinks, storage, chillers, HVAC systems, severs and everything is dual-powered.

What does this really mean? A lot of it has to do with negating downtown and creating redundancy, reliability and maintainability.

Tier 1: trying to ensure 99.671% availability.
Tier 2: trying to ensure 99.741% availability.
Tier 3: trying to ensure 99.982% availability.
Tier 4: trying to ensure 99.995% availability.

These percentages do not seem like a big difference but you must consider that there are 525,600 minutes in a year so acceptable downtime translates into:

Tier 1 allows for 1729 minutes of downtime.
Tier 2 allows for 1361 minutes of downtime.
Tier 3 allows for 94 minutes of downtime.
Tier 4 allows for 26 minutes of downtime.

The official certifying body is the Uptime Institute found here: www.uptimeinstitute.com Hopefully this clarifies the difference in Data center tiers for your new or upgraded data center. If you have more specific questions feel free to email them to info@webuilddatacenters.com.

Data Center Power and the Questions You Should Ask


In any mission-critical facility, the electrical system is the most important component in ensuring reliable, uninterrupted operations. Data Specialties provides power systems of all types from basic to complex. Data Specialties starts by determining the available power capacity and compare that to our client’s current and projected needs.

Data Specialties continuously study advances in technology and techniques, and are confident in advising our clients about the most reliable and cost- effective system configurations.

Here are 3 questions our clients have about electrical systems:

1. What options do I have for bringing alternate voltages to the rack?
2. Is it worth running my UPS in eco mode?
3. What is the most cost-effective way to feed dual power supplies?

o Busway
o Energy storage systems
o EPO systems
o General lighting systems
o Generators
o Grounding systems
o Power distribution systems
o Power cabling
o Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS) systems