Understanding Data Center Tiers

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 Security

Data_Center_SecurityA company’s data center  is the lifeblood of its operations. Data Specialties Inc. recognizes that the information stored and continuously passing through the data center represents our clients’ most valuable commodity.

Our data center security systems help protect the data from intrusion or theft. Data Specialties Inc. incorporates proven and reliable structural components into our clients’ data centers. The benefits of our designs and the reliability of our security and fire protection systems depend on quick human responses.

Here are 3 questions our clients have about protecting their data center and the security required for their data center:

  1. Do I need the latest security equipment, like retina scanners and fingerprint readers?
  2. Within a high-traffic colocation environment, what is the best way to protect my clients from one another?
  3. What is the right amount of data to retain on our system?

Data Center Security Services:

o   Alarm
o   Biometrics
o   Card access
o   CCTV/DRV
o   Entry control
o   Glass break
o   Monitoring
o   Motion detection

Data Center Network Cabling and Communications

CablingToday, a company’s voice and data networks are the conduits by which transactions are completed, decisions made, strategies enacted and records kept. Such mission-critical voice and data systems must be professionally installed, upgraded and protected.

Data Specialties Inc. appreciates how important voice/data cabling is and secures ongoing training and certification in the latest equipment and installation methods provided by our partners and vendors.

Data Specialties Inc. inspect and test our installations in accordance with industry codes and manufacturers’ guidelines. And we label the full installation and provide clear and complete documentation to our clients’ IT managers. These measures ensure that our clients can move, add, change and troubleshoot cabling in the future.

Here are 3 questions our clients have about network cabling:

1. How do I design my cabling infrastructure for reduced footprint and minimize impact to airflow?
2. What is the best design approach for high-density critical equipment?
3. How do I scale and adapt to my future IT infrastructure while minimizing required service times?

Data Center Network Cabling and Communications Services:
o Wireless
o Copper cabling
o Fiber
o Racks
o Cable trays
o EIA/TIA Standards
o Redundant network and carrier diversity
o Carriers/ISP’s

Data Center Cooling

Data Center Cooling Data center electrical systems, as well as the computers and other equipment they supply, generate thousands of watts of heat. Using computational fluid dynamics, Data Specialties Inc. excels in pinpointing the sources and flow of heat within a data center and installing the mechanical systems necessary to keep the facility running within a safe, cost-effective and manageable temperature range. Data center cooling is critical for new designs and of the utmost importance in upgrading existing data centers.

Here are 3 questions our clients have about data center cooling and mechanical systems:

1. Does the existing mechanical systems offer optimal efficiency?
2. Should I look at hot aisle or cold aisle for my containment strategy?
3. How best to I approach modular design and build of my new mechanical system?

Data Center Cooling Services:
o Hot/cold aisle
o Airflow management
o Containment
o Environmental air conditioning systems
o CRAC units
o Economizers
o Direct Expansion, glycol, evaporative, and chilled water systems
o In-row cooling
o Rear door heat exchangers
o Automation and controls

Data Center Maintenance

At Data Specialties Inc., our work doesn’t end after we have designed and built your data center. We understand that systems provide reliability, but the true key to uptime is the proper maintenance and operation of the facility.

Data Specialties Inc. provides preventive maintenance to provide the support needed to ensure a fully operational facility at all times. No company has more experience supporting the reliability of your data center than Data Specialties Inc. We have partnerships with all of the leading data center equipment vendors and work with them, and with you, to design a long-term approach to protecting your equipment investment.

More than anything else, Data Specialties Inc. looks to assume responsibility for the day-to-day physical operations of your data center. Whether it’s load balancing, maintaining your cooling system, or simply making sure your data center stays clean and well-managed, Data Specialties Inc. will work with you to provide a single point of contact for the service and maintenance of your facility.

Here are 3 reasons our clients sign up for our maintenance services:
1. Providing operation reviews to insure no issues have developed over time that could threaten your reliability.
2. Single point of contact to quickly and accurately assess issues and provide service.
3. Knowledge that an industry leader in data center design and build services is on your team.

Data Center Maintenance Services:
o Electrical service entrances
o Generators
o Automatic transfer switches
o Switchgear
o Uninterruptible Power Systems (UPS)
o Batteries
o Powder Distribution Systems (PDU) systems
o Buss track
o Mechanical and HVAC Systems
o Fire detection and suppression systems
o Build automation and Monitoring systems
o Communication fiber optics and cabling
o Data center cleaning
o Infrared thermography
o Site Documentation
o Airflow management systems

Data Center Pre-Construction Services

Data_Center_PreconstructionData Specialties Inc. has found that proactive involvement during the pre-construction phase has the greatest potential influence on a project’s final outcome. At the core of our pre-construction service, approach is the belief that your project will benefit from our years of experience.

Data Specialties Inc. has had the opportunity to learn from every project we’ve been involved in over the past 23 years, and we are committed to working with you and your team to leverage the full benefit of our expertise. During pre-construction, our goal is not limited simply to defining project parameters such as cost and schedule, but also offering valuable conceptual design assistance with our experienced engineering staff.

While this is an important step for every project of even greater importance is our ability to help identify and actively plan for construction issues that may place the budget and schedule objectives at risk. Therefore, we believe it is important that we establish ourselves as an integral part of your team very early in the process.”

Here are 3 reasons why our clients use data center pre-construction services:

1. Providing the assessments and recommendations necessary to make timely, informed and data-driven business decisions.
2. Helping to manage the overall process by tracking details and holding team members accountable
3. Better serving the interests of the project through relevant suggestions and hands-on partnership with owners, designers and construction teams.

Data Center Pre-Construction Services:
o Code agency coordination
o Conceptual planning
o Constructability analysis
o Cost modeling
o Design management
o Estimating
o Equipment procurement
o Sustainable design analysis and enrollment
o Market value analysis
o Schedule development
o Site logistics and planning
o Site assessment
o Subcontractor pre-qualification
o Multiple bid package planning

Data Center Fire Safety

Data Center Fire SafetyAn integral component of any data center design accounts for the geographic risks
 a site may pose. These can be seismic or weather related. One of the highest risks, however, is common to every data center: fire.

Given the heat, equipment and electrical systems concentrated within each center, the possibility of a fire is a constant concern. Data Specialties Inc. makes smoke detection and fire suppression a priority in its data center designs.

As with most of the elements of today’s data centers, fire detection and suppression technology is constantly being improved. Data Specialties Inc. stays abreast of the developments and incorporates the latest and most appropriate systems into our clients’ facilities.

Here are 3 questions our clients have about data center fire safety :

1. Does my insurance carrier have any control over which suppression system I use?
2. I have an older Halon system – do I need to change it out?
3. How do current OSHA regulations affect my data center project and subsequent operations and maintenance plan?

Services for Data Center Fire Safety:
o Clean agent systems
o Fire detection
o Fire suppression
o Early warning systems
o Pre-action sprinkler
o Hydrogen and gas detection
o OSHA requirements and safety training

Data Center Monitoring

Date Center MonitoringData Specialties Inc. incorporates proven and reliable systems into our clients’ data centers. We also understand that the operation of the facility itself will have the greatest impact on uptime, which means that those systems will need a human interface. For that, data centers require state-of-the-art monitoring systems.

Whether onsite, remote
or co-location, we provide data center monitoring capabilities that our clients need to ensure that 
their data centers are operating efficiently and using the best data available.

In addition to response, data center monitoring systems allow our clients to make decisions about their infrastructure, optimize cooling, and bring their IT and physical inventories closer together.

Here are 3 questions our clients have about monitoring their data center:

1. With the number of DCIM solutions coming onto the market, should I buy now or wait? How can I leverage a DCIM application to give me the highest visibility into my infrastructure and IT environments? BMS is used to monitor and control infrastructure components. DCIM is used to monitor and manage infrastructure and IT environments, and to provide for a single integrated user interface.

2. What are the most relevant data points for us to monitor? And which application is best suited for each point?

3. Is my preferred monitoring solution proprietary and will it integrate with my current BMS system? Does my BMS support the protocols of my DCIM package so I can integrate the two systems into a single graphical user interface? Almost all DCIM packages are based on open source protocols and except multiple inputs. Some BMS systems are still based proprietary protocols, although this is fading rapidly.

Data Center Monitoring Services:
o Airflow
o Building automation and controls
o Branch circuit monitoring
o DCIM
o Leak detection
o Mechanical and electrical system monitoring
o Network controls
o Rack and temperature monitoring
o RFID asset tracking and monitoring

Data Center Power and the Questions You Should Ask

Generator_Power_Data_Center

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?

Services:
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

Data Center Space: The Top 3 Questions You Should Ask

Space_Data_Center_Build

Often overshadowed by the electrical and mechanical details of the project is the importance of the data center shell itself. The design of the facility blends the functional requirements of the data center program with the spatial, structural, and aesthetic requirements of the end-user.

In looking at the data center itself, Data Specialties Inc. focuses on a scalable, modular platform that will support the future of the facility. Data Specialties also drive the requirements for spaces that support the way your company operates, including electrical and mechanical areas, storage spaces, labs, NOCs, staging areas, meeting areas, offices, and break rooms.

Here are 3 questions our clients have about creating their data center spaces:

1. What is the optimal data center layout to improve the efficiency of our workflow?
2. What kind of options do we have for hardening our facility?
3. How do we take into account future expansions or growth?

Services:
o Access floor
o Building shell
o Coordination
o Core and shell
o Hardening
o Modular architectures
o MEP support spaces
o Space planning
o Structural
o Workflow