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Is your data center a tier 1, 2, 3, or 4? What do these rankings mean?

R&R – no rest and relaxation, here, at a data center the Rs refer to Resilience and Reliability, which are crucial to its functioning. Data centers are ranked in tiers to indicate the level of their Rs, the classification classifying them progressively from 1 to 4, with 1 being the worst and 4 the best-performing level. Tier 3, for instance, is a common commercial solution for colocation and wholesale data center service providers.

Tier 4 data centers are designed for more mission-critical applications.

This international standardized ranking is from the Uptime Institute, an independent organization that determines the facility level based on fault tolerance (the ability to handle planned and unplanned disruptions), service cost, and so on.

What do these tiers mean? Let’s look at the tiers more closely.

Tier 1

These are basic capacity data centers. They usually have a single path of power using an uninterruptable power supply (UPS), dedicated cooling systems, and generators in case of extended outages. Although these data centers have their own dedicated space and external IT support, they offer no redundancy.

Tier 2

While they have a single path for power and cooling distribution, Tier 2s offer redundancy. Here, equipment such as UPS modules, chillers, and engine generators are used to prevent downtime and interruptions in IT processes.

Tier 3

Here, redundancy is offered. Processes are also in place to prevent downtime. But the difference is that here you have multiple distribution paths to allow for no shutdowns for maintenance, repair, or replacement of equipment. They also have active power and cooling distribution paths.

Tier 4

Referred to as ‘Fault Tolerant’ data centers, these offer multiple power and cooling distribution paths with autonomous response to failure. The data centers are compartmentalized to limit impacts of outages or other faults and have continuous cooling for an efficient transition from utility power to engine generators. IT equipment is dual corded, so operations are not affected in the event of equipment failure.

What tier must you choose for your business model?

It depends on your needs. A cloud application provider replicating data elsewhere may not need a Tier 3 or 4 facility and can make do with a Tier 2, but a large financial institute, where uptime is critical, would require a Tier 3 at least.

Why choosing high-quality accessories matters

Cooling and power are important to resilience and reliability. Choosing the right hardware of the right quality is essential to prevent too many interruptions because of equipment failure or breakdowns. And that’s where Hardy Racks can help.

We’ve got a wide range of top-class accessories ranging from power distribution units and temperature monitors to brush panels, racks, and cooling solutions that ensure your data center is running smoothly and efficiently.

Hardy Racks is an ISO 9001-2015 certified company and that means safety and quality standards are our priority. We also have a qualified production and installation team to provide customized solutions, so do get in touch with us for all your data center needs.


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