Data Center Tiers

What are Data Center Tiers?

Data center tiers are a system used to describe specific kinds of data center infrastructure in a consistent way. Tier 1 is the simplest infrastructure, while Tier 4 is the most complex and has the most redundant components. Each tier includes the required components of all the tiers below it.

Data center tiers definition

Data center tiers are classification levels used to quickly identify the complexity and redundancy of the data center infrastructure being utilized.

Why data center tiers?

Data center tiers are an efficient way to describe the infrastructure components being utilized at a business's data center. Although a Tier 4 data center is more complex than a Tier 1 data center, this does not necessarily mean it is best-suited for a business's needs. While investing in Tier 1 infrastructure might leave a business open to risk, Tier 4 infrastructure might be an over-investment.

  • Tier 1: A Tier 1 data center has a single path for power and cooling and few, if any, redundant and backup components. It has an expected uptime of 99.671% (28.8 hours of downtime annually).
  • Tier 2: A Tier 2 data center has a single path for power and cooling and some redundant and backup components. It has an expected uptime of 99.741% (22 hours of downtime annually).
  • Tier 3: A Tier 3 data center has multiple paths for power and cooling and systems in place to update and maintain it without taking it offline. It has an expected uptime of 99.982% (1.6 hours of downtime annually).
  • Tier 4: A Tier 4 data center is built to be completely fault tolerant and has redundancy for every component. It has an expected uptime of 99.995% (26.3 minutes of downtime annually).
Related HPE Solutions, Products, or Services

HPE data center tiers products and services

HPE has worked to redefine what it means to have a Tier 1 data center. Through this modern approach, Tier 1 infrastructure is resilient, self-optimized, and non-disruptive to better serve all enterprise needs.