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.
What are the four data center tiers?
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).
Why data center tiers?
Data center tiers are a helpful way to quickly communicate a number of details about data center facilities. Because they establish expectations in terms of cost, availability, and redundancy, they enable businesses to make decisions regarding how to best invest their resources without compromising performance.
Who sets the standard for data center tiers?
Uptime Institute sets the standard for data center tiers and assigns these tiers to facilities based on a number of factors, some of which are not public knowledge. The following are some of the known factors that the Uptime Institute considers:
Availability, redundancy, and uptime
The amount of time annually that a data center is expected to function and the processes in place to prevent downtime.
Efficiency and sustainability
How well the data center uses its resources and the longevity it’s expected to have as new technologies emerge.
How much the data center costs to run.
What procedures are in place to protect the data center from data breaches and other cyber security threats.
Which data center tier is best for your business?
The right data center tier depends entirely on the individual business. 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.
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.