The Key to Finding the Data Center Tier Suitable for Your Business

A tier system, designed by some companies, rates colocation hosting services. Not all use this rating system, but a business looking for colocation hosting will do well to abide by the tier structure to evaluate their choices.

Not every business needs the highest tier of services. Some companies offer a range of tiers to suit all customers. Psychz is a Dallas colocation service, providing tiers to suit all customers’ needs.

Tiers and Standards

There are four tiers established for evaluating colocation services. The following tiers and their standards are:

  • Tier one – Lowest level
    • No redundancy
    • 99+% uptime
    • Less than 30 hours downtime annually
    • Suitable for small businesses
  • Tier Two – Mid level
    • Some redundancy
    • 99+% uptime
    • Slightly over 20 hours downtime annually
    • Suitable for medium size businesses
  • Tier Three – Upper mid level
    • 72 hour power protection
    • N+1 Fault tolerance
    • 99.9% uptime
    • 1.6 hours downtime annually
    • Suitable for large businesses
  • Tier Four –Highest level
    • 96 hour power protection
    • 2N+1 Fault tolerance
    • 99.9% uptime
    • 26 minutes downtime annually
    • Suitable for Corporations

What Does Sites Look Like in Different Tier Levels

There is not a consistent certification process for colocation sites, but there are some characteristics of the different tier levels. These indicate whether the site of choice would qualify if they sought certification. The following criteria mark the different levels:

  • Tier-level-one sites do not have redundant signal paths. This means only a 12-hour backup for power, including generator function.
  • Tier-level-two sites have some redundancy. With power failure, computing services would continue uninterrupted for up to 12 hours. Removing power supplies do not interrupt computing, however. They only require servicing one time annually, meaning there is less downtime for customers.
  • Tier-level-three sites have multiple signal paths for redundancy and distribution. They have multiple power paths and concurrent energy. They have dual power sources with fault tolerance. They have 12 hours of redundant power on N level, powered by their own fuel systems. They have single dedicated signal paths.
  • Tier-level-four sites have multiple power paths and the fault highest tolerance. They have redundant components for each piece of computing components, serving each simultaneously.  They have compartmentalized distribution paths, avoiding harm for an isolated event.  They have 12 hours of fuel supply, and their cooling systems operate 24/7 every day. Additionally, any component removed for maintenance will not affect any other component. Each component is also able to keep operating even in the event of a power failure, up to the time specified.

Though not all colocation providers are rated according to the four-tier standards, it does help to know the standards for each tier when deciding on a site. Using the four tiers as a checklist to assess a site will allow the businessperson to choose the site that is best suited to their needs without having to pay for services and protection they do not really need.

Author Bio

Jerome Chaney has developed a report as a checklist for the use of businesses that are searching for the most suitable colocation services. He helps counsel businesses in interpreting their needs.