The Different Tiers of a Data Center and How They Function

Understanding the different tiers of a data center environment is crucial for making a good choice when choosing the right hosting solution. This article discusses the various factors to consider when selecting a data center, including redundancy capacity, cost, uptime percentage, location, and other factors.

Redundancy capacity

There are several ways to increase redundancy capacity in your data center. One way is to use 2N+1 (two-node plus one) systems. This means you can get twice as much power for each server. A 2N+1 system is like ordering 21 bagels from two different places, and both systems will be ready for service if one goes down. As a result, the data center should have sufficient redundancy capacity to support a full workload.

In a recent survey of 300 data center managers, the Uptime Institute found that two-thirds of respondents expected an increase in the resiliency of their core data centers. However, the growing criticality of many IT services underscores the need for increased resiliency. In other words, even if the existing infrastructure is not designed to meet the increasing demand for a service, it will require an upgrade.


The Uptime Institute has included operational sustainability in its tier rating system. Staff and operational components, prioritized behaviors, and dangers related to data center operations are all addressed in this element. Multicloud plans must take these factors into account. Additionally, organizations should consider operational sustainability when choosing a data center. For example, they may choose a cloud platform, such as Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), which provides cloud services to an enterprise.

A higher-tier data center may not be the best choice for a particular workload because they are more expensive. While higher tiers are generally more reliable, Tier IV data centers may not be cost-effective. When choosing a data center, other factors that you should consider include power specifications, carrier information, and maintenance regime. Businesses with a disaster recovery plan should also consider Tier 4 data centers. However, these higher-tier data centers are not always available in every region.

Uptime percentages

Uptime is a key element of any reliable data center. It is the percentage of the year when the data center remains available. To help business owners decide whether a particular data center is suitable for their needs, the Uptime Institute has established a tiering system. These tiers are based on design, redundancy, and guaranteed uptime. The higher the tier, the better the uptime percentage. While all data centers should be available for business purposes, the uptime percentages of various data center tiers may differ. For example, tier three and four data centers have more redundancy, while tier one and two may experience more prolonged processing outages.

These tiers help potential tenants determine which facilities meet the highest standards. The Uptime Institute certifies more than 500 facilities across 66 countries. If you are interested in choosing a data center, look for the certification.


Many factors are considered when choosing a data center location, including cost, infrastructure, and workforce. Space is superior in urban settings, and “mega data centers” are being built to meet the growing demand. However, land may be limited in rural or under-resourced areas, making it necessary to look outside. In addition to space, consider the proximity of a data center to your business’s customer base, personnel, and customers.

Where to locate a data center depends on your business’s service and power requirements. While data centers can be built anywhere with enough power, a good location significantly affects service quality. Darren Watkins, Managing Director of VIRTUS Data Centres, said that location should not be confused with the number of data center facilities in a given city. While the overall cost of building a data center depends on the needs of its customers, a location that offers a mix of facilities and power sources is best.

Other factors to consider

The physical security of the data center and its accessibility to reliable utilities are two of the most important criteria in deciding on a location. Although energy costs are the most significant operating expense of a data center, they can vary considerably depending on the site location. They include costs for local power generation, purchased power, and state and local taxes. In addition, some facilities are also subject to international energy costs, which can add up to significant cost variations.

Climate is another factor to consider when locating a data center. If the climate is not conducive to high levels of computer power consumption, a data center should be relatively free from natural disasters. A data center must also be equipped with backup power sources, air conditioning, and adequate ventilation. In a power outage, 93% of companies relying on its facilities filed for bankruptcy.

Jack Henry

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