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Interpreting Tier I, II, III, IV Data Center Signature Layers

Confabulating different layers of data center, for me, is similar to opting for “a healthcare insurance card”, whereby, the insurer owes the responsibility of your health as per the picked plan. Equivalently, a data center is fettered to foster a business with nutrition, indispensable for its survival and upswing. Rationally, segregation of data centers is chalked out on grounds of: performance, infrastructure, uptime, features, and facilities. Let’s have a peek at each of the data centers topology (as per the Uptime Institute) to grab an insight:

First Level: Tier I:

This is the foremost level in data center topology. The infrastructure is non-redundant and is engineered to meet fundamental business demands. Tier I level of data center is composed of a single, non-redundant path for cooling and power dissemination.

 – 99.671% network availability

–  Single uplink and servers

Operational and Performance Efficiency:

Unplanned or unwarranted failures in the capacity systems affect the performance of the business processes,whereas, the planned work, such as repair work, and maintenance will demand for various infrastructure components to be shut down, which consequently, vexes the data center performance, and end-users.

Second Level:

The Tier II data center is composed of redundant capacity components with a single, non-redundant path for cooling and power dissemination. Earnestly, a Tier II data center has all the features of Tier I with add-ons.

  – 99.741% network availability

  – Tier 1 + Redundant capacity equipment

Operational and Performance Efficiency:

Redundant components can be replaced on a planned basis without demanding other components of the infrastructure to be shut-down; however, removing service paths (for repair or maintenance) demands so. Additionally, odd events, like power outage, and component failure affects the data center functioning.

Third Level: Tier III

Tier III data center has a perfect combination of redundant capacity components with multiple power and cooling dissemination paths. All the components are dual-powered, and can meet the growing business demands without interrupting the overall performance.

  – Tier 1+ Tier II+ Multi-redundant power and cooling paths.

  – 99.982% network availability

Operational and Performance Efficiency:

Have robust arrangement for both planned (maintenance, and repair), and unplanned activities (power outage, and component failure), significantly no need to put a latch (system shut down), when activities are on. Systems will remain up with uncluttered performance.

Fault-tolerant data center:

 Tier IV is the top-most level of data center, which incorporates all the characteristics of aforementioned ‘topologies’ with multi-redundant independent systems along with diverse serving paths for power and cooling.

  – 99.995% network availability

 – Characteristics of all the levels + fully fault-tolerant components

Operational and Performance Efficiency:

Unplanned or planned activities will not affect the data center functioning. Failure of any component, capacity system, or distribution path will not suppress the performance as the self-healing systems will automatically respond to the failures. However, rigorous availability of cooling component is required for unswerving availability.

At the end, I would like to add that before getting into the hierarchy of a data center, discuss the nature of your business, chalk down your requirements and expectations from a data center service provider India, and then select the one that deems fit.

About Taiba Fatima (151 Posts)

Taiba Fatima is a Delhi, India based content writer with a knack for technical writing. Her alacrity to explore new horizons and learn technological advancements add piquancy to her writing profession. Apart from technology, she is a passionate blogger and loves to write about other verticals including: BPO sector, Travel, Art & Culture.


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