Votes: 0Posted On: Apr 07, 2017 10:01:50
Classifications of Data Center
To understand the levels at which the Data Center around the world is classified, you first need to understand the importance of a Data Center. You must also look into the parameters on which the Data Center are categorized.
Well, it is not a mystery to any of us that Data Centers are the heart and soul of any organization as all of its data is stored in the said facility with high capacity servers for storage and backup. These are state-of-the-art, private facilities that these companies use to centralize their IT operations and equipment.
The Data Center facilitates a large number of servers each going through rigorous data processing at the same time. A small glitch in the equipment at Data Center can cause loss of huge amount of data that eventually results in loss of revenue. Hence, it is a paramount consideration to maintain the Data Center and keep the sanctity of the data.
These servers are connected with other auxiliary equipment that provides all the external support to the server. As an example, the Power Distribution Unit (PDU) is needed to supply electrical power to the server. It comprises of multiple ports. A robust cabling system is also necessary to provide reliable connectivity. The servers are responsible for a large amount of data processing and are bound to get heated. Hence, an efficient cooling solution is a must for any Data Center. Fault in any of these can lead to loss of data or connectivity.
Uptime Institute Tier Certification
The Uptime Institute, founded in 1993, is an organization that aims at maintaining and improving the standards of Data Center infrastructure.
Keeping all of the above factors in mind, the Uptime Institute introduced the Tier certification. According to it, Data Center can be classified into four Tiers and are provided certification according to it.
Tier 1 - Basic site infrastructure with non-redundant capacity components providing 99.671 % uptime.
Tier 2 - Site infrastructure with redundant capacity components providing 99.741 % uptime.
Tier 3 – Site infrastructure with multiple power distribution and cooling paths and simultaneous maintenance possible providing us with 99.982 % uptime.
Tier 4 – Site infrastructure with complete fault tolerance providing us with 99.995 % uptime.
Different Tiers Explained
The Data Center with the most basic site infrastructure is categorized under Tier1. These Data Center are basically used by small business industries. These contain nonredundant capacity components with a single path for power distribution. If there is a planned activity in the facility all the system might have to shut down. Also, power failure or any other type of interferences can lead to a loss in connectivity or unavailability of servers.
Tier 2 is basically Tier 1 with an addition of redundant capacity components. It essentially means that in case of any disruptions in capacity components, there will be no downtime and the process will not halt. Also, in case of any planned activity on the capacity components at the Data Center, the servers do not need to be shut down. However, Tier 2 Data Center do not possess a redundant power distribution or cooling system, which implies that no planned activity can be performed on the same without disrupting the servers. Also, if the power distribution or the cooling system breaks down, there is no redundancy to power the servers.
It can be interpreted as Tier 2 with multiple power equipment and uplinks for redundancy. The term “Concurrently Maintainable” associated to Tier 3 Data Center which means that a maintenance activity of power and cooling equipment can be performed simultaneously without taking the servers offline even for a fraction of a second.
Tier 3 Data Center offers “N+1” redundancy, that is, only one power distribution and cooling paths are active at a time. The other equipment is backups standing by in case of failure of primary equipment. Hence, external interferences such as power failure cannot hamper the productivity of the server.
Tier 4 is the optimum standard that a Data Center can achieve. Any Data Center certified as Tier 4 DC guarantees 99.995 % uptime of the servers. These are fully fault tolerant Data Centers. These contain multiple power distribution and cooling paths all active at the same time leaving no probabilities of failure.
All the components including uplink, storage, and servers are redundant. A Tier 4 Data Center provides “2N+1” fully redundant infrastructure. These are usually designed for maintaining highly sensitive data. With multiple access control methods, data security is at the highest level in a Tier 4 Data Center.
A Data Center is similar to a hotel. You rent a room for a particular time and pay the hotel in return. And just like hotels are classified into different categories (4 star or 5 star) depending on the kind of privileges they offer, a Data Centre is also categorized in a similar way.