> Know thy data center Tier

Know thy data center Tier

Posted on Wednesday, July 29, 2009 | No Comments

A day does not go by when we can't learn something new. Love the "What I learned today" posts that Mike Laverick has been doing.

So here is what I learnt today, the right order for DC tiers.

Tier 1 is the lowest and tier 4 is the highest. The tiers are allocated to the different portions of the infrastructure such as:
  • architectural
  • security
  • mechanical
  • electrical
  • communications
The overall rating of the data center is equal to the lowest tier rating.

Some details to show the differences1.

Tier 1 - Basic data center with no redundancy
  • No redundancy
  • Susceptible to disruptions from both planned and unplanned activity
  • May or may not have raised floor, UPS or generator
  • Shut down likely to perform preventive maintenance
  • Annual downtime of 28.8 hours
Tier 2 - Redundant components
  • Single distribution path with redundant components
  • Less susceptible to disruption from both planned and unplanned activity
  • Single path for power and cooling disruption, includes redundant components (N+1)
  • Includes raised floor, UPS and generator
  • Annual downtime of 22 hours
Tier 3 - Multiple distribution paths with only one active
  • Enable planned activity without disrupting computer hardware operation, but unplanned events will still cause disruption
  • Multiple power and cooling distribution paths but with only one path active, includes redundant components (N+1)
  • Includes raised floor and sufficient capacity and distribution to carry load on one path while performing maintenance on the other
  • Annual downtime of 1.6 hours
Tier 4 - Multiple active distribution paths
  • Planned activity does not disrupt critical load and data center can sustain at least one worst-case unplanned event with no critical load impact
  • Multiple active power and cooling distribution paths, includes redundant components (2(N+1)), such as 2 UPS each with N+1 redundancy
  • Annual downtime of 0.4 hours
If you are after some more details check out ANSI/TIA-942.

Today I got a peek at a T4 center and some space that housed the legal black hats / spies. Some nice high end stuff. I bet it was just a decoy. They probably have the things everywhere! You would not want to stick the Cloud next door to that, I bet they have cameras facing outwards and can read data streams by watching the flashing lights on the disks. Well if they can't I bet someone wrote a PhD thinking about how you might.

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