October 11, 2012

Why a Tier 4 data center?

When storing your data in the Cloud, data center security and around-the-clock reliability are critical. Let us take a look at the different levels of data center certification and what it means for your data. Data centers can be classified into four different tiers, as standardized by the Telecommunication Industry Association (TIA). Tier I data centers are the most basic tier of data center with a single uplink serving all components and the resident computer equipment. This means the computer equipment at this site lacks any sort of redundant capacity components hence becoming more susceptible to disruption if any component or capacity system were to fail unexpectedly. Furthermore, Tier 1 data centers can potentially experience more frequent disruptions of service for annual maintenance. Tier II data center meets the standards for Tier I classification and has redundant capacity components and a single, non-redundant distribution path serving the computer components. Tier III has both redundant capacity components and multiple, independent distribution paths to serve the resident computer equipment. The components are dual-powered with multiple uplinks, allowing maintenance to occur without disrupting the system. *Tier IV is the strongest tier and least prone to failures. It is fully fault-tolerant with multiple, independent and isolated systems serving the computer equipment. Dual power sources and cooling systems help to maintain the integrity of the equipment in the event of any failure. With compartmentalized systems, a single unexpected failing of any system component will not impact the computer equipment. Furthermore, the system will independently respond to the failure as a means of preventing equipment damage. As with the Tier III data center, maintenance work can be carried out without shutting down the system or impacting on operations. A much more in-depth description of the TIA Tier Certifications can be purchased directly from the TIA website, TIAOnline.org. The Tier IV system has the most stringent and difficult certification to meet. It guarantees a whopping 99.995% availability throughout the year, making it the most reliable, thus critical, option for storing your data.  

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