Published on January 10, 2018
1. What Datacenter Tier Is Right For Your Organization? Introduction Whether you are building new datacenter or buying datacenter space from service provider, the most important question is what is the right Tier of the datacenter to host your application? Answer to this question not only has biggest impact on availability of your application but also on the cost of hosting that application. Let's understand the types of datacenters, meaning of Tiers and how they impact the budget. Datacenter Classifications The most common way to classify the datacenters is based on their Tier. Understanding the Datacenter Tiers The concept of "Uptime" was pioneered by the Uptime Institute, founded in 1993. It introduced well defined Tier Classification system: I, II, III and IV. Tier IV represents the highest level of projected availability. Today, Tier Certification system is globally recognized. Ken Brill, the late founder of Uptime Institute, introduced a four-tier ranking system in the late 1990s, which grades datacenters on their power supplies, fault tolerances, and expected downtime.
2. What Datacenter Tier Is Right For Your Organization? While not everyone subscribes to the Uptime Institute and their certification officially, references to Tier 2, 3 or 4 are common among those seeking to ascribe a certain level of design or construction to a datacenter's overall availability or system redundancy. Also while other institutes and bodies have formed their Tier certifications, Uptime Institute guidelines, the pioneer in this field, remain the most respected and comprehensive standard. Datacenters are dependent upon the successful and integrated operation of at least 16 separate site infrastructure subsystems. Every subsystem and system must be consistently deployed with the same site uptime objective to satisfy the distinctive Tier requirements In a nutshell, following are the high level requirements of respective Tiers: Let's understand different Tiers of Datacenters in little more detail: Tier-I Datacenter: Basic Site Infrastructure A Tier I basic datacenter has non-redundant components and a single, non-redundant distribution path serving the computer equipments. The site is susceptible to disruption from both planned and unplanned activities. Operational (Human) errors of site infrastructure components will cause a data center disruption. An unplanned outage or failure of any system, component, or distribution element will impact the computer equipments. The site infrastructure must be completely shut down on an annual basis to safely perform necessary preventive maintenance and repair work. Urgent situations may require more frequent shutdowns. Tier-II Datacenter: Redundant Site Infrastructure Components A Tier II data center has redundant components and a single, non-redundant distribution path serving the computer equipment The site is susceptible to disruption from both planned activities and unplanned events. Operational (Human) errors of site infrastructure components will cause a data center disruption. An unplanned component failure, outage or failure of any capacity system or distribution element will impact the computer equipment. The site infrastructure must be completely shut down on an annual basis to safely perform preventive maintenance and repair work. Urgent situations may require more frequent shutdowns. 2
3. 3 Tier-III Datacenter: Concurrent Maintenable Site Infrastructure A Concurrently Maintainable data center has redundant components and multiple independent distribution paths serving the computer equipment. Only one distribution path is required to serve the computer equipment at any time. All IT equipment is dual-powered and installed properly to be compatible with the topology of the site's architecture. Transfer devices, such as STS, must be incorporated for computer equipment that does not meet this specification. The site is less susceptible to disruption from unplanned activities. Operational errors of site infrastructure components may cause a computer disruption. An unplanned outage or failure of a component or distribution element may not impact the computer equipment. Planned site infrastructure maintenance can be performed by using the redundant components and distribution paths to safely work on the remaining equipment. During maintenance activities, the risk of disruption may be elevated Tier-IV Datacenter: Fault Tolerant Site Infrastructure A Fault Tolerant data center has multiple, independent, physically isolated systems that provide redundant components and multiple, independent, diverse, active distribution paths simultaneously serving the computer equipment. The redundant components and diverse distribution paths shall be configured such that "N" capacity is providing power and cooling to the computer equipment after any infrastructure failure. All IT equipment is dual powered and installed properly to be compatible with the topology of the site's architecture. Transfer devices, such STS, must be incorporated for computer equipment that does not meet this specification. Complementary systems and distribution paths must be physically isolated from one another (compartmentalized) to prevent any single event from simultaneously impacting both systems and distribution paths. Each and every component and element in the distribution paths can be removed from service on planned basis without impacting any of the computer equipment. There is sufficient capacity to meet the needs of the site when redundant components or distribution paths are removed from service for any reason The site is not susceptible to disruption from a single unplanned event or planned activity. The site infrastructure maintenance can be performed by using the redundant capacity components and distribution paths to safely work on the remaining equipment. During maintenance activity where redundant capacity components or a distribution path shut down, the computer equipment is exposed to an increased risk of disruption in the event a failure occurs on the remaining path. This maintenance configuration does not defeat the Tier rating achieved in normal operations. Operation of the fire alarm, fire suppression, etc. feature may cause a data center disruption. Following chart illustrates the main features, similarities and differences in different Tier requirements: How Tiers Impact Datacenter Cost? Now that we have established better the Tier, better is availability of your IT equipments, let's see how we should What Datacenter Tier Is Right For Your Organization?
4. What Datacenter Tier Is Right For Your Organization? choose right Tier of datacenter for your IT infrastructure. It can be easily understood that going from one Tier to next one means additional expenses - CapEx for setting it up and OpEx for maintaining it. And the cost of going from one Tier to another is significant. Following table gives a high level overview of the cost increment assuming Tier 1 as the base. One thing is clear, whether you are building a new datacenter yourselves or looking to lease space from datacenter provider, Tier is going to have major impact on your decision. This is because the datacenter service provider is going to recover the cost of build and maintain of the datacenter from you. The decision of the datacenter Tier should not be based on emotions like best available Tier but it should be driven by the IT requirements. For all practical purposes, Tier-II meets most of the availability requirements. So the decision to upgrade from Tier-III to Tier-IV has to be hard fought by CFOs! Which Tier is Right for Your Organization? Every company has its own unique IT requirement. The CIO is best judge of the right datacenter Tier for IT but there are enough guidelines available to help CIOs chose right datacenter. Following table provides one such high level guideline for choosing datacenter Tier: References http://www.uptimeinstitute.com/ http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/archives/2012/03/21 /understanding-uptime-and-data-center-tier-levels/ http://www.colocationamerica.com/data-center/tier- standards-overview.htm 4
5. firstname.lastname@example.org www.netmagicsolutions.com1800 103 3130 About Netmagic Solutions (An NTT Communications Company) Netmagic, an NTT Communications company, is India’s leading Managed Hosting and Cloud Service Provider, with 8 carrier- neutral, state-of-the-art datacenters across the country. Established in 1998, Netmagic has been a pioneer in the Indian IT Infrastructure services space as it was the ﬁrst to launch services such as cloud computing, managed security, Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service and software-deﬁned storage. An IT Infrastructure Partner to more than 1400 enterprises globally, Netmagic, also delivers Remote Infrastructure Management services to NTT Communications’ customers across Americas, Europe and Asia-Paciﬁc region. Netmagic is the recipient of several industry accolades and was recently chosen by India’s CIO community as the best service provider of Datacenter Managed Services and Cloud services, at the CIO Choice 2015 Awards. NTT Communications has subsidiaries and ofﬁces in 43 countries / regions, with over 21,600 employees worldwide. It had total operating revenues of 1230bilion JPY for year ending March 31, 2014 and has infrastructure worldwide, including leading global tier-1 IP network, the Arcstar Universal One™ VPN network reaching 196 countries/regions, and 130 secure datacenters. NTT Communications is a part of NTT Corporation, Japan – one of world’s largest telecommunications companies and ranked 53 on Fortune Global 500 list (2014). For further details please log into | Twitter: | LinkedIn:www.netmagicsolutions.com @netmagic @Netmagic Solutions About NTT Communications Corporation NTT Communications provides consultancy, architecture, security and cloud services to optimize the information and communications technology (ICT) environments of enterprises. These offerings are backed by the company’s worldwide infrastructure, including leading global tier-1 IP network, Arcstar Universal One™ VPN network reaching 196 countries/regions, and over 150 secure data centers. NTT Communications’ solutions leverage the global resources of NTT Group companies including Dimension Data, NTT DOCOMO and NTT DATA