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Blogs

Data Center Tiers: Which One’s Right for Us?

Blogs

By Joseph Rysavy
Business Product Manager

One year ago, a colleague of mine wrote about how when you listen to your customers, good things happen. He was, at the time, referring to the Fargo data center grand opening.

A similar message still resonates in the marketplace. Recently an enterprise customer of ours needed dual-path redundancy to protect its data storage while simultaneously defending it from Midwestern weather. We knew that our facility was up to the challenge – so we listened and upgraded our systems to meet their requirements.

After all, peace of mind shouldn’t be taken for granted. Knowing what data center infrastructure you need is key to giving your organization’s IT staff peace of mind – and understanding data center standards is the first step in knowing what’s right for you.

One year ago, a colleague of mine wrote about how when you listen to your customers, good things happen. He was, at the time, referring to the Fargo data center grand opening.

A similar message still resonates in the marketplace. Recently an enterprise customer of ours needed dual-path redundancy to protect its data storage while simultaneously defending it from Midwestern weather. We knew that our facility was up to the challenge – so we listened and upgraded our systems to meet their requirements.

After all, peace of mind shouldn’t be taken for granted. Knowing what data center infrastructure you need is key to giving your organization’s IT staff peace of mind – and understanding data center standards is the first step in knowing what’s right for you.

Data Center Tier Standards

When the dot-com craze hit in the 1990s, data centers began popping up around the world – driven by the increasing demand for online access and applications. It was in 1993 that the Uptime Institute began constructing an evaluation system for data center infrastructure – one that focused on performance and uptime, or how long a system can function without interruption.

Now, more than 25 years later, the Tier Standard is present in 85 countries around the world, and it continues to be the industry’s trusted global standard for data center design, build and operation. In the U.S., there are only 93 data centers certified by the Uptime Institute, with 23 facilities in the Midwest.1 And although not all data centers are certified, many data centers use these published standards to properly secure equipment.

Understanding Each Tier

The Tier Standard breaks down uptime into four main levels – each one building off the next. Recognizing which level your business needs is something to consider when choosing a colocation services partner, so here’s a breakdown:

Tier I

  • Dedicated space with uninterruptible power supply
  • 24/7 cooling equipment
  • Engine generator

A Tier I infrastructure provides a dedicated space for IT systems with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), dedicated cooling equipment that runs 24/7 and an engine generator that protects from extended power outages.

Tier II

  • Additional power and cooling components
  • Increased safety against process disruptions

Tier II facilities increase redundancy with additional critical power and cooling components (such as UPS modules and engine generators), providing increased safety against process disruptions that would result in equipment failures.

Learn More

Midco’s four data centers are built to Tier II or Tier III standards.

Let’s Talk

Tier III

  • Dual paths for power and cooling
  • Each component can shut down, without affecting equipment

Tier III data centers require a redundant delivery path for power and cooling (in addition to Tier II requirements) so every component supporting the environment can be shut down and maintained, without impacting the operation.

Tier IV

The addition of Fault Tolerance in the Tier IV classification means that when individual equipment failures or distribution path interruptions occur, it stops short due to the site infrastructure topology.

An ideal data center is one with a facility design and structure based on these tiers. Are you ready to learn more – and possibly tour one of our centers? Reach out to our team to see if our data centers are ready to work for you.

Data Center Tier Standards

When the dot-com craze hit in the 1990s, data centers began popping up around the world – driven by the increasing demand for online access and applications. It was in 1993 that the Uptime Institute began constructing an evaluation system for data center infrastructure – one that focused on performance and uptime, or how long a system can function without interruption.

Now, more than 25 years later, the Tier Standard is present in 85 countries around the world, and it continues to be the industry’s trusted global standard for data center design, build and operation. In the U.S., there are only 93 data centers certified by the Uptime Institute, with 23 facilities in the Midwest.1 And although not all data centers are certified, many data centers use these published standards to properly secure equipment.

Understanding Each Tier

The Tier Standard breaks down uptime into four main levels – each one building off the next. Recognizing which level your business needs is something to consider when choosing a colocation services partner, so here’s a breakdown:

Tier I

  • Dedicated space with uninterruptible power supply
  • 24/7 cooling equipment
  • Engine generator

A Tier I infrastructure provides a dedicated space for IT systems with an uninterruptible power supply (UPS), dedicated cooling equipment that runs 24/7 and an engine generator that protects from extended power outages.

Tier II

  • Additional power and cooling components
  • Increased safety against process disruptions

Tier II facilities increase redundancy with additional critical power and cooling components (such as UPS modules and engine generators), providing increased safety against process disruptions that would result in equipment failures.

Learn More

Midco’s four data centers are built to Tier II or Tier III standards.

Let’s Talk

Tier III

  • Dual paths for power and cooling
  • Each component can shut down, without affecting equipment

Tier III data centers require a redundant delivery path for power and cooling (in addition to Tier II requirements) so every component supporting the environment can be shut down and maintained, without impacting the operation.

Tier IV

The addition of Fault Tolerance in the Tier IV classification means that when individual equipment failures or distribution path interruptions occur, it stops short due to the site infrastructure topology.

An ideal data center is one with a facility design and structure based on these tiers. Are you ready to learn more – and possibly tour one of our centers? Reach out to our team to see if our data centers are ready to work for you.

Learn More About Midco’s Data Centers

Midco also combines data center services with our wholly owned, operated and engineered fiber-optic network. If you’d like to set up a time to tour any one of the four locations, reach out to a Midco account executive for a consultation.

 Request a Consultation  Find a Consultant  1.800.888.1300

Moving to the Big Leagues with Data Center

JLG Architects is in the business of thinking big for its clients – and that ambition applies to its IT strategy, as well. Learn how colocation in Midco data centers helps JLG achieve its goals.

Read Case Study

Learn More About Midco’s Data Centers

Midco also combines data center services with our wholly owned, operated and engineered fiber-optic network. If you’d like to set up a time to tour any one of the four locations, reach out to a Midco account executive for a consultation.

 Request a Consultation  Find a Consultant  1.800.888.1300

Moving to the Big Leagues with Data Center

JLG Architects is in the business of thinking big for its clients – and that ambition applies to its IT strategy, as well. Learn how colocation in Midco data centers helps JLG achieve its goals.

Read Case Study

About Joseph Rysavy

Joseph Rysavy.jpgJoseph Rysavy is responsible for the Midco Business internet, private network, data center, video and voice products. Rysavy joined the Midco team in April 2018 after working as Manager of Strategic Planning at Comcast Business in Chicago. Prior to his time at Comcast Business, he held various roles at Jostens on the marketing and digital teams. Rysavy graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and accounting from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. He earned his MBA with Distinction at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

About Joseph Rysavy

Joseph Rysavy.jpgJoseph Rysavy is responsible for the Midco Business internet, private network, data center, video and voice products. Rysavy joined the Midco team in April 2018 after working as Manager of Strategic Planning at Comcast Business in Chicago. Prior to his time at Comcast Business, he held various roles at Jostens on the marketing and digital teams. Rysavy graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in marketing and accounting from St. Mary’s University of Minnesota. He earned his MBA with Distinction at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

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