What Are Data Center Tiers?

Data center tiers are sets of standards for data center design and construction. The two organizations whose standards are referred to most in the industry are TIA (Telecommunications Institute of American) and the Uptime Institute. Both organizations categorize their standards in four tiers. However, standards differ between the two.

Uptime Requirements by Tier

  • TIER 1
    Annual Downtime:
     28.8 hours

  • TIER 2
    Annual Downtime:
     22 hours

  • TIER 3
    Annual Downtime:
     1.6 hours

  • TIER 4
    Annual Downtime:
     26.3 minutes

Myth: Choosing a Data Center by Tier Rating Is the Best Way to Find a Data Center

  • Distance and separation from parking lot
  • Distance from bodies of water
  • Number of staff members on site
  • Power and cooling redundancy
  • Wall and roof thickness
  • Proximity to highways and airports
  • Wind rating

Determine YOUR Needs First

The best way to find the right data center is to first determine your company’s needs today, and at least five years down the road, then tour the facility. This list should include your availability needs as well as your compliance requirements, network and connectivity needs, support needs and power density requirements.