Tier 2 data centers operate with redundant power and cooling capacity components. These features render Tier 2 data centers more reliable than Tier 1 because they are less susceptible to unexpected outages. For instance, some basic maintenance can be carried out with minimal disruption to the main power supply. Approximate uptime is 99.741% with an average of 22 hours downtime annually.
Tier 3 data centers are the most common data centers operated by today’s colocation providers. A key component of a Tier 3 data center is that its components are concurrently maintainable, meaning that single components, such as a generator, or a UPS, can be taken offline for maintenance purposes without affecting the connected power load of the server racks in the data center. Tier 3 data centers have multiple links and dual-powered distribution paths for power sources and cooling so that one path can take over from another temporarily in the event that it fails; ensuring systems remain online. Uptime rate of 99.982% with around 2 hours downtime annually.
Tier 4 data centers include all the infrastructure of Tier 3 with an emphasis on fault tolerance in their design. Fault tolerance is the ability of a system to continue operating despite the failure of one or more of its components, or put differently, the system’s ability to isolate errors where they occur and to resolve interruptions or software related errors. The sophisticated structure of Tier 4 data centers features fully redundant components, multiple dual-powered servers, and power cooling equipment – providing for the greatest uptime. Uptime of 99.995% with approximately 26.3 minutes of downtime annually.
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