Understanding What Type of Data Center Is Needed for Your Business

Data is the coin of the realm for modern businesses, and if you have a growing company with a digital presence, you will want to store and protect your data with the right data center. However, several different types of data centers with different benefits available to you. You want to be sure your choice has the right data center capabilities for your company’s needs.

What Do I Need to Think About When Choosing a Data Center for My Company?

Different tiers of data centers are available, and your business’ data center requirement parameters will determine which tier your business fits into. These tiers go from Level 1 to Level 4, and the higher the tier, the more features your data center will have — and of, course, the more expensive it will be to maintain. Essentially, the more complex your data needs are, the higher the tier you'll want to get.

The Uptime Institute created these tiers to provide a standard classification system to help businesses evaluate the capabilities of their data centers. They break down as follows:

  • Tier I: Tier I is the most basic level of data center functionality. It is little more than a warehouse for your data. There is dedicated space for IT equipment and a dedicated 24-hour cooling system, but no redundancies. You will get an uninterruptible power supply that will filter power spikes and brief outages, with a generator to protect your data from long-term outages. You can expect 99.671 percent uptime and no more than 1729 minutes per year of downtime. Tier I data centers are best for small or startup businesses that are on a tight budget and do not yet have a great deal of critical data to protect.
  • Tier II: Tier II is a good option for a small but growing business, as it adds in redundancies to give your data added protection. Redundant components are equipment such as uninterruptible power supply modules, generators and cooling systems. With these data centers, you can expect 99.741 percent uptime and no more than 1361 minutes per year downtime.
  • Tier III: Tier III is the most common level of data center you'll find among small- to mid-sized and growing businesses. It has enough additional data paths, duplicate equipment and dual-power for equipment to make the data center what they call concurrently maintainable. This means the data center will remain up and running even during maintenance and equipment replacement. With Tier III data centers, you can enjoy as high as 99.982 percent uptime with no more than 95 minutes of downtime a year.
  • Tier IV: The Rolls-Royce of data centers is the Tier IV data center. These are known as Fault-Tolerant data centers and are up virtually all the time, with 99.995 percent uptime and 26 minutes annual downtime maximum. They essentially consist of additional infrastructure built on top of the Tier III structure, so almost nothing can stop the operation of your data center. If you are a large company with a lot of critical data to protect, and even slight interruptions could have catastrophic consequences, you will want a Tier IV data center.

Choosing Your Data Center

Investing in the highest tier of data center possible is not necessarily the wisest solution for your business, even if you can afford it. Intellicom USA provides data center services for companies in the Research Triangle and surrounding areas in North Carolina and can help you set up the data center you need. For data center assistance from the experts, contact Intellicom now.


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