Bring your data center to tiers: How customizing your data center usage can lead to big savings

Posted: 10 Aug 2018

Many companies overspend on data center resources, but — don’t cry! — that doesn’t need to be you!

As a data center provider, we here at Advania Data Centers understand that no one customer is the same – and that each company has its own unique needs for uptime and security. To reflect that, we offer our customers the opportunity to access either our Tier 1 or Tier 3 data centers.

While Tier 3 facilities offer higher levels of uptime, this comes at a higher cost. Data center customers that don’t pay attention to these levels, especially with regards to their own data center needs, may be wasting good money on services they don’t need. Conversely, they might also someday discover the hard way that they don’t have the protection they require in case of downtime or other interruptions in service.

Reconsidering the way that you use your data center resources – and specifically how you run mission-critical vs. auxiliary services – can lead to long-term savings for your organization.

A little background

Since 2005, industry governing bodies including the Telecommunications Industry Association and the Uptime Institute have maintained a list of requirements for categorizing the tier level of data centers. These include:

Tier 1
· 99.671% uptime
· No redundancy
· 28.8 hours of downtime per year

Tier 2
· 99.749% uptime
· Partial redundancy in power and cooling
· 22 hours of downtime per year

Tier 3
· 99.982% uptime
· N+1 fault tolerant, providing at least 72 hours of power outage protection
· No more than 1.6 hours downtime per year

Tier 4
· 99.995% uptime per year
· 2N+1 fully redundant infrastructure
· 26.3 minutes of annual downtime

Beer versus champagne: Each relevant for each their own purposes

Some informal social events might be perfect for bringing a bottle of beer, but if you brought champagne, you’d look out of place. Likewise, bubbly at a formal event might be entirely in keeping with the setting, where bringing a bottle of beer might appear a little gauche. There is of course nothing wrong with either beer or champagne. However, there are appropriate times and places for each, in which the other beverage would simply not do.

Think of the tiered data center classifications in an analogous way. Every customer has a range of workloads and data storage needs. Some are more “beer,” while others are more “champagne” — meaning some represent a lower category of significance or importance to the company’s essential operations, while others rank higher in that sense, perhaps even being mission critical.

The lower the tier level of a data center, the farther away from “mission critical” the data center’s redundancies and backups are.

How to work the tier system to your benefit

To ensure that you are making the most of your data center investments, it is important to classify workloads according to their priority. At Advania Data Centers, we direct our customers to run and store their critical workloads in our Tier 3 facilities – thereby ensuring redundancy and guaranteed service – and to use our Tier 1 facilities for less critical services.

Sorting workloads can result in significant savings. On average, it costs 50% less to run a typical workload within our Tier 1 data centers than it does in our Tier 3 facilities.

As a side note, both our Tier 1 and Tier 3 offerings feature a Tier 3-level of physical data center security. Tier 1 customers just get that additional security for free. Tier 3 customers do certainly enjoy some benefits unavailable to Tier 1, however. Our Tier 3 facilities haven’t experienced a single outage since 2010.

To learn more about ADC’s data center offerings and how you can save money by sorting your own workloads into tiers, please contact an ADC sales specialist today.