We are going to start this article with the assumption that you are in the market for the best data center services around. Due to this, regardless if you are simply investing in VPS solutions, shared hosting or business defining colocation servers, you’re going to be investing in a Tier 4 data center.
Now, for the uninitiated, data centers come in four tiers ranging from 1 to 4. Take note, a Tier 4 data center is the best data center you can invest your web hosting solutions in. Tier 4 data center specifications are the most stringent, highest held specifications in the industry.
Tier 4 Data Center List
Here is the skinny on what constitutes a Tier 4 data center. At minimum, Tier 4 data center uptime must guarantee 99.995% availability. This means, as defined in your web hosting providers SLA (Service Level Agreement), your purchased web hosting solutions must be up and running for at least 99.995% of the year. If your uptime Tier 4 colocation uptime falls below that percentage, your provider is in breach of contract and you have the right to claim credits or monetary payback for experienced Tier 4 data center downtime.
The main key to Tier 4 data center design comes into the form of redundancy across all devices. This means, all Tier 4 data centers are 3 + N redundant. All equipment held within the DC are wholly fault tolerant – included in this list is all cooling equipment, all HVAC systems, all storage gear, all switches and uplinks and all servers, just to name a few.
Beyond this, everything in the data center which requires power must be dual-powered. Dual-powered means all gear is powered by a centralized PDU however if that form of energy fails, an auxiliary generator kicks into gear keeping your colocation or dedicated server solutions up and running.
Tier 4 Data Center Design
While a specific design is never mandated for a Tier 4 data center, all higher level data centers will look, feel and be positioned in a much better path then their lesser data center kin. This is to say, all Tier 4 data centers will be nicely spaced out, will maintain the highest level of both physical and virtual security, will mandate persons within the data center hold no food or water on them when working with equipment and will, if need be, track down persons who shouldn’t be in the data center. All in all, a Tier 4 data center is everything you need in a DC.
Outside of the basics of a Tier 4 data center, here is a pro tip: If you ever need to research your data center in person or spend an extended period of time within your Tier 4 data center, dress warmly. Due to the amount of cooling pumped through the DC, you are going to need a sweatshirt, a sweater or something warm. Most articles don’t tell you that but nonetheless, it’s true.
And please, if someone tries to sell you on investing in a Tier 5 data center, tell that person to go fly a kite. There is no such thing.