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The Challenges and Rewards of Reaching a Tier III Data Center

 

With the steady growth in user generated data, the need for highly reliable data centers continues to grow. Recently, we were approached by a client who had unique network and server uptime requirements – network latency of less than 5ms and an uptime of Tier III or greater. Since our main data center has been in operation for 20 years and we were about to begin renovation on another one, we decided it was time to earnestly evaluate the infrastructure in light of the latest standards as published by the Uptime Institute. 

The first challenge for us was to understand the Uptime Institute’s 4 different Tier Certification Standards, which range from the basic, Tier I infrastructure to the fortified, disaster tolerant Tier IV. In our case, we wanted to know what defined Tier III. Fortunately, the certification requirements are not kept inside a locked box: the Uptime Institute publishes a small number of documents on their website, the most instructional of which, for us, was Topology. There are also a number of third-party resources which proved helpful as well. 

The second challenge was to then conduct a thorough analysis of our electrical, cooling, and network systems to identify which Tier our data center achieves. Completing this process allowed us to identify the modifications necessary to reach Tier III, and culminated in a final report outlining our Tier III capacity that we then submitted to our client. 

We are now in the midst of building out a third data center capable of supporting high density server hardware at a Tier III level, and nothing could have been more valuable than going through the Tier Standards to plan our project from the ground up. We are now confidently on the path towards developing another Tier III data center. 

About us

For more than 20 years, Prominic.NET has been operating data centers in Central Illinois that serve local and global clients. This year, Prominic.NET will expand into a third data center to accommodate high density servers with stringent uptime requirements. 

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