Presented by Edward P. Rafter, P.E., CxAP Tier IV Consulting ...
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - Presented by Edward P. Rafter, P.E., CxAP Tier IV Consulting ...
Edward P. Rafter, P.E., CxAP
Tier IV Consulting Group
The data center industry has experienced
several evolutions over the past 20 years.
One principal change has been the
development of the Tier Performance
The standards provide quantifiable plateau’s
or Tier Levels.
This presentation will present a brief history
of data center infrastructure topologies and
A summary of the Tier Performance Standards
Endeavor to normalize several of the
commonly used standards referenced in the
Real world example of the Tier Performance
Standard used in the OPR.
Prior to the late 1980’s quantifying
what constitutes a reliable data center
was mainly a subjective
The data center industry at that time
was relatively small by today’s
standards and limited principally to
financial, telecommunication and
Non-disclosure of information was
A network of colleagues in the data center
business who were able to share
A few knowledgeable consultants or
engineers familiar with data center design
It truly was the experience of the owner
and user that held the greatest measure of
Uninterruptible Uptime Users Group
The initial meeting of the Uninterruptible
Uptime Users Group (UUUG) was on
November 15, 1989
Met at Shearson Lehman in downtown New
York City and included38 individuals
representing 18 companies
The guiding principle of the UUUG has been
“to provide a forum for knowledge exchange
for those who design, build, use and
maintain mission-critical enterprise
The UUUG later became the 7x24 Exchange
Today there are 14 Chapters of the 7x24
Exchange located across the United States
and 1 International Chapter located in
AFCOM (Association for Computer Operations
Management), was originally established to
serve data center management and
operations, including data center managers,
operations managers, MIS directors, CIOs,
CTOs and other IS/IT professionals.
It has become a leading association in
supporting the educational and business
development needs of data center
management, executives and vendors.
Still left a need in the data center
community for free and open information
The Site Uptime
Network® was formed in
1993 by The Uptime
The Site Uptime Network’s mission is to
identify, quantify and improve infrastructure
It achieves this by providing an opportunity
for information exchange between members
themselves, and between members and
Purpose—to directly address and resolve
issues affecting continuous site
infrastructure (power, cooling, and electrical
Need to clearly convey the differences in
data center financial investment to senior
Increased demand for a high level of
No longer was a tactical solution approach
to business demands from the data center
infrastructure acceptable. Senior decision
makers were looking for strategic answers.
Factors associated with business disruptions
Nature – Includes weather related events such
as Tornados, Hurricanes and Flooding
Human – Human related events external to the
facility such as transportation accidents
affecting the area.
Utility – Disruptions in utilities such as
electrical power interruptions
Equipment – Failures in essential equipment
Personnel – Operator error during normal
business and maintenance activities
Location Earthquake Zone
Hurricanes or Tornadoes
Proximity to Major Highways
Proximity to Railway Lines
Proximity to Hazardous Areas
Proximity to Airports or Flight Corridors
Infrastructure Availability of Electrical Capacity
Availability of Diverse Power Feeders
History of Outages
Water Diverse Source Supplies
Communications Availability of Diverse Carriers
Availability of Diverse Services
Alarms and Monitoring
Electrical Utility Service
Critical Power Distribution
Mechanical Raised Floor Cooling
Support Systems Contamination
Fire Detection and Protection
Alarms and Monitoring
Since the early 1960’s the design of data
center infrastructure has advanced through at
least four clearly identifiable stages.
Tier I appeared in the early 1960’s
Tier II in the 1970’s
Tier III in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s
Tier IV in the mid 1990’s.
Provide the foundation for the Four Tier
Classification defined by owners and users in
association with the Uptime Institute
Each of the four tier levels can be viewed as a
plateau towards achieving an increase in
Alternate approaches have led to other
systems of data center classification
An extension of the four tier system is a Ten
Tier Classification, ranked 1 to 10
◦Incremental steps are defined between each of the
plateaus described in the Four Tier system
Another example of the tier level system
presented by Syska Hennessy Group offers a
method of ranking each of the aspects
Tier I – Basic Site Infrastructure
Tier II – Redundant Capacity Components
Tier III – Concurrently Maintainable
Tier IV – Fault Tolerant
Has non-redundant capacity components and
single non-redundant path distribution paths
serving the site’s computer equipment.
The data center has computer room cooling and
power distribution but it may or may not have a
UPS or and engine generator.
The data center must be shutdown for annual
predictive maintenance and repair work.
Corrective maintenance may require additional
shutdowns. Operation errors or spontaneous
failures of infrastructure components will cause a
data center disruption.
A Tier I data center may be suitable for small
businesses where IT is intended for internal
Has redundant capacity components and single
non-redundant distribution paths serving the
site’s computer equipment.
They have UPS and engine generators but their
capacity design is Need plus One (N+1), with a
single power path.
Maintenance of the critical power path and other
parts of the site infrastructure will require a
shutdown of computer processes.
A Tier II data center may be appropriate for
internet-based companies without serious
financial penalties for quality of service
It is concurrently maintainable and has redundant
capacity components and multiple distribution
paths serving the site’s computer equipment.
Generally, only one distribution path serves the
computer equipment at any time.
This topology allows for any planned site
infrastructure activity without disruption the
computer systems operation in any way.
A Tier III application would include companies
that span multiple time zones or whose
information technology resources support
automated business process.
It is fault tolerant and has redundant capacity
systems and multiple distribution paths
simultaneously serving computer equipment.
All IT equipment is dual powered and installed
properly to be compatible with the topology of
the site’s architecture.
Fault-tolerant functionality provides the ability of
the site infrastructure to sustain at lease one
worst-case unplanned failure or event with no
impact to the critical load.
Includes a System+System topology.
A Tier IV requirement include companies
who have extremely high-availability
requirements for ongoing business such as
E-commerce, market transactions, or
financial settlement processes.
Representative site availability expectations for
each of the tier levels described above
Tier I = 28.8 hours and 99.67%
Tier II = 22.0 hours and 99.75%
Tier III = 1.6 hours and 99.98%
Tier IV = 0.4 hours and 99.99%
The Four Tier Performance Standard prepared
by the Uptime Institute, is widely accepted
throughout the data center industry.
In April 2005 the Telecommunications
Industry Association published Standard TIA-
942 in association with the American National
Standards Institute (ANSI).
This standard includes information regarding
the Data Center Infrastructure Tiers and is in
general consistent with the Uptime Institute’s
The following case study represents the
manner the Tier Performance Standards are
In the beginning of 2000, XYZ Inc was considering
options for their corporate data center and other
business units as part of the construction of a new
The company was faced with determining what the
data center requirements should be to meet the
business plan associated with the project
As part of the planning, XYZ Inc Information
Technology (IT) and Corporate Management
in collaboration with industry professionals
researched the publications and attended
user group meetings to gain an
understanding of design options
This led to gaining an understanding of the
Tier Performance Standards and tier level
The Owners Project Requirements (OPR),
included specific design expectations for the
new data center as per Uptime Institute
requirements for a Tier III data center
incorporated into the new world headquarters
multistory office complex.
The document referenced the Uptime Institute
Tier III requirements and presented a clearly
defined set of expectations towards meeting this
tier classification level including:
Owner objectives to meet a Tier III data center
Expectations on electrical and mechanical infrastructure
Expectations on IT infrastructure
Operations and maintenance criteria
Equipment and system maintainability expectations
Expectations for expandability without business
Project documentation requirements
Includes functional and integrated testing
The Tier Performance Standards are an
Owner/User set of requirements used to
clearly define expectations for the design and
management of the data center to meet a
prescribed level of availability.
The Tier Level Classification system is the
foundation used by many data center
owners/users, consultants and design
professionals in establishing a “design-
versus-performance” ranking approach to
today's data center projects.
As part of the Commissioning Process for
data center projects, where the owner
acknowledges one of these standards in
defining the expectations for the
requirements of the data center, the
Commissioning Authority (CA) should include
specific reference to the standardin the OPR.
The final determination of the Tier Level
achieved in the data center design should be
made by a qualified authority familiar with
the tier performance standards referenced in
the project documents.
Industry Association (TIA),
Telecommunications Infrastructure Standard
for Data Centers
Jerry Burkhardt and Richard W. Dennis, Syska
Hennessy, Assessing Criticality Levels in the
Data Center, SearchDataCenter.com,
September 27, 2006
Uptime Institute White Paper, Industry
Standard Tier Classifications Define Site