Uptime Institute Data Center Tier Classifications: Time for a Refresh?

Posted by Bob Landstrom

Enterprises have embraced the data center tier classification system developed by the Uptime Institute for evaluating their own data center facilities and those of potential colocation and hosting providers.

The subject of facility availability has matured over recent years.  The mind set has matured from recognition that existing IT facilities were a problem that needed to be improved to questions of how to improve.  How much should we improve them?  What do we improve?  How far can we grow?  Traditionally, these questions were answered without much guidance beyond the level of capital funds available for improvements.

The tier classification system developed by the Uptime Institute is an academic framework that can be used as guidance for determining the type of data center facility appropriate for the Business.  It’s a seminal body of work, and has become part of the daily lexicon of those working in the data center world.  We’ve written about it several times in this forum, covering what it is, where it came from, and what it’s not.  Indeed we’ve dedicated time in this blog talking about how the tier classifications are (very) frequently misused.