How Much Downtime Can You Afford?

Designing the Right Uptime Tier Level

Downtime is costly. According to the Ponemon study, the average cost of a data center outage is $740,357. The impact from technology failure can be significant and reach far beyond your local environment…customers can’t place orders online, employees can’t work, and the reliability of your brand is at stake. Most recently, Delta Airlines discovered all this to be true when one component in their data center failed. This caused their whole operation to go down and millions of dollars in losses.

Thus, a trusted partner is needed to help design a system to mitigate and lessen the impacts downtime cause to your operation and bottom line. To design such a plan, your company should take into consideration 1) reliability goals, 2) potential threats, and 3) budget expectations. Ultimately, you should consider implementing a certain level of redundant power and cooling.  Understanding the four tiers of uptime reliability will help you understand the various options.

What is an Uptime Tier Level?

In 1995, the Uptime Institute developed a four-tiered classification system for data center reliability. In order to determine the Tier Level of a data center, one must look at multiple factors: Power, Cooling, Monitoring, Security, and Serviceability. Moreover, in order to determine the tier level that best suits your operation, you first must determine how much downtime you can afford.

The graphic below highlights a few of the key considerations by tier level: points-of-failure, annual downtime hours, and site availability percentage.

uptime tier levels

So, how much downtime can you afford? Though 28.8 hours does not seem like much, what happens if an unexpected outage happened on Black Friday, or during working hours? How would this impact business, employees, and customers?

Create a Scalable Plan

Typically by the time Uptime Tier levels are taken into consideration, a data center is already in place and the challenge to grow from a Tier 1 or 2 to a Tier 3 or 4 classification can seem daunting. With the right team and proper planning, it is not as big of a challenge as you might think. Small changes can often provide large improvement to the reliability, availability, and Tier of a system.

By taking advantage of the free consulting services from your local Vertiv business partner, you can develop a strategy to reduce downtime while implementing a safer more controllable system. This is not a one size fits all plan  –  each will be tailored to the specific application. We can also help create a solution that can be implemented over a period of time so it fits within your budgetary needs. This will allow you to be better prepared for the future without compromising current operations.

To learn more about uptime tier levels, read this white paper, or contact us for a free data center assessment.