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What Is a Data Centre and How Secure Are They?

Data centres are physical facilities where businesses store critical applications and data.

In a data centre, shared applications and data are delivered through a computing and storage resources network. A data centre design’s components are routers, switches, firewalls, storage systems, servers, and application delivery controllers.

Data Centre Tiers: What’s the Difference Between 1, 2, 3, and 4?

Data centre tiers are a ranking system that indicates the reliability of data centre infrastructure. The classification levels facilities from 1 to 4 based on their performance, with 1 being the worst and 4 being the best.

The tiering system is defined by 3 points:

  1. Uptime guarantees
  2. Fault tolerance (accounting for both planned and unplanned disruptions)
  3. Service cost

Tier 1
Perfect for small businesses without complex IT requirements.

In these facilities, power and cooling are provided by a single line, and no critical systems are redundant. For regular maintenance or emergency repairs, operations must be completely shut down. It is the most affordable solution.

Expected uptime = 99.671% per year. 

Tier 2
Ideal for SMBs wanting a cost-effective, more reliable option.

Unlike tier 1 data centres, tier 2 offers backup options alongside all the features of tier 1. Tier 2 offers a good cost-to-performance ratio.

Expected uptime = 99.741% per year.

Tier 3
Great for large companies that need extra fail-safes for IT operations.

Tier 3 data centres must have all the components of tier 2. They must also be able to support the full IT load and a backup solution that can keep operations running in the event of a power outage on a regional or local scale. High performing and still affordable.

Expected uptime = 99.982% per year.

Tier 4
The option for businesses that need uninterrupted availability and are not budget-restricted.

In Tier 4 data centres, fault tolerance mechanisms are added to the requirements of Tier 3. Several physically isolated systems act as redundant components and distribution paths in these data centres. Two generators, two UPS systems, and two cooling systems ensure that all components can run for 96 hours in the event of a local or regional power outage. Ideal for high levels of processing demands and traffic.

Expected uptime of 99.995% per year. InReach’s Tier 4 Data Centre

At InReach, we have a Tier 4 Data Centre based in Milton Keynes. This means we can provide businesses with the ultimate protection of their systems and data with virtually no downtime. Our data centre includes the following:

  • Unlimited rack capacity.
  • Design and project management of all key services performed in-house.
  • N+N: HV power feeds, Generators, Transformers, UPS cooling, Alarms. The illustration on the right shows a simplified overview of our tier 4 power structure.
  • Managed transit or with a selection of fibre providers.
  • Multi 10Gbs fibre ring for Managed internet access and MPLS circuits.

To find out more about our Tier-4 Milton Keynes Data Centre and what it can do for your business’s cyber security, get in touch with the InReach team today.


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