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Here Are the Top 5 Ways Data Center Tiers Affect Your Finances

By: Kaylie Gyarmathy on October 30, 2018

Data centers place a lot of emphasis on their uptime reliability. Go to any data center website and you’re likely to see multiple references to how many “9s” of reliability they offer. While most organizations understand that each additional “9” equates to additional server uptime, it’s often difficult to take that abstract figure and convert it into something more practical and easy to understand. Fortunately, there are a few simple ways of explaining the ways in which the uptime reliability of each data center tier can affect the bottom line for their clients.

Here Are the Top 5 Ways Data Center Tiers Affect Your Finances


Probably the easiest point to remember on this list, the simple truth is that entrusting your business with a lower tier data center might seem cost effective initially, but will likely cost you dearly in the long run. The Ponemon Institute, which has been researching the costs of data center server downtime since 2010, found in 2016 that the average cost of an outage was over $740,000. That was a staggering 38 percent increase since the first study in 2010. Even worse, the higher end of those costs were even greater, increasing 81 percent and costing well over $2 million. Among the primary culprits for outages were UPS system failures (about 25 percent of 2016 outages) and cyberattacks (about 22 percent), which was also the fastest growing category.

Entrusting your business with a tier 3 or tier 4 data center ensures that system downtime will remain at a minimum, potentially saving quite a lot of money in the long run. While a tier 3 facility incorporates extensive redundancies and implements high system availability protocols, tier 4 data centers go an extra mile with fault tolerance that ensures they will remain running even in the most severe emergency. With a minimum of 99.995% reliability, tier 4 data centers allow you to rest easier knowing costly server downtime will be kept at an absolute minimum. For the best reassurance, look for data centers that go above and beyond the somewhat arbitrary tier standards to deliver uptime higher than 99.99999%.


If your business relies on a data center to deliver services of any kind, the last thing you want is to find yourself unable to access the tools and applications that are critical to your operations. Unexpected downtime can be a serious productivity killer, not to mention damaging to your company’s reputation. A tier 2 data center with a minimum uptime of 99.7% could suffer as much as 22 hours of server downtime each year. While those outages are unlikely to occur successively in a single block, consider how damaging it could be for your business to essentially go dark for an hour at a time almost twice a month, often without warning.

In today’s fast paced economy, nobody likes to sit around waiting for services to come back online. When customers can’t access the services they need, they’re more than likely going to move on to a competitor as quickly as possible. Partnering with a higher tier data center provides peace of mind that your company will be there for its customers when they need it most, even in the uncertainty of a natural disaster.


Reputation matters in the tech world. Customers want to know that your business has the infrastructure in place to meet their needs and deliver consistent system availability. When you’ve partnered with a high tier data center, you’ve already met half of this challenge. The data center’s reputation for uptime reliability can extend to your operations, allowing your business to differentiate itself in an increasingly crowded market.

High tier data centers have already invested tremendous time and energy into marketing themselves as reliable partners across a wide range of businesses. Rather than building up a reputation from scratch, your business can gain immediate credibility just by delivering services through a reputable data center partner capable of delivering consistently high uptime.


High uptime means high performance. Think of each additional “9” of uptime as value added to whatever service your company provides. The more your servers remain up and running, the more time and energy your IT personnel are spending to find ways to innovate and grow your business rather than troubleshooting. A high tier data center also provides the infrastructure your organization needs if it’s looking to scale in the future. With enough resources to account for increased power demands and the versatility to expand service offerings, these facilities can become true partners that empower growth and performance.

Choosing a data center partner should be a transformative moment for a company, allowing it to do something it hadn’t been able to do before. In some cases, that may be scaling operations; in others, gaining access to the compute resources needed for processing heavy analytics. Whatever an organization’s needs, the move to a data center should not be business as usual. By partnering with a high tier data center, most organizations stand to greatly benefit from the new suite of resources and options at their disposal.


Few companies can withstand the fallout of a data breach. From the sheer costs of the breach to the irreplaceable loss of public trust, there are many ways that a compromised data center can spell the end of a company that’s unprepared to handle consequences. But security today is more important than ever. With cyberattacks growing more bold and more customer data than ever before being entrusted to organizations that can scarcely handle it all, secure data centers are more vital than ever before.

High tier data centers have the infrastructure and personnel in place to make them as safe as possible from a multitude of security threats. Incorporating both substantial physical defenses and ever evolving cybersecurity measures, these facilities may not be impregnable, but they offer unmatched protection when it comes to protecting your company’s most important assets. Using blended ISP solutions to guard against DDoS attacks and implementing cryptographic keys to encode data as it’s flowing into and out of the facility, high tier data centers offer the very latest and best in cybersecurity procedures.

As companies increasingly turn to data centers to provide their IT infrastructure solutions, it’s more important than ever to understand the financial impact of uptime. While the numerical cost of each moment of server downtime is bad enough, the other considerations are critical enough for every company to consider how data center tiers could impact their financial situation over time.

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