Uptime’s Guide for Data Center Evaluation

Uptime’s Guide for Data Center Evaluation


What is uptime?

Uptime refers to the amount of time, up to which a server stays up and running. This is usually measure in percentage, like “99.9% uptime.” Uptime is a great measure of how good a data center service is.

The concept of “Uptime” was pioneered by the Uptime Institute, which was founded in 1993 and introduced its well-defined Tier Classification system: 1, 2, 3 and 4 among which Tier 4 represents the highest level of projected availability.

Uptime evaluation on different specification:

  1. Power supply from utility service provider: The Institute of uptime consider electricity through utility service providers as an unpredictable power source. Therefore, data center specifications recommend for the diesel generators as a utility power supply backup for the data centers. An Automatic Transfer Switch (ATS) that automatically changeover to the backup generator in event of a power-failure. As per the standard specifications, it is mandate to maintain two ATSs.
  2. Power distribution Panel: The power distribution panel allocates the power to the IT load as well as non IT loads with the help of UPS. It loads include servers and networks, on the other hand non IT loads include air conditioning and other infrastructure systems.Attaining redundancy and concurrent availability is possible through separate power distribution panels for individual ATS.
  3. UPS: Power allotted by the distribution panel is utilized by the UPS and catered to the power distribution boxes for both server racks and network infrastructure. Let’s understand this with an example, if a 20 KVA UPS is required for a data center, acquiring the redundancy is possible with the use of two 20 KVA UPS or four 7 KVA UPS units. Hence, five 5 KVA UPS units can be used for achieving redundancy.
  4. Server racks: The servers in every rack should comprise the features of dual power supply in order to establish a connection with the power distribution boxes. In-fact the usage of a static switch is often referred for the devices lacking dual power mode options. This switch receives supply from power distribution boxes as well as provides one output. Also, this switch can transfer from a power distribution box to a new one in occurrence of failures, within a very minimal span of time.

Tier level

Data center requirements

Tier 1

  • A single, non-redundant deployment track that caters IT equipment.
  • Non-redundant scope components.

Tier 2

  • All requirements are similar to Tier 1.
  • Redundant scope components.

Tier 3

  • All the requirements are included from Tier 1 and 2.
  • Multiple individual deployment tracks to cater IT equipment. Usually, a single deployment track caters equipment at particular time span.
  • Entire IT equipment is dual-powered and completely compatible as per the site’s architecture topology.

Tier 4

  • All the requirements as in Tier 1, 2 and 3.
  • The facility is fully tolerant towards error, with the inclusion of electrical, storage and distribution networks.
  • Every cooling equipment is independently dual-powered, such as HVAC systems.
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