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The Datacenter - Part 3: Why Pay for Tier 4?

Previously, we’ve shared a simple explanation of a datacenter and The Uptime Institute’s tiered rating system. Remember, a datacenter can be anything from a closet in the office to a warehouse staffed by armed guards! Network Alliance only trusts a Tier 4 datacenter to handle your files. Today, we’ll break down why we choose the most secure level available and what Tier 4 money buys you!

Tier 4 datacenter costs are pricey compared to the alternatives. Highly trained armed guards onsite 24/7, maintenance employees, and even basics, like electricity, aren’t cheap. Tier 4s require “fault tolerance” so equipment failures or data interruptions don’t affect IT operations. To accomplish this, there must be multiples of every component in the datacenter. Backup generators are necessary to meet the 99.995% guaranteed uptime per year, with the ultimate goal of 100%. If the power goes out, a Tier 4 datacenter will stay up and running for a minimum of 96 hours, thanks to backup generators. All of this is very expensive but worth it for  full-time access to your invaluable data.

Two of everything. Redundancy is key! (Source:

100% Redundancy – Nothing stops your data from being available. It doesn’t matter which component of the network goes down or even if every piece of the network is taken down. There’s a backup for every single piece. The power and network devices roll over automatically if anything happens, so end users like you shouldn’t notice anything.

26 minutes – A calendar year has 525,600 minutes. In a year, the maximum time your data will be unavailable at a Tier 4 is 26 minutes. Most years, Tier 4 datacenters don’t even come close to 26-minute outages, but the number is there just in case something truly catastrophic happens, and a human has to step in.

Armed guards – And there’s the physical security. Even Network Alliance employees go through a rigorous process getting in to our own datacenter every single time. First, there’s no big sign on the door. You need to know where you’re going. An armed guard asks for your ID and records every piece of personal information you can think of. From there, two blast-proof doors require your handprint and an armed guard to open them. From there, a few thousand cameras track your every breath. Rest assured, even though you can’t see the servers storing your data, no one ever gets near them unless they’re supposed to.

With a Tier 4 datacenter, you’re paying for protection and 24/7/365 remote access through datacenter employees. You’re paying for uptime. You’re paying for peace of mind. Network Alliance won’t settle for less because we care about your data and your business. Next time, we’ll go in-depth about the amount of electric power  it takes to run the Tier 4 datacenter.



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