Defining Uninterrupted Uptime

One of the most common sources of confusion in the field of uninterruptible uptime is what constitutes a reliable data center.  Frequently, what reliability level is acceptable to one person or company is inadequate to the next.  Competing companies with data centers of radically different infrastructure capabilities all claim to deliver high-level availability.   Many companies make unsubstantiated Tiered reliability claims, which turn out to be misleading, incomplete, or wrong.

With the continuously increasing pressure on high availability comes an increased demand for computer hardware reliability.  Information Technology (IT) customers have come to expect availability of “Five Nines” or 99.999%.  Unfortunately, the substantial investment a business frequently makes to achieve Five Nines in its computer hardware and software platforms is unlikely to be attained unless matched with a complementary data center infrastructure that can support the availability goals.  Site infrastructure includes 16 power, cooling, and other critical physical layer environmental sub-systems that must work together as a tightly integrated uptime system.

Uptime Institute Certifications

GPX data centers are designed utilizing the Uptime Institute’s Tier IV Classification System for data center systems and operational sustainability.

The Uptime Institute, Inc. (Institute) developed a four-tiered classification approach to site infrastructure functionality that addressed the need for a common benchmarking standard to compare various data center facilities.  The Institute’s system has been in use since 1995 and has become the default standard for the uninterruptible uptime industry.  They currently provide Tiered Certifications in more than 25 countries.

The Tier Classification System is an outcome-oriented, performance-based system for benchmarking data center availability.  It is business-case driven and has not been compromised by special interest or other parameters that have little to do with the uptime associated with the computer room operations.

The Uptime Institute’s Tier Standard: Topology is an objective means for comparing functionality, capacity, and expected availability (or performance) of a particular data center infrastructure design topology against other centers, or for comparing a group of centers.  This standard describes criteria to differentiate four classifications of site infrastructure topology based on increasing levels of redundant capacity components and distribution paths.