Managed Colocation: Datacenter Selection

When companies decided to make the jump from internal unmanaged colocation services to fully managed colocation solutions, one of the biggest factors is colocation pricing. For the vast majority of CEO’s, managed colocation comes down to a matter of colocation cost. Due to this, they often forget about or overlook on of the most important details of managed colocation providers – the datacenter which they operate out of.

CEO’s and decision makers might not realize that datacenter management comes in tiers. Tier 1 datacenter, Tier 2 datacenter, Tier 3 datacenter, Tier 4 datacenter etc. These tiers, like the choice a managed colocation provider might supplies you with between a full rack of quadcore servers or hexacore servers, is vital to your overall managed colocation web hosting life. Learn about the differences here.

What is a Datacenter?

First things first, a datacenter is a space which houses servers, PDU’s, web hosting and colocation equipment. The datacenter has access to vast quantities of power, large amounts of cooling hardware and is typically managed by a team of dedicated IT professionals. According to the wonderful minds over at Wikipedia, a datacenter is:

“A data center or computer centre (also datacenter) is a facility used to house computer systems and associated components, such as telecommunications and storage systems. It generally includes redundant or backup power supplies, redundant data communications connections, environmental controls (e.g., air conditioning, fire suppression) and security devices.”

As previously mentioned, datacenters are measured in levels. Tier 1, Tier 2, Tier 3, Tier 4 etc. The levels correspond to the services, infrastructure and colocation equipment they provide.

Tier 1 Datacenter

A Tier 1 Datacenter is the simplest type of datacenter. The Tier 1 datacenter supplies consumers with the following:

  1. Non-Redundant distribution
  2. Non-Redundant capacity hardware
  3. Basic onsite datacenter infrastructure with availability of 99.671%.

Without complicating it, a Tier 1 datacenter features single uplinks and servers. It is the most basic datacenter solution. Due to this, Tier 1 datacenters are cheaper than other datacenter solutions, maintain less security and are generally smaller/less technically evolved then other datacenters. Although Tier 1 datacenters are useful, here at Av5 we do not recommend them for your managed colocation solutions.

Tier 2 Datacenter

Whereas a Tier 1 datacenter offers single uplinks and servers in a non-redundant infrastructure facility with 99.671% availability, a Tier 2 datacenter infrastructure solution offers everything a Tier 1 datacenter does, plus redundant capacity components with 99.741% availability. Tier 2 datacenter providers provide clients with a larger, more cooling proficient infrastructure guaranteeing better IT management, uptime and security. As noted, Tier 2 datacenter solutions are more costly then Tier 1 datacenter providers. Again, although Tier 2 datacenters are useful, here at Av5 we do not recommend them for your managed colocation solutions.

Tier 3 Datacenter

Sometimes called “level 3 datacenter”, a Tier 3 datacenter solution:

  1. Matches or expands upon all Tier 1 & Tier 2 datacenter features/requirements
  2. Consists of multiple independent distribution paths for all IT equipment located on the premise
  3. All IT solutions, servers, racks (all colocation hardware) is dual-powered and 100% accessible with the onsite infrastructure
  4. Guarantees 99.982% availability for all onsite datacenter infrastructure

Tier 3 datacenter solutions, while more costly than Tier 1 or Tier 2 infrastructures, are a great choice for managed colocation needs. Av5 utilizes Tier 3 datacenters around the world to power our CDN network. Tier 3 datacenters are excellent IT solutions for all managed colocation needs.

Tier 4 Datacenter

A Tier 4 datacenter is the top of the line in datacenter management. The Tier 4 datacenter includes:

  1. Matches or expands upon all Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 datacenter features/requirements
  2. All cooling hardware onsite is powered from two sources – independent of one another. This includes all infrastructure chillers, heating, ventilating and HVAC systems
  3. All datacenter infrastructure equipment is fault-tolerant. It maintains power storage capabilities and a wide network of distribution facilities. All Tier 4 datacenter solutions maintain 99.995% availability

Tier 4 Datacenters are the top of the line. Here at Av5, we operate out of a Tier 4 datacenter and just like our CDN network consisting of worldwide Tier 3 datacenters, our global content delivery network consists of a many Tier 4 datacenter infrastructures. We do this so you never have to worry about your managed colocation web-hosting servers being placed in a non-reliable level datacenter.

Investing in Tier 4 Datacenters

The bottom line here is quality. When you make the jump to managed colocation providers, you are making a long-term investment in the health of your IT Cloud hosting solutions. Like any worthy investment, managed colocation has a cost associated with it. The cost includes initial setup, hardware maintenance, fees for access to cooling and power, fees for a team of dedicated IT pro’s and fees to be part of an excellent Tier 4 or Tier 3 datacenter architecture. This investment is worth it because it provides you with peace of mind.

To learn more about Av5 Tier 4 architectures and Tier 3 CDN datacenter infrastructures, click here.

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