As any technology that is new more commonplace, to the point of commoditisation, price starts to become one of the main points of differentiation. You’ve only got to look at the way mobile phones are sold to see that in action on a basis that is daily.
It’s also present where cloud hosting is concerned. No one would argue that price isn’t important; it is, rightly, a vital consideration that is commercial of purchase. But when pricing is the point that is focal of conversation it can be all too easy to lose sight of the combination of factors that go into determining that price. Particularly when it comes to technology that, because of its nature that is utility-like almost taken for granted.
It’s all too an easy task to switch off just a little and start to become ambivalent to your things we are familiar with, therefore it never hurts become reminded not just of what something does, but the way the nuances of its performance, and rates, can affect the rest of our lives that are working.
Download our ebook, 5 More benefits of Private Cloud, to see alternative methods it can benefit your business
Tiers tend to be more than just stepping stones
That’s certainly the case when it comes to uk colocation tiers. This methodology that is standard defining colocation uk engineering standards, in tiers one-to-four, lends it self too easily to being dismissed as superficially obvious. After all, Tier 1 is the least well performing and Tier 4 is the greatest, Tier 1 the option that is cheapest and Tier 4 the most costly right? As soon as you’ve got your head around that, what else will there be?
Therein lies part of the nagging problem with taxonomies; easy to read labels can hide a wealth of valuable information.
Getting your head around a few of the distinctions within the tiers will mean you’re able to make better decisions when it comes to choosing a cheap colocation, & most significantly you’ll avoid a number of potential pitfalls.
Crunching the figures
First let’s consider the uptime differences between the four tiers.
Tier 1 equates to the fundamental requirements for a uk server colocation – an individual distribution course for power and cooling serving the processing hardware, and non-redundant capacity. Annually, uptime would be during the rate of 99.671% and include 1,730.4 mins (1.20167 days) of downtime.
Tier 2 infrastructure provides capacity that is redundant can be swapped in and out without causing system failure. It will also include one non-redundant distribution path. Tier 2 Rackspace colocation are not meant to be fault tolerant when it comes to things like natural disasters, however they have 99.741% uptime, and 1,362.2 minutes of downtime, per year. That equates to almost 23 hours.
Tier 3 1u colocation pricing have actually one active and one distribution path that is passive. They’re built to be more resilient, although they’re not intended to be completely immune to disasters. But they will withstand them better, thanks to higher capacity gear. Tier 3 data centers offer 99.982% of uptime and 94.7 minutes of downtime each year.
Tier 4 are fault tolerant with two active circulation paths, offering the highest level of capacity, including mission-critical levels of tolerance, fully redundant subsystems and components with concurrent maintainability. They also have dual-powered cooling systems. Uptime is 99.995% per year, and the downtime that is annual 26.3 minutes.
Get the balance suitable for your company
Unless you are running genuinely mission-critical applications and downtime is utterly unconscionable, you are unlikely to want to shoulder the not insignificant investment a Tier 4 uk colocation will require, which could be as much as double the cost of a Tier 3. Tier 4 also involves a very high environmental overhead, and a much higher carbon footprint.
Likewise, unless all you’re doing is running a simple information-only, non-transactional site, you should walk far from Tier 1 too.
Identifying which of the two remaining tiers is right for you comes down to understanding the effect of a few of the differences.
Even at the headline level, the difference in yearly downtime between Tier 2 and Tier 3 is substantial, from almost one full day, to just over an hour and a half, respectively. Are there going to be cost implications? Of course there are. But pause, if you will, and reflect on the difference in those downtime numbers; one is the time it takes to fly from London to Sydney. The other is the amount of a football match, with a little stoppage time added on.
That’s a difference that is considerable and you’d need to believe carefully about the prospective for exposing your company to harmful consequences as a result of it. A lot can take place in 24 hours.
If you have SLAs in place with your clients and customers that include penalties and reparations for missed application availability, you need to map that against what’s being offered by your data center. If unexpected outages prompt modest reparations that are financial your data center, for instance, exactly how does that build up with the prospective losings for the company brought on by those outages? Will it matter if customers arrive at your site and can’t transact with you? Will your clients invoke penalty clauses in SLAs if applications they depend upon are impacted?
Making the choice that is right
Weighing up which data center tier will be the fit that is best for your business operations is more than a simple price vs uptime equation. Price differentials are inexorably lined to tiers, but you can’t do a like-for-like comparison in these situations until you are fully up-to-speed with all the implications. You will need to peel right back some layers and understand what the implications are in the event the lights set off.
A cure for the best, plan the worst? Perhaps. But be familiar with the need to do a little risk assessment when it involves deciding where your business will be hosted. Knowing which data center tiers your potential providers operate from will always be an essential step that is first.