We are increasingly dependent on IT resources, so security and business continuity are a priority and, therefore, redundancy is increasingly used and valued. A stopped data center can cause losses of millions of euros per hour, leaving millions of users without access to the network and blocking the digital world. This information is strong enough to show us that it is essential to have a data center with high availability and “fail-safe”. Let’s talk about data center redundancy!
What is redundancy?
Data redundancy is the method that companies use to guarantee the continuity of their service and the absence of loss of information. When we talk about redundancy, we immediately think of backups. However, there are other components that can and should be redundant, as they are equally important when it is necessary to achieve maximum availability (which is something that all companies are trying to achieve today). In fact, availability and security are the critical requirements for assessing the quality of a data center. In a simple way, we can say that redundancy is the duplication of the most important elements that make up a data center.
Assessing the data center
The Tier classification establishes the data center’s operating levels, that is, it indicates how well prepared the data center is to avoid infrastructure problems that can compromise information security and the connectivity that allows continuous access to information.
This evaluation model has the function of comparing the functionality, capacity and availability of the data center. The higher the rating, the greater the redundancy of the infra estructure.
Tier I data center: this type of data center does not offer redundancy and has an average availability of 99.67% of the time, which means that in a year there are about 29 hours of inactivity.
Tier II data center: in this case, we obtain partial redundancy in energy and cooling, offering some agility in maintenance services. In this case, we obtain an availability of 99.75%, representing an average of 22 hours of stoppage per year.
Tier III data center: in this classification, the data center has redundancy to perform any preventive maintenance without the need to suspend any critical services. A data center with this rating is available 99.98% of the time and has 72 hours of protection against power interruptions. In one year there are only 1.6 hours of stoppage.
Tier IV data center: a data center that achieves this classification has a high fault tolerance and there is total redundancy in terms of electrical, air conditioning and network infrastructures. This type of data center can overcome any incident scenario without having to interrupt the availability of servers on site. In this case, the data center is available 99.99% of the time and is able to have 96 hours of protection in the event of a power failure.
How to make the data center redundant?
In order to obtain total redundancy and, consequently, greater security and total availability, it is necessary to activate some protection mechanisms:
- Redundant cooling and power Equipment;
- Emergency generators with autonomy according to the specific needs of infrastructure availability;
- Equipment with redundant power inputs;
- Strict control of the cooling and refrigeration systems;
- Use redundant UPS systems, online, with growth capacity type n + 1, with “hot-swappable” elements;
- Use redundant power distribution elements of the various equipment, with a “hot-plug” capacity in the creation and/or alteration of new circuits;
- Redundant paths for energy systems, and telecommunications operators;
- Ensure careful preventive maintenance, in order to anticipate possible problems in the infrastructure.
Each company has different needs, so it is important to note that when choosing a data center, it is necessary to assess all business requirements so that the most appropriate choice is made. The construction of a data center is not standard and implies the design of a solution that fits the real needs of the customer. Choosing a partner with consolidated experience in the design and implementation of data center solutions is the guarantee that your infrastructure will always follow the evolution of your business. Only by qualified professionals is it possible to respond in a timely way to the challenges that the transformation of the data center brings to organizations.