Why do you need to consider Data Center redundancy when choosing a colocation partner?￼
Digital transformation has turned IT into a strategic sector for any company. In this context, nowadays, technological infrastructure is a source capable of generating value for the business. However, some precautions are essential in order to take full advantage of the virtual environment.
Data Center redundancy is a great example. Without it, instability and the risk of outage can compromise the company’s activities. With it, if a failure occurs in one of the components of the infrastructure, a second component will be available to take over the function until the processes are restored.
However, not everyone takes this into account when searching for a colocation partner to migrate their data — a mistake that can be costly (literally). With that in mind, we created this special content on redundancy to show you everything you need to know about redundancy. Check it out!
Types of redundancy
The IT infrastructure includes both physical (hardware) and digital (software) assets. A common mistake is to think of redundancy as something that corresponds to the second aspect of the system. So, to start off with a clear understanding, take a look at the types of redundancy your company can establish.
Redundancy in the electrical system
If a failure in the electrical supply directly affects the IT infrastructure, it is crucial to have redundancy in this supply. As the service is usually provided by a utility company – which limits the company’s means to predict failures -, the strategy is usually carried out with the use of two pieces of equipment.
The first is the uninterruptible power supply (UPS). The second is the traditional generator, which can be scaled exclusively for critical IT services.
Redundancy in the HVAC system
Temperature is also an essential factor in the operation of Data Centers, as a heat spike can affect or even interrupt the performance of certain pieces of equipment. Of course, all a/c units are also subject to failure. Therefore, it is important to have two systems, so that one is always available.
An environment hosted in a Data Center and without backup is simply unthinkable for a company whose operation depends on a digital environment. Redundancy protects not only against system instability, but also against possible power outages or other failures that corrupt or make the data unavailable.
Please note that this is also a fundamental measure for the organization’s cybersecurity. Remember the billion-dollar loss due to data hijackings through WannaCry ransomware in 2017, which affected several institutions (public and private) worldwide.
If data needs to be protected, this caution also applies to the channels to access such data. Whether it’s an internet connection or an internal network, all links need a second access route to prevent the Data Center from being isolated during a failure.
Some companies choose to hire services that offer a duplicated network, while others prefer to rely on two different providers.
Data Center redundancy levels
In addition to the different types of redundancy, it is also important to establish the most appropriate level for your infrastructure. In general, this depends on the characteristics of each company. Understand the difference between levels.
Level N is the most basic level. Data Center redundancy practically does not exist, as the infrastructure is always under ideal conditions. It’s easy to see how risky this is, but it’s a very common scenario among small businesses.
An N+1 redundancy Data Center has at least one extra equipment available. A good example is a server cooled by a single air conditioner, but with a second device to cover any failures.
As its name suggests, this level of redundancy has two spare pieces of equipment. The strategy of having a backup of the backup, for example, characterizes an N+2 Data Center.
Level 2N Redundancy
In the 2N model, the entire infrastructure is duplicated. That means two pieces of hardware, emergency power supply, a second access path, data backups, etc.
Level 2 (N+1) Redundancy
The highest level of redundancy is extra cautious with critical systems, which now have twice the amount of equipment and an extra module for each N.
For example: If you need to buy lunch for 2 kids, you buy each meal at two different restaurants, plus an extra meal at each location, as a precaution.
TIER classification and its relationship to Data Center redundancy
TIER classification is a certification of server performance and reliability. Developed over 25 years ago by Uptime, the system is used globally to demonstrate the efficiency of any institution’s Data Center.
As you can imagine, it takes redundancy levels into account. The classification levels are detailed below.
The first level attests to the basic criteria of compliance with the TIER reference standards (NBR 5410, NBR 15247, NBR 11515, NBR 27002, among others). That means having air conditioning and electrical distribution subsystems, but not a redundancy strategy.
A TIER II infrastructure is partially redundant. This is generally the case for small businesses that do not operate 24/7.
In addition to the above requirements, a company classified as TIER III is fully redundant.
A TIER IV company meets TIER III requirements and has robust redundancy. Even if failures occur, its systems are able to keep running. This is the case for multinationals, which generally need to work uninterruptedly and with several platforms under continuous use.
How Ascenty Addresses the issue of Data Center redundancy
Ascenty offers a TIER III colocation service for companies looking for a high level of availability, security and accessibility for their infrastructure. No wonder we are talking about the largest Data Center company in Latin America.
According to the Uptime Institute, the availability level of Data Centers classified as TIER III is 99,982%, but Ascenty is not limited to this indicator and offers an even higher level of availability. This involves significant internal effort to put the best experts to work in robust and reliable infrastructure environments.
As you can see, Data Center redundancy is a strategic issue that cannot be ignored. Anyone looking to optimize the use of their IT resources to generate value should pay close attention to this issue. If you want to migrate your data and have maximum performance, take this into account when making your selection!
Would you like to know how this can be done in your specific IT environment? Contact us to schedule a meeting, and let those who understand the most about the subject answer all your questions!