Which is the best data center, Tier 1 or Tier IV? It depends on who you’re talking to

Les Suzukamo (a buddy of mine) wrote an article about data center outsourcing in last Sunday’s Pioneer Press that you might find interesting.

But he got beat up by a reader for the following sentence — “Tier 1 is considered the Rolls Royce category of data centers. ” The reader pointed out that Tier IV is the best, and that Les had gotten his ranking backwards. When Les asked me this afternoon, I gave him the consultant’s answer — “it depends.” In this case it depends on who you talk to. Us network geeks tend to think in terms of Tier 1 carriers — and thus their data centers are considered Tier 1 data centers (or, telco-class data centers).

But data center infrastructure geeks indeed do have a different hierarchy, and by those lights Les’s reader is right — Tier IV is the best. I pushed this white paper along to Les by way of backup.

Dang, that’s confusing…