Apple to Spend 10B on US Data Centers Over 5 Years

Apple to Spend $10B on US Data Centers Over 5 Years

In late 2018, Apple announced that it would be spending $10 billion over the next five years on data center construction in the United States. The growth of the data centers is critical to ensure that their customers have great experiences with all of their devices and the platforms they are using. It will also help them to stay competitive with some of the other large companies, such as Amazon, which continues to expand its data centers and influence, as well.

The company is also working on projects at the other data centers they own, including those in Mesa, AZ, Sparks, NV, and Maiden, NC. They will also have a new data center created in Waukee, IA to help expand their reach further. Facebook also has data centers in other parts of the country, including Newark, CA and Prineville, OR.

Apple is also growing its data centers in other parts of the world. They have been developing a data center in Denmark, and they already have plans to build another one in the country.

Why Does Apple Need to Expand?

It is important to remember that Apple is more than just iPhones and Macs. The App Store and Apple Music rely heavily on a reliable infrastructure that can ensure there are servers up and running and able to accommodate the needs of the users. These services are growing faster than any other area for Apple, so it makes sense that the company will want to ensure that their customers have a smooth experience when using them.

Just how big is the business? In 2016, the services revenue for Apple was $24 billion. It is estimated to be $48 billion by 2020. This means more people are using these services and more people who are relying on them to work and to provide a pleasant experience. Investing in those areas is extremely important for their business.

The expansion of the data centers could also mean that Apple will eventually be able to reduce its reliance on other parties as cloud providers. Currently, they are using Azure and AWS to help them meet their data center needs. Having more of their own data centers can help to reduce, or even eliminate, this reliance.

More than Just Data Center Expansions

Apple has been planning to make investments in their facilities and staff across the U.S., and not just with the data centers. For example, they are creating a campus in Austin, TX, which will sit on 133 acres. This campus will be able to hold 15,000 employees, which will bring in a massive number of jobs to the city and will make Apple Austin’s largest employer. This is not the only location that will be seeing more jobs. Apple has said that they would be adding hundreds of jobs across Portland, Boston, Boulder, New York, and Pittsburgh. They would be adding about 1,000 jobs to Culver City, Seattle, and San Diego each.



List of Top Data Center Countries

List of Countries with the Most Data Centers

Updated 10.11.2019 – After some deep research on quotes, colocation facility placements and industry research….these are the top countries with colocation data centers for 2019-2020

  • Germany (195)
    • top cities
      • Frankfurth
      • Munich
  • The Netherlands (100)
    • top city
      • Amsterdam
  • Singapore (34)
  • Sweden (50)
  • Norway (29)
  • United Arab Emirates (9)
  • United Kingdom (264)
  • China (79)
  • Brazil (45)


From time to time, we work with a hosting partners that broker data center colocation in the EU and they say the following: “From my perspective, I would suggest Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Singapore, Scandinavia.

Brexit probably having a current, hopefully short term effect on UK market take up. China is building large facilities, but not sure about the level of international enterprises’ interest, due to current political “nervousness”.”

Organically on Top Data Centers, we have seen the most request for quotes from Singapore, Frankfurt, UAE, Brazil and Munich. gives you a good “birds eye” view of the # of data centers available and that is a good indication of what markets are more popular.

If you would like, we can ask a few of our USA based hosts that operate data centers abroad and see what they have to offer for insights if you are seeking international colocation just contact us and well compile a custom list for you.

When Would You Want a Data Center Located Nearby Rather than Further Away

More and more businesses today are starting to utilize colocation because of the benefits that it can offer. It allows companies to have the space they need and the security they need without needing to rent or buy a data center of their own. They share the space with others to help reduce the costs, and they can have servers in the cloud along with their physical systems, which they can control. It tends to be the best of all worlds.

However, you also have to think about just where the data center will be located. While there might be a temptation to find a location that has access to the lowest priced power possible, this might not always be the best solution. There are reasons that you might want to have a data center located close to your business. Let’s get a look at those reasons.

You Have Easier Access

Naturally, one of the best reasons to have a data center nearby rather than on the other side of the country is because it will be easier to access. Many of the data centers today will allow the customers to have access to the data centers and their servers as needed. Many will even allow for around the clock access. Of course, they will still have security systems, such as security cards and biometric features, which ensure that not just anyone can get onto the property.

Get a Better Sense of the Security

However, having the data center nearby will also let you get a better sense of the actual security of the company. You will be able to see that they do have the cameras they claim and that they have physical security. Being nearby will allow you to know that your servers are safe since you can vouch for the security that is in place.

Check on the Fail-Safes

In addition to checking on the security for the data center, you will also be able to check on the fail-safes that are supposed to be in place. The data centers today will typically have redundancies in place for their cooling, their power, and their systems used for security. Being nearby can let you more easily check up on those systems to make sure that they are operating correctly and that they exist.

These are just some of the reasons that you might want to have a data center that is nearby rather than one that is going to take a flight to reach. Ideally, you will be able to find a quality data center that is only about an hour or so away from your business. This way, you can get to it when you need without the drive taking up too much time. Just remember to consider the other factors – quality, price, features, etc. – and not only the location when you are choosing a spot.


Vetting Data Centers – What to Look For

The Key Factors That Your New Data Center Should Have

Whether your company is facing a deluge of data or simply in need of a data center quote to keep up with the details, there is one answer that can deal with both—hosted data center services. Two of the biggest reasons why these services prove to be a sound choice are a lack of available space and potential consumer base growth that exceeds your company’s current resources.

While they are a valuable asset to many organizations, it pays to do your homework first Find data center articles online and look for top candidates that others have consulted for services. From there, it’s time to narrow down your choices for the perfect fit. As you do your inspection of hosted services, check out these considerations.

Where are you now?

The location of your company is a big factor in choosing hosted data services. While some companies might opt for something closer, others may not see any location as a problem; this all depends of your comfort level and need for constant communication.

It’s not just location that features in this category. The overall infrastructure also plays a role in what you ask a possible hosted date service provider. Considerations like the types of servers in use as well as their configurations play an important role in the services needed.

Can they be trusted?

You need services you can rely on as you build your business. Being down for just a minute or two can cause a ripple to hits everything from customer confidence to company ratings. A reliable choice should always measure at least 99.99% efficiency rates over time; that means no room for error. For worst case scenarios, there should always be power loss plans and equipment in place to handle any emergencies. more than just generators, this should extend to a full set of software and equipment specifically for this discipline.

Do they have data backups and security plans?

One of the biggest components in your business is the data its built on. If an emergency does occur, losing your data could be lost forever, and in the process your entire company infrastructure. A secure data center should have measures in place that not only protects data, but offers quality backups in the event of any disaster.

A comprehensive approach towards security is one of the biggest parts of hosted data services. Physical security plans should be a regular part of their approach to your company. Any plans should include onsite staff that monitor facilities at all times.It also helps if these professionals have adequate training in the selected subjects such data technology as well as security.

Go ahead and move your company to the next level. Keep an eye out for a hosted data center that can not only handle, but adjust at a moment’s notice. Having a center onsite is great, yet it doesn’t have to be that way if your pressed for cash or resources. Outside services help a lot of companies keep their most precious commodities safe and sound without the hassle.

NY Cryptocurrency Mining Data Center

Massena, New York is home to one of the top crypto mining data centers in the world. The capacity of this site is enormous with 435-megawatts of power. The site is whopping 1300-acres.

The North Country Data Center Corporation has a subsidiary, Coinmint. They claim it is intended to be used to mine several digital currencies. Among these are the major currencies Bitcoin, Dash, and Ethereum.

It is claimed that the basis of the move was the citizens of the area and the benefits of hydroelectric power. The expansion will continue as this form of power is important to the infrastructure of data centers.

Kyle Carlton who is a spokesman for Coinmint explained that the reduction in electricity costs will allow the company to be a strong global competitor in the newly emerging digital currency market.

This company has already invested a lot of money into the crypto mining farm data center. The total is roughly around $50 million. It is expected to put another $700 million towards the data center within the next 18 months. It is estimated that this will allow more than 150 jobs to be created.

The goal of Coinmint is to offer investers who are qualified to be given an opportunity to act in the ever-growing world of digital currency. They claim that they can be around three times bigger than their competitors in the industry.

This company has become partners with the Alcoa East Facility complex for its cheap electricity and proximity to Albany NY. The mining company believes this to be a huge advantage for the company.

Steve O’Shaughnessy, the Massena Town Supervisor strongly believes that they have been working for an increase of jobs in the Alcoa East Facility and that the overall project holds strong potential.

China has had a hostile approach towards cryptos in general, as well as crypto-mining. In a way, America has become a more popular destination for miners like Texas. The effect of this has been an increasing demand for more and more energy to secure the bitcoin network, ethereum’s network, among other digital currency competitors.

There has been much controversy over how support to them has been the topic of debate for locals across the U.S. Fortunately, they can often bring jobs and a large investment. This is due to the need to hire many to work on the factory floor as well as others who complete the necessary designs, manufacturing, storing and shipping of crypto mining hardware.

Some towns are welcoming them with full acceptance, while others debate whether a potential increase in overall electricity costs would be worth the investment.

Bitmain Bitcoin Mining Data Center in Texas

All About the Bitmain Data Center in Texas


Back in July 2018, the largest Bitcoin miner in the world, Bitmain, made an announcement that they would be constructing an all-new data center and mining facility in near Austin TX in Rockdale, Texas. The company planned to invest more than $500 million in United States dollars over seven years into the state, county, and local economies. This blockchain data center in Milam County was intended to be a prime part of the company’s strategy to expand and invest in North America.


All About Bitmain


Bitmain was founded in 2013 and acts as a semiconductor and blockchain company dedicated to designing and creating high-performance software, hardware, and services for communities and customers worldwide. Bitmain offers some of the most industry-defining technologies to support financial tech and help support a global, decentralized network to grow, connect, and benefit everyone involves. While the company is headquartered in Beijing, it also boasts research centers, product centers, and offices globally in spots like Singapore, Zug, Silicon Valley, Hong Kong, Tel Aviv, and Amsterdam.


The Plans for a Texas Data Center


Based on statements released by Bitmain, the facility was expected to begin operating in 2019 and would be operational on a complete scale within two years. The data center was slated to be placed in an abandoned aluminum smelter plant and to bring hundreds of new jobs the struggling area. This was intended to create more disposable income in the area to boost property and business values throughout the county.


Bitmain also noted that it would be partnering with various educational institutions and schools in the county to offer residents and students the skills needed to choose a career at the facility. The company nearly immediately announced recruitment needs for positions like sales associates, engineers, senior management, research associates, finance associates, and technicians.


New Updates on the Blockchain Data Center


Unfortunately, less than a year after this facility was announced by Bitmain, development of what was known as “the largest data center in the world” has been halted in Rockdale, Texas. This is a serious blow to the city which has been hit hard following the closure of its coal mine more than a decade ago. The unemployment rate in the city at one point hit 12.5% during the recession.


The last year was not great for cryptocurrency and many miners who got involved in 2017 stepped away in 2018 as the cost of mining Bitcoin became overly expensive. Bitmain started a hiring freeze in November 2018 and early in 2019 explained that the facility would no longer be opened. This happened after the job fair planned for the facility was delayed time and time again.


What Might Be Coming Next


While Bitmain will not be coming to this Texas community, it remains to be seen if other facilities will be closed or employees will lose their jobs. As for now, the company seems to be doing well despite any of its struggles and it will be interesting to see what comes next.



Underground Data Center Trend Is Starting to Gain Steam

Underground Data Center Trend Is Starting to Gain Steam

The need for data centers has been growing for a number of years, and this need is continuing today. However, there are many data center operators who are looking for a new way to create facilities. Rather than buying and retrofitting a building that’s above ground, many are starting to look at some of the benefits that could come from heading underground. With an underground building for the data center, it will still be possible to create quality multitenant data centers.

Below the Earth

Going underground is one of a few still relatively new data center trends, of course. There are many who are content to take structures that already exist or to build new structures, aboveground. Heading below the earth does have a lot of benefits to it, though.

It was only a few years ago that Iron Mountain started to build their underground facility in Pennsylvania. The data center is located in what used to be a limestone mine. The data center itself is 220 feet underground, and it features 1.7 million square feet of space. This is a large and secure structure that can support up to 10 megawatts of critical power. It provides carrier connections and acts as a powerful, technologically advanced data center.

Despite being underground, the company has the ability to create exactly the type of facility they want. They can provide prebuilt client space. They can create custom data center options for their clients, and they can offer a range of services. By offering both space and services, and by going underground, it has helped them to stand out.

What Makes Underground Facilities a Great Idea?

There are actually a few reasons that underground data centers are gaining in popularity. One of the biggest of those reasons is security, naturally. When there are fewer entrances and exits, and when the building is surrounded by the earth, there are fewer places that are at risk of a physical intrusion. Combine the fact that it is underground with security guards, cameras, and biometric scanners, and it helps to make it a very secure location.

Another one of the reasons that it might be a good idea to consider building underground data centers is because of the cost. Even though the company will have to find an old mine, as in the case of Iron Mountain, or they will have to pay for the construction costs, it is still often easier than finding a location of similar size above ground in an area that will work well. It will physically look more secure, as well. This can act as a psychological advantage for those companies with clients that need to have the best security possible.

In addition to safety from thieves, there is also the fact that an underground facility tends to be less at risk for many types of natural disasters. There are other advantages, as well. For example, because they are underground, they will have a lower ambient temperature and the advantage of geothermic cooling. Essentially, this means the facility will stay cooler naturally, which can cut down on the amount of energy used to keep the servers at an optimal temperature. This provides more efficient use of power.

Those who are looking for a data center that is truly as safe as possible will want to consider the benefits of going underground. Of course, this doesn’t mean that all of the data centers of the future are going to be heading underground. It’s just an option that can be considered.


Data Center Trends Facts and Statistics

2019-2020 Data Center Trends

  • 2020-2022 10% of IT organizations will be using using this serverless computing
  • AI will continue to grow 34% Year over year into 2020
  • Disaster recovery service demand grew 23% in 2019
  • The average tier 1-2 data center uses uses 24k miles of network cable
  • 2019 saw 562 Hyperscale data centers existing
  • AI is reducing the cooling costs which make up 40% of Data Center costs
  • 28% of cloud spending is focused on private cloud hosting

Technology advances at rapid rates, and this means that data servers are growing in ways that might have been unexpected even just a few years ago. When you start to look at some of the various trends that are making their way to data centers, you can see that there are some fundamental changes coming down the line. It’s about more than just the cloud and providing solid infrastructure. It is also about the future of that infrastructure, along with delivering new services that will make their customers happier and their data safer. Let’s look at some of the biggest trends that are coming in 2019 and beyond.

Serverless Computing

This is an interesting piece of technology that could become very important in the field of data servers and colocations. Rather than using hardware, this system makes use of the function platform as a service, which is a software architecture pattern. It will allow for rapid scaling, as well as more accurate billing that is reflective of actual usage. This type of technology is just now starting to come into the forefront, and it is likely that between 2020 and 2022, there will be around 10% of IT organizations using this serverless computing method. This could provide some big changes to the way that data colocation centers are operating.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence, also called AI, is not just science fiction, and it hasn’t been for some time. However, the AI that is starting to be used today is better than it has ever been, and it is only a matter of time before AI becomes used in data servers and other types of infrastructure. AI will be able to help with elements like failure recognition and predictive analysis. There is hope that it will allow for better control of data and infrastructure without the need to increase the actual number of staff members.

Improved Security

Security is just as important as it has always been, but the hackers and thieves out there who might like to cause havoc are not letting up anytime soon. Therefore, there needs to be constant vigilance when it comes to digital security and encryption for all of the data that is stored in data centers. This is true no matter where they might be located.

Physical security is important, as well. This includes ensuring that there is plenty of fire protection, as well as protection from thieves. Having protection from natural disasters is also important, and for these reasons, some companies have even started to create underground data centers. This can help to reduce the amount of risk and it can help to speed up data recovery in the face of a problem caused by a natural disaster.

Could Traditional Data Centers Disappear?

One of the questions that many people have when it comes to all of the new and advanced types of technology is whether data centers will be able to stay the course. The truth of the matter is that data centers are likely still going to be needed in one capacity or another, but their function might change somewhat. Rather than having their own server rooms and data centers on site, you are likely going to see more and more moving their operations to data centers that are offsite and/or in the cloud.

These are some of the potential trends that you are likely to see over the course of the next year or so. Of course, these are just some of the trends and changes that you are going to want to watch for.




Tier III vs Tier IV Data Center – What’s the Difference?

Tier III vs Tier IV Data Center – What’s the Difference?

Whenever you are searching for retail colocation space, you want to be sure that you are getting only the very best. You want a good US location, you want great services, and a great price, naturally. However, you will have quite a few choices that you will have to make, and you will need to understand what type of data center will be best for you. One of the questions that you will have to answer is whether you want to have a Tier III or a Tier IV data center. If you are still new to colocation, you might be wondering what the difference is between these designations for data centers.

When you start to look for data centers today, one of the first things that you will see in their advertising materials tends to be whether they are a Tier III or a Tier IV facility. Of course, most people do not know what this really means or whether it makes much of a difference or not.

How Do the Tier Certifications Work?

As the tier certifications rise in number, they become stronger and more secure. A Tier III data center tends to be a good choice for many different types of large companies. They will generally have a guaranteed uptime availability of 99.982%, and their annual downtime is about 1.6 hours. The Tier III will also be N+1 fault tolerant and able to provide at least 73 hours of power outage protection.

A Tier IV data center is the strongest of all of the options, and that means it will have the least probability of failing and not being available for you and your customers. It will have a guaranteed uptime availability of 99.995%, and it will have an annual downtime of only 0.04 hours. These are 2N+1 fully redundant infrastructures, which is the main difference between these and Tier III facilities. They have 96-hour power outage protection.

Essentially, even though the Tier IV data centers might seem like they have very few differences, the differences they do have are important. Though they seem small, the improvements are major. However, that does not mean that choosing a Tier IV option is always the right solution for a number of reasons.

What Is the Most Common and What’s Right for You?

Now that you can see the major differences between a Tier III and Tier IV data center, it is time to think about which one will be right for you. The true Tier IV data centers tend to be quite rare still, and you will find that most of the options available are Tier III. For most large companies, the Tier III data centers are perfectly fine. The Tier IV data centers are generally best for massive enterprise options.

What you do not want to do, though, is to go backward on the tier certification list if you can help it. If you have a very small company, it might be possible to use a Tier I or Tier II facility, but they are prone to far more downtime and other issues to contend with.

Whenever you are making a decision to find and choose a data center, take the time to determine the location of the data center, the Tier they claim to be, the services and prices they have available, and whether they are fully managed or not. You want to make sure they are going to be a good solution for your business, and that they will provide your equipment and data with the protection that it needs.


Data Center Certification Standards

In today’s world of business, computers are all the rage. Without them, after all, nobody could buy things online and there wouldn’t be free email accounts.

The management, dissemination, and storage of digital information is known as information technology, or IT for short. Since taking care of IT needs in-house is so expensive, businesses often outsource their IT needs to data centers.

Data centers are facilities dedicated to hosting, managing, and maintaining any and all equipment that businesses use to handle their information technology needs.

What do data centers consist of?

There are four main components of data centers: the facilities themselves, support infrastructure, equipment, and operations staff. Let’s go into greater detail about what each of these four components entails.


Data centers need facilities to store and operate the equipment they need to meet their clients’ IT needs. These facilities include the buildings that actually house such equipment and staff, HVAC systems used to heat and cool data centers, and the infrastructure used to supply utilities like electricity and Internet bandwidth to these facilities.

IT equipment

All the hardware that is directly responsible for hosting websites and otherwise performing IT support functions falls under this category. This includes the racks, cabinets, and cables to store such hardware and keep it operating.

Operations staff

People working for data centers who aren’t directly responsible for implementing and maintaining data center equipment fall under operations staff. Members of data centers’ operations staff include managers and executives.

Support infrastructure

The hardware, software, and people used to keep IT infrastructure up and running fall under the category of support infrastructure. Businesses and organizations need to have around-the-clock access to support functions from their data centers. Otherwise, they might as well take care of their IT needs in-house.

How can businesses and organizations know that data centers are doing their jobs?

Just how organizations like SACS, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, oversee American colleges and universities in the Southeastern United States, there are several governing bodies that oversee data centers and make sure they provide the services they claim to provide and keep clients’ information safe.

The rest of this article consists of a discussion about the current top data center certification standards and the governing bodies that maintain such standards in the United States and some other countries.

SAS 70 Type II data center certification

SAS 70 stands for Statement on Auditing Standards Number 70: Service Organizations, an auditing standard that was put into place by the AICPA, or the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

SAS 70, in short, is a standard that provides oversight and guidance for independent, third-party auditors to assess data centers’ service controls and provide them with a professional, unbiased opinion on them.

Internal controls, at least as far as auditing, oversight, and regulation are concerned, are policies and procedures that – put simply – make sure things are running like they’re supposed to. Internal controls are usually referred to simply as controls.

Although SAS 70 has been phased out of being legally required since 2011, many data centers still pay auditors to provide them with SAS 70 Type II reports and opinions. SAS 70 reports include three things:

  • An in-depth, thorough description of the tests that auditors use to affirm the effectiveness of their operations.
  • An in-depth, thorough description of any and all internal controls that are currently being used to keep things running as they’re supposed to.
  • Most importantly, the professional, unbiased, independent opinion of the auditor regarding whether their internal controls are doing what they’re supposed to or not.

SAS 70 Type II reports are used by data centers to find out if their internal controls could be improved or if they’re doing a good enough job already. Further, these reports are often passed on to current and potential clients of data centers. Most data centers make SAS 70 Type II reports widely available to the world by posting them online or otherwise making them readily available to people – not just clients – who are interested in reviewing them.

One thing that’s important to keep in mind regarding SAS 70 audits is that there are no standards that must be met. Rather, auditors determine whether data centers are running as well as they should be on a case-by-case basis.

SSAE 16 data center certification

The AICPA is also responsible for overseeing SSAE 16 data center certifications. SSAE 16 stands for the Statement on Standards for Attestation Engagements Number 16, which was first published in early 2010.

SSAE 16 has largely replaced Statement on Auditing Standards Number 70: Service Organizations as the go-to standard for certifying the effectiveness of data centers’ operations here in the United States. However, as mentioned above, keep in mind that SAS 70 is still regarded highly by the likes of data centers, auditors, and the potential clients and existing stakeholders of data centers.

SSAE 16 is the United States’ equivalent of the international standard ISAE 3402, or the Assurance Reports on Controls at a Service Organization, which was implemented by the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board, or the IAASB.

In order to gain SSAE 16 data center certification, data centers must subject themselves to three main things. The first of these is that they must provide auditors with a list of any and all systems they use as internal controls. Further, data centers must also thoroughly describe these internal controls.

The second thing data centers must object themselves to is providing auditors with a full description of their overall systems. SAS 70 guidelines only call for descriptions of facility internal controls. The difference between these two things – overall systems and facility internal controls – is that the latter contains a broader variety of internal controls.

Lastly, auditors have to sign off on a statement of assertion, which has to be composed by the managers of data centers themselves. These statements of assertion, more or less, consist of various pledges that data center managers agree to hold themselves to.

If it’s not already clear, the SSAE 16 data center certification supersedes its SAS 70 Type II counterpart, though many data centers hire auditors to hold them to both of these standards.

SOC Types 1, 2, and 3 data center certifications

The AICPA also provides regulatory guidelines called Service Organization Controls for data centers. Also known as SOCs, Service Organization Control reports fall under the categories of Types 1, 2, and 3.

Service Organization Control reports cover five distinct, well-defined areas of internal controls: privacy, availability, processing integrity, security, and confidentiality. Without getting into the definition of each of these fingers of coverage, just know that they collectively make up the focus of the AICPA’s Trust Services Principles and Criteria.

We won’t be going over the differences between the types of Service Organization Controls. Rather, we’ll discuss the basics of SOC Type 2 data center certifications, which are the most comprehensive and stringent of the three, some of which has already been discussed above.

Service Organization Control Type 2 compliance addresses organizations that provide information technology and cloud computing services. The AICPA’s Attestation Standard 101 is used extensively in auditing data centers to determine whether they are certified under Service Organization Control standards.

Auditors must sign off on written statements of assertion, which are written directly by the managers of data centers. These statements must contain descriptions of the data center systems that data centers use to operate.

LEED data center certification

The United States Green Building Council developed and oversees LEED data center certification, which standards for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.

In the United States, data centers aren’t required to uphold themselves to LEED standards, though many clients of data centers prefer them to be held to LEED standards.


The Uptime Institute defines four tiers for data centers to be classified under. Tier 1 data centers usually provide services to small businesses. They also have to be available for support at least 99.671 percent of the time, which equates to an annual downtime of just 29 hours.

Tier 2 data centers must be available 99.749 percent of the time, equating to an annual downtime of precisely 22 hours. They often provide services to mid-sized and small businesses.

Tier 3 data centers can only be out of service for 1.6 hours each year, must be fault-tolerant, and able to sustain operation throughout a three-day power outage.

The largest businesses and organizations outsource their data center needs to Tier 4 data centers, which are only down a maximum of two-and-a-half minutes each year. This means they’re available at least 99.995 percent of the time. They also have to sustain at least two independent utility paths, be able to stay open throughout a 96-hour power outage, and be fully redundant.