What Does It Mean to Be a Rated-4 Data Center?

Throughout the data center industry, there are varying levels of uptime specifications and ratings which indicate how much of the time the data center is expected to be fully operational. For data centers, Uptime Institute Tiers, TIA-942 Ratings, and BICSI Availability Classes are used to measure uptime, with a range of Tier/Rating/Class 1 – 4. As a data center that places importance on quality, compliance and efficiency, Lifeline Data Centers is proud to say that our power delivery and mechanical systems are designed, built, and operated in conformity with the TIA-942 2012-A Rated-4 and BICSI 0002-2014 FC4 standards.

What does this really mean?

While most data centers fall under Tier/Rated/FC 2 or 3, a Tier/Rated/FC 4 data center is considered the most robust out of the four levels with the potential for highest uptime . It is also by far the most capital intensive to build and operate.  Some of the features of a Tier/Rated/FC 4 data center include:

  • Hardened Mission-critical systems
  • Fully redundant subsystems and critical components with concurrent maintainability
  • Fully fault-electrical, storage and distribution networks in the facility
  • Independent dual-powered cooling systems

Compared with other categories, Tier/Rated/FC 4 provides the best service:

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Information obtained from TIA-942

In addition to being a Rated-4 data center, Lifeline is pioneering Tier/Rated/FC 5 andTier/Rated/FC 6.

  • “Tier/Rated/FC 5” encompasses critical equipment testing and maintenance using Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM) protocols –ensuring facilities designed,built, and commissioned to Tier/Rated/FC 4 specifications do not degrade over time, but in fact become more reliable over operational lifespan.
  • "Tier/Rated/FC 6” incorporates Governance, Risk Management, Compliance and Auditing into every facet of data center design, construction,and operations.Lifeline Data Centers goes to extreme lengths to ensure that their customers are always audit-ready in today’s increasingly heavily regulated technology environment. 

What this means is that we build and maintain all of our power and cooling infrastructure to support a minimum of 99.995% uptime all year round.  The Lifeline staff members (comprised entirely of internal W-2 Lifeline employees) that design, build, and maintain these facilities and systems are extensively trained and certified by the TIA-942 and BICSI sanctioning bodies, among others.

Interested in speaking to us about protecting your data?

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Rich Banta

Rich Banta

Managing Member at Lifeline Data Centers
Rich is responsible for Compliance and Certifications, Data Center Operations, Information Technology, and Client Concierge Services. Rich has an extensive background in server and network management, large scale wide-area networks, storage, business continuity, and monitoring. Rich is a former CTO of a major health care system. Rich is hands-on every day in the data centers. He also holds many certifications, including: CISA – Certified Information Systems Auditor CRISC – Certified in Risk & Information Systems Management CDCE – Certified Data Center Expert CDCDP – Certified Data Center Design Professional
Rich Banta