Tier Certification

Tier Certification Overview

Today, every organization relies on a complex interconnection of digital resources for their business livelihood and fiscal performance. Shareholders and stakeholders demand that their infrastructure investments are well defined and fully supported as millions of dollars are at risk if the wrong choices are made.

Uptime Institute’s Tier Standard and the associated certifications are the single most important investments you can make to assure that these resources directly support business needs. Uptime Institute’s Tier Standard is the globally recognized standard for data center reliability and overall performance. It allows for various levels of performance to be chosen based on the intended applications and business parameters associated with those applications.

With over 1,500 Certifications issued in over 95 countries around the globe, Uptime Institute’s Tier Standard Certification is the industry standard for Design, Construction, and on-going Operations.  


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Uptime Institute Tier Certification provides an independent, proven measure of the capability of your infrastructure to meet the performance level your business depends on. With Tier Certification, you know your data center will be able to deliver the business services your company needs, day in and day out. Tier Standards are an unbiased set of infrastructure and operating criteria that are unique in the industry for their rigor and comprehensiveness. No other credential carries the weight and stature of Tier Certification, and no other data center standard is actually certified by the standard’s author itself.

First released over 25 years ago, the Tier Standard is performance-based, allowing any form of innovative approach and technology to be included as long as the resulting infrastructure meets the desired goal. This means that the Tier Standard remains as relevant today as when it was first developed. Hybrid infrastructures including on-premise, co-location, and cloud components look to Uptime Institute to certify their essential components every day. And when these individual components are aggregated to present a hybrid service delivery platform, we can assess that too with our Hybrid Resiliency Assessment services (See HERE.)

Key Values of the Tier Standard:

  • Performance-based: Tier Standards are performance-based, not prescriptive. Any design solution that meets the requirements for availability, redundancy, and fault tolerance is acceptable. This latitude allows you to incorporate a wide variety of infrastructure and system solutions to best meet your organization’s goals for IT operations, costs, sustainability, and uptime.
  • Technology neutral: in an ever-changing technology landscape, Tier classification does not require or rely on any fixed set of technologies. The Standards are able to encompass new and innovative solutions for data center systems and engineering, such as modular configurations, OCP, and leading-edge power and cooling approaches.
  • Vendor agnostic: Uptime Institute is an independent services organization without any affinity to hardware or brand. This enables the Tier Standard criteria to be vendor-neutral and unbiased.
  • Flexible: The performance-based nature of the Tier standards gives organizations flexibility to comply with local statutes, codes, and regulations while enjoying full Tier certification and the business benefits of doing so.
  • Lifecycle: Beginning with the Tier Standard in the Design Document phase and continuing with the Constructed Facility and Operational Sustainability phases, the Tier Standard has you covered.
  • Certification: The Standard is administered by the author of the standard itself, assuring the letter of the standard and encompassing the vast experience of our team. Tier Certification is not theory, it is fact. It is a recognized certification by an independent engineering team with a correctly implemented vision, and an implementation to meet stated business needs.
Simply put, Uptime Institute’s Tier Certification is helping enterprises, owners, and operators increase efficiency, reduce risk and cost, and meet the highest levels of infrastructure performance around the globe.

Tier Certification of Data Center Design Documents

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This Program Includes:

  • Assessment of designed facility performance, capacity and engineering requirements
  • Assessment of mechanical & electrical systems as well as architectural and site considerations
  • Vendor and contractor-independent third-party review of design documents

Tier Certification of Constructed Data Center Facility

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This Program Includes:

  • Third-party verification that your facility has been constructed to Tier-Certified design documents
  • Live demonstrations of key systems under real-world conditions to validate facility performance
  • Focus on identifying and addressing construction issues prior to facility operations commencing

Tier Certification of Data Center Operational Sustainability

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This Program Includes:

  • Comprehensive assessment of Tier-Certified facility management and operations practices
  • Identification of management and operations issues that can compromize reliability and performance
  • Emphasis on achieving operational best-practices to attain full potential of installed infrastructure

TIER-Ready for Prefabricated and Modular Data Centers

This Program Includes:

  • Pre-validation of the modular data center at the manufacturer level
  • Reduction of certification time by 65% due to pre-validation process
  • Discounted cost for full Tier Certification of design, facility & operations
Learn More About This Program >>

Tier Certification Client Testimonials

Involta Discusses the TIER III Certification of their Akron, Ohio Facility

Compass Datacenters delivers clients certainty with TIER-Ready