A Tier 3 datacentre by NextDC has opened in Sydney, one of only seven in Australia with this certification. It has already attained customers such as Telstra and Dimension Data. We take a look at what a Tier 3 certification means and why this is great news for Australian organisations.


A Tier 3 certification indicates that a datacentre meets the following requirements:

  • Multiple independent distribution paths serving the IT environment
  • All IT equipment is dual-powered and fully compatible with the site’s environment
  • Expected availability of 99.982% – a downtime of only 94.608 minutes in one year

This certification is only one tier behind the highest certification – the Tier 4 which has a downtime of only 26.28 minutes over a 12 month period.

The equipment of the NextDC datacentre in Sydney is designed to operate independently of electricity and power grids in the event of a blackout or failure. It also has 22 industrial air-conditioners where safeguards have been put in place so that when an air conditioner requires servicing, the other units will automatically deliver more power. These measures ensure that the facility is able to maintain an uptime of 99.982%.

So what does this mean for Australian organisations? Kareem Tawansi, CEO of software development provider, Solentive Software explains, “Organisations looking to store their data on a cloud server need to know where the data is located. If the data is located offshore, then they will need to consider three important points – governance, latency, and the fact that the further the data is located from you, the more physical points of failure there will be.

“If your datacentre is located in a different country, you risk that country’s government from either accessing your data or denying you access to your own data. You also need to consider that the further away your data is located, the longer it will take for that data to travel to you and the higher the risk of something happening to that data during the distance it needs to travel,” explained Tawansi.

An example of this governance issue can be seen through the USA PATRIOT Act (Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism) 2001. This law provides American government and intelligence authorities the right to request data or information located in datacentres on American soil, regardless of where the data has originated.

“There is a benefit in choosing a datacentre located offshore – that is cost. There are massive datacentres located overseas and, due to economies of scale from possessing additional capacity and therefore more clients, they are able to charge a lower rate. However, Australian organisations need to balance that with the risk of data security and latency and determine what is of higher importance and priority,” counselled Tawansi.

The new Tier 3 certified datacentre offers Australian organisations further choice with the added peace of mind that they are guaranteed access to their data at almost 100% of the time. Furthermore, as the datacentre is located in Australia, it operates in the Australian jurisdiction and is therefore protected by Australian privacy laws. This removes the need for an organisation to familiarise themselves with the legislations of other countries which may conflict with Australia’s own regulations – putting them at risk of breaching Australian laws.