What are service tiers?

A service tier is a label associated with a service that indicates how critical a service is to the operation of your business. Service tiers allow you to distinguish between services that are mission-critical, and those that are useful and helpful but not essential.

All services in your system, no matter how big or how small, should be assigned a service tier. The following sections outline a scale to get you started (you can make adjustments to these recommendations as necessary to accommodate your particular business needs).

Tier 1 services are the most critical services in your system. A service is considered Tier 1 if a failure of that service will result in a significant impact to customers or to the company’s bottom line.

A Tier-2 service is one that is important to your business but less critical than a Tier 1. A failure in a Tier-2 service can cause a degraded customer experience in a noticeable and meaningful way but does not completely prevent your customer from interacting with your system.

A Tier-3 service is one that can have minor, unnoticeable or difficult-to-notice customer impact, or have limited effects on your business and systems. Customers may or may not even notice that a Tier-3 service is failing.

A Tier-4 service is a service that, when it fails, causes no significant effect on the customer experience and does not significantly affect the customer’s business or finances.

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