For large businesses and corporations, building or leasing a data center is an essential step. Read on to learn more about data centers and why your business probably needs one.
What is a Data Center?
A data center is a facility where organizational data is stored and processed. Because data storage and processing take a large amount of hardware, special facilities are designed solely for this purpose. Data center facility infrastructures are ranked according to specific security standards. Routers, servers, firewalls, and data storage devices are a few examples of the hardware you’ll find lining data center walls. The largest data center campus in the world, the China Telecom Data Center, scales just under 11 million square feet. The U.S. is the leading holder of data centers, with the highest number located in Dallas. Data centers globally produced almost $500 billion in 2020.
Types of Data Centers
There are four basic types of data centers.
- Enterprise data centers are single-use facilities. They are built by and for a single company. Enterprise data centers are typically located on-site and are maintained and operated by the company.
- Managed services data centers are used by a single company, but they are managed and maintained by a third party.
- Colocation data centers, sometimes called “colo” data centers, provide data services for multiple companies that share space and equipment.
- Cloud data centers are purely located on the cloud.
Each type of data center has its practical uses. The right data center solution for a large business will depend on funds, space, proximity to fiber optic cables, expertise, and data needs.
Why Are Data Centers Necessary?
It would be difficult for a large business to function in the information age without a data center to store, secure, and transmit data. The complexities of running a business today necessitate maximum storage, high security, and quick transmission of data. Many data centers also provide important services, such as e-mail management, messaging services, website domains, database administration, and E-commerce. Without access to top-of-the-line technology, a company is destined to lose out on growth and profits.
Critical Components of a Data Center
To function correctly, a data center requires a specific infrastructure. This must include fiber optic cables, environmental controls, optimal location, server racks, security hardware, and multiple power sources. Fiber optic cables are essential for high-speed and optimum quality data transmission. The facility must also control for environmental factors, including temperature, humidity, and natural disasters. Data center buildings have a raised floor (sometimes up to two feet above the subfloor), creating a buffer of cool air to keep a large number of electrical devices cool.
Choosing a data center location is all about internet connection and square footage. A one-story building used only for tech is ideal. Server racks provide organization and harmony to a data center campus. State-of-the-art firewall devices are key for protecting sensitive information. Finally, it is critical to have a redundancy in power and storage so that vital data is saved in the event of a power outage. Many top data centers promise to source 100% clean and renewable energy.
What Happens Inside a Data Center?
While the equipment inside a data center does all the computing, technicians are vital to a data center. They maintain equipment and infrastructure, restore information, preserve workflow, fit new equipment, install upgrades, run cables, provide IT support, and more. People who work in a data center are highly skilled and quite busy, being on-call 24 hours a day to provide necessary repairs or other services.
If you are a large business owner, it is time to seriously consider building or leasing a data center. Your company will grow and profit as a result.
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