A Data Center is a huge facility housing critical data and software. They are generally used by organisations. Companies providing hosting services also provide data center solutions. It is a design based on a network of computers and high space storage devices such as enterprise hard disks that stores backup of all the data.
Components of a Data Center
A data center is made of the following things: –
- Router- It is the brain of a data center. It gives IP to different devices where data is distributed.
- Switches- A switch connects the router with hundreds of devices.
- Firewall- It secures who can access what kind of data and protects the system from damage.
- Storage systems- Hard disks, tape drives, Storage Area Network, Network Attached Storage, and RAID comprises the storage system.
- Servers- It is the CPU of a data center. It entertains computing requests made by devices.
The Nature of Contemporary Data Center
Development in technology has changed how data centers operated a while ago. Earlier, enterprises had to install a data center of their own at their premises. Now, this restriction has been lifted as all data is now saved on a cloud through the pooling of a more powerful mainframe.
Now, data exists in multiple files across different cloud facilities to ensure it doesn’t get lost in some glitch or attack. Edge computing and sharing of public and private clouds have enhanced the ease of access. An exclusive on-site data center can share and access data through a public cloud which is nothing but a pool of data centers accessed through various nodes.
Why is There a Boom in Data Center Business?
In the Information Age, most of the revenue in the economy is generated through IT services. Therefore, the need and demand for a data center is escalating for helping enterprises in carrying out their activities: –
- Email and file sharing
- Software and applications
- Customer relationship management or CRM
- Enterprise Resource Planning or ERP
- Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, and Machine Learning
- Maintaining huge databases
- Virtual desktops and collaborative technologies
How do data centers operate?
The aim and purpose of data center services are to ensure that core components of a data center operate without failure. Certain protocols are adopted for securing the integrity and performance of a data center, such as: –
- Network Security Protocol- It includes the installation of a firewall for protecting the data center from a security breach that can harm data stored in it.
- Application Delivery Assurance Protocol- Certain procedures are employed to provide incessant computing power to avoid any outage or data center downtime.
Internal Structure of a Data Center Facility
Earlier, we have elaborated briefly on what a data center is made of. Now, a facility housing a data center must provide other infrastructure needed for operating it. Some of the components of this facility are: –
- Power stations and power generators
- UPS or Uninterruptible Power Supplies
- HVAC system or Heating, Ventilation or Air conditioning system
- Fire protection system
- Connections to other servers on the cloud.
What are the standards for data center infrastructure?
Data centers are designed and receive certifications for their infrastructure. The most common certifications for it are ISO 27000, PCI DSS, HIPAA, TIA 942 or AICPA SOC and ANSI/TIA-942. According to CISCO, ANSI/TIA-942 is the most accepted standard worldwide. It may be given if the data center specifications fall under the category of any of the following tiers: –
Basic site infrastructure: It is popularly known as a Tier 1 data center. It is vulnerable to outages due to a physically hostile environment. it comes with a single non-redundant distribution path.
Redundant-capacity component site infrastructure: This Tier 2 data center is a little better at protecting against the physical environment, but its distribution path is non-redundant too.
Concurrently maintainable site infrastructure: This data center is like a fort protecting itself against all occupational physical catastrophes. It comes with redundant capacity components and multiple distribution paths allowing it to keep entertaining the request from all the edges without downtime.
Fault-tolerant site infrastructure: it is virtually impenetrable. It is built to service the high faults. It has state of the art redundant capacity components and multiple distribution points. If it goes down, the server requests will still be maintained while repairs are carried out in other components of the data center.
Types of Data Centers
They are owned by companies for their exclusive use.
When the components of a data center are leased by a company instead of buying it, it is managed services data center.
Web hosting services providers manage data centers for companies. Instead of making an exclusive data center, enterprises rent it out with others. The colocation data center provides supporting infrastructure like HVAC system, space, bandwidth, security, etc. The company is responsible for the data center and its performance. You can learn more about colocation data centers here.
Now, data centers allow data to get backed up at multiple places.