What are data centers?
We live in an era that can be categorized as the pinnacle of the digital age which is why the most important asset in our lives is data. Every day we are producing around 2.5 quintillion bytes of data and this data requires large-scale management. This is where data center comes into action.
Components of a Data Center:
- Space: Space is the location or usable area where the hardware resides. This is mostly IT infrastructure that is placed in a ‘white space’ with optimal environment-related conditions such as temperature and humidity that is perfect for the equipment. Such facilities also have a constant source of power to keep the equipment online all the time.
- Infrastructure for Support: Such infrastructure is present for the sustainability of the data center. It is the backup and risk mitigation plan that ensures that the data center never faces point of failure. Some of the elements of supporting infrastructure are as follows:
- Backup Power Resources: These consist of uninterruptible power sources such as automatic generators, battery banks, and redundant power supply units.
- Security Systems: These are comprised of biometric verification, RFID, and video surveillance system.
- Environmental Control: These include components of building management systems such as HVAC for controlling the heaters, ventilators and air conditioners; exhaust systems and CRAC.
- Main Infrastructure: IT equipment such as servers, server racks, cables, hard drives, firewalls, modems, routers, and switches, etc. come in this category.
- Staff: The data center’s operational staff has the job responsibility of monitoring the operations and maintaining the overall infrastructure 24/7.
Virtualization in Datacenters:
Types of Data Centers:
- In-house or Enterprise Datacenters: Enterprise datacenters are the most common type. They are built and owned by their housing companies. Many companies prefer keeping their datacenter on corporate premises while a few of them with huge budgets go for a build from the scratch thing.
- Managed Services Providers: In managed service provider category, the providers manage and operate the servers and storage for companies. This sort of datacenter came into being when companies hired outsourcing services of giants such as IBM and AT&T.
- Colocation: Colocation provides more control to the company as the service provider can lease a rack or two to the company and its control is handed over to their employees. Such sites have the advantage of cross-connects among servers of different companies e.g. a trading firm connecting with a financial exchange.
- Wholesale Data Centers: Wholesale datacenters became the rage after tech giants realized that they required more racks. Wholesale datacenters are commonly known as multi-tenant datacenters (MTDC) and their pricing plan varies according to the power allocated to each tenant.
- Cloud Datacenters: Such datacenters are the most inexpensive ones. IBM and Microsoft are one of the popular providers of cloud datacenters.