The Role of Data Centers in Businesses

A data center is a structure that houses an organization's shared IT operations

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Data centers are important to the continuity of everyday operations

A data center is a structure that houses an organization's shared IT operations and equipment in order to store, process, and distribute data and applications. Data centers are important to the continuity of everyday operations since they store an organization's most critical and proprietary assets. As a result, data center security and reliability, as well as the information they contain, are among any organization's top considerations.

Data centers today are vastly different from those of the past. Traditional on-premises physical servers have given way to virtual networks that enable applications and workloads across many pools of physical hardware in a multi-cloud environment. Data exists and is networked across numerous data centers, the edge, as well as public and private clouds in this era. The data center must be able to communicate with both on-premises and cloud-based locations. Even the public cloud is made up of different data centers. When apps are hosted in the cloud, they make use of the cloud provider's data center resources.

How do businesses benefit from data centers?

Data centers are an important aspect of any company, as they support business applications and provide services like:

  • Data storage, management, backup and recovery
  • Email and other productivity applications
  • Transactions with a high volume of e-commerce
  • Providing support to online gaming communities
  • Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and big data
  • Customer relationship management (CRM)
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and databases
  • Virtual desktops, communications and collaboration services

According to reports, there are more than 7 million data centers in the world now. Almost every company and government agency either creates and maintains its own data center or has access to another's, if not both. Renting servers in a colocation facility, using data center services operated by a third party, or using public cloud-based services from hosts are all choices accessible today.

The key elements of a data center

Facility: It is the useful space available for IT equipment. Data centers are arguably one of the world's most energy-intensive institutions since they provide 24-hour access to information. Both design and environmental control are addressed in order to keep equipment within prescribed temperature/humidity ranges.

Equipment and software: These are used for IT operations as well as data application storage. Storage systems, servers, network infrastructure, such as switches and routers, and other information security aspects, such as firewalls, are examples of such components.

Support infrastructure: It is an equipment that helps to ensure that the maximum level of availability is maintained in a secure manner. The following are some examples of supporting infrastructure components:

  • Uninterruptible Power Sources (UPS)- battery banks, generators and redundant power sources.
  • Environmental control- computer room air conditioners (CRAC); heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems; and exhaust systems.
  • Physical security systems – biometrics and video surveillance systems.

Operations staff – personnel available to monitor operations and maintain IT and infrastructure equipment around the clock.

In the last few years, data centers have changed dramatically. Data center architecture has migrated away from on-premises servers and toward virtualized infrastructure that supports workloads across pools of physical infrastructure and multi-cloud environments as enterprise IT needs continue to shift toward on-demand services. The modern data center is where your workloads are these days, as the saying goes.

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