Every day, people are accessing online forums, virtual conference rooms, and corporate data to accomplish a range of tasks. Whether using data and networks for personal entertainment, or to get work completed for the day, all these applications come from a specific location that is accessible to authorized users. These locations are called data centers.
What is a Data Center?
The meaning of a data center has changed over time as technology has changed. Yet basically, a data center is a centralized location where system networks and computing devices allow for the gathering, transmitting, storage and dissemination of data for a range of public and private entities. The data center will house all the components to allow users to access and transmit data, as well as provide storage and security measures to keep the systems and applications secure. Common systems that are found in data centers include:
- Data management systems
- Networking services
- Data storage components
- Backup and recovery systems
- Network security applications
All of these systems and applications will use a conglomerate of components to run efficiently, such as firewalls, switches, networking systems and routers — to name a few. In addition to the systems used to gather, transmit and use data, the data centers will also house physical components used to organize and maintain the network equipment such as racks, cables, backup generators, uninterrupted power supplies, and cooling and ventilation systems.
Data Centers Changing Based on Technology
In the past, data centers were typically located in-house at a business. The components and systems where located in an IT closet or small room for small to medium-sized businesses, and large warehouses for bigger corporations and operations. When designing a data center, the physical size of the location is not typically taken into consideration. Instead, data center infrastructure is designed based on a tiered system that adheres to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) regulations.
- Tier 1: Basic Infrastructure
- Tier 2: Redundant-Capacity
- Tier 3: Concurrently Maintained
- Tier 4: Fault Tolerant
Tier 1 data centers are the lowest certification, where there are no redundant-capacity components and only single capacity components. Each level going up offers more system protection and redundant-capacity components.
As technology changed, virtualized infrastructures have taken form for data centers. They use multi-cloud environments as well as multiple server farms that can be located anywhere across the country and around the world.
There are many types of data centers that people use. Enterprise data centers are usually built, owned and maintained by the company who will be exclusively using the system. There are also data centers that will be managed by a third-party vendor as they may provide a range of additional services.
Other types of data centers include cloud data and co-location. Cloud data centers are hosted by cloud service providers and have become popular for the past decade, as these off-premise data centers can keep costs low for both big and small business operations. If a company is looking to rent space to have their network systems and applications located off-site, they may hire a co-location data center that will hold the systems as the business itself will maintain and manage all the data center components.
Always maintaining a connection to the applications and network systems is vital. A company can experience downtime if their bandwidth connection is unreliable or if they have to deal with usage limits. Here at PS LIGHTWAVE, we are a consultative data connectivity provider. We offer all-fiber-optic networks throughout the Greater Houston area that are scaled to the customers’ needs. Whether they are public or private entities, they can always maintain a high quality connection to the data, applications and network systems they need with the redundancy that is required. For more information, speak with our representatives today.
PS LIGHTWAVE provides high-speed, fiber Internet for public and private commercial entities in the Greater Houston and surrounding areas.
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